Friday, 15 February 2013

Over-thinking?

Do you think that you sometimes might think too hard?

If you do, you're not alone. Many of us spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing. It's an easy trap to fall into, especially if your mood is low and you've ended up spending a lot of the day inactive and alone.

I've been there. You don't feel great so you stay at home. You don't feel like doing much so you slump in front of the TV or don't get out of bed.

And then the over-thinking starts. The excessive worrying. The rumination.

There's a great way to trick your brain into thinking less though, which is to completely immerse yourself in something that takes over all your cognitive capacity, drowning out the destructive thinking with something else altogether.

This happened for me a few days ago when I spent an afternoon and evening with Caroline's two boys.

As kids do, they demanded my full attention which I was more than happy to give. We played in the garden, made a chocolate cake, cooked dinner, did their homework.

The point is, a whole slice of time went by during which it was impossible for me to fill my head with all the usual stuff.

Was this simply avoiding the issues? Well I don't think so. When I went back into the normal routine the next day, I found I'd got much greater clarity of thought.

If you find yourself thinking too hard it's not always easy to tell yourself to stop.

It might be a lot more practical to crowd out the negative thinking with something else altogether.