The ‘Overthinking’ Mind

Worrying, for some (especially over-thinkers like me), has the potential to become a full-time occupation. The brain chunters away below the surface of whatever else is going on in life, taking in the view, and coming up with the worst possible situation at any given moment.

At any given moment, the brain might choose to fixate on something, gets it teeth stuck in, gnaw away at a previous innocuous circumstance, inflaming it, turning it wild. At this point, the thinker had better have the nous to step smartly away, take the brain in hand, and stop making things worse.

The advanced over-thinker can even worry about worrying, is this you?

Worrying (I think) stems from a sense of self-preservation. If we can imagine the worst possible outcomes, we can prepare to manage them, or better, avoid them completely. If we can envisage catastrophe, we can hopefully see a way to extricate ourselves before it happens, or at least with as little damage as possible. Worrying might well be ingrained in our systems precisely because it is such an effective protector of life. Without it, we wouldn’t be here.

Our early years are fraught with the contagious concerns of our parents, regarding what we might touch, trip, or choke on. We learn to be cautious, even fearful. We learn to internalise a cycle of worrying in hope it might prevent disaster. At some point, this vicious cycle has to be stopped, or consume the thinker entirely.

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Maslow’s base concerns aside, it’s easy to get lost in the back and forth of whether or not one’s other needs are being adequately met.

From a safety point of view, worries can appear like pop-ups in the day to day life; do you have enough money to last the month? Am I going to make it on time?  Should I find an alternative route to this dark alleyway?

Worries about the next tier up (love and belonging) are less a pop-up, and more of a series of tangling threads weaving through the everyday. In spite of the luxury of some of those threads remaining consistent and strong, there’s always a trail of loose ends and snaggling thoughts regarding belonging, the deserving (or not) of love, and whether or not I think enough of myself to feel I ought to belong in the first place.

Here, the tangling thoughts grow seeds and roots, tapping deep into the next level up – esteem. Worries in this area are sown early, childhood experiences proving fertile ground for those demon seeds to set root, forcing their tendrils through the psyche, cracking it beyond all knowledge of repair. When life waters those seeds ( and it does, often), the hell-plants take on vigour, bearing stinking blossoms, fast-falling fruit, and a further smattering of demon seeds to start the cycle once more, with feeling. The thicket of worries rooted in esteem has only proven susceptible to machetes wielded carefully by those who care deeply, and the blazing sunshine of their love, from which is recoils, screaming.

Conversely, the worries surrounding self-actualisation, I have found consistently encouraging, as though finding new things to concern myself with mean additional stepping stones along the way, with the implication that each stepping stone stepped is one less stone that needs stepping in the future. As though I am something which can ever be finished. However distant that goal, I am content in discovering new ways to become my best self, and part of the joy is in the journey – seeing how far I’ve come, as well as how far I think I can go. In the meantime, I am determined to value the small successes, and reap their rewards, even if my status never goes beyond ‘Becoming’, I am certain it will only be in response to the shifting sands of time and circumstance, and half the fun is in navigating the changes in life.

In all cases, counting my blessings and being thankful has always proven suitable recourse from worrying, with the added advantage that once I realise how relatively little I have to worry about, and element of freedom creeps in, lifting my spirits.

 

Thank you for reading, there will be a follow up post to this with top tips on how to stop overthinking. Keep your eyes peeled lovelies.

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February Goals

So after what feels like centuries later we have finallyyyyy reached February! And that means it’s time for some GOAL SETTING.

This month for me is going to be a month revolving around productivity and self development. To achieve this, I have decided to have 4 key goals to help me get to a better place emotionally, physically and mentally. They are as follows:

Daily Tasks Sheet

A lot of it for me can change day to day so with this I am trying to get into a healthy routine with my self development and interaction with others. I feel this will motivate me to get things done even on the hardest days. As you guys can see, a lot of the daily tasks are social media related so yes that means that you guys are going to be seeing more of me. 

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*Just how cute is this?*

For example, I want to be supporting you guys just as much as you lovelies support me. I want to be posting as many Instagram stories as possible. Retweeting tweets, reading and liking blogs #INTERACTION.

I feel that this will keep me busy and also help with my mental health. Keeping busy and doing what I love always helps keep the negative thoughts to one side so we could say that this is going to be incredibly positive for my progression.

Use my new weekly planner

Again, this month is all about being organised and using my time efficiently to get things done. Planning forms stability right? And I guess that’s what I’m missing right now. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going half the time which is also a huge hindrance on my health. With this in mind, I was doing a little cheeky B&M shopping trip when I came across this little beauty …

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*£3.99… BARGAIN!*

Honestly, I didn’t even think I just picked it up and went home and put it on the wall. I didn’t even consult my partner. He came home and just giggled and congratulated me on getting a job interview as you can see from the picture. Which leads me to my next goal…

Find a job 

This is a really big thing for me. From being in a job I absolutely adored to then going through homelessness and losing my job and literally everything. Now is the time to pick myself back up and get my ass back in the working world. After all, the bills have got to be paid and that stress is far too heavy at the moment and time is running out to be perfectly honest.

I want to tell myself that my health couldn’t be better but as I’m writing this with a box of tissues next to me and a banging headache that doesn’t really cut it. Being honest with you guys, I’m struggling. And it’s okay to say that I’m struggling. For a few months, I have been under investigation due to me having seizure like fits which really do have no explanation. I totally lose consciousness and am totally unresponsive. It’s quite scary really, nobody knows what’s wrong with me. So as you guys can probably imagine, going back into work is very daunting but something I’m going to overcome.

#HUSTLEBABY

Eat more consistently 

Something I’ve been struggling with lately is eating, like at all. I can hand on heart say that this isn’t because I’m suffering with any form of eating disorder. I feel it’s truly because I just don’t even think to eat, it doesn’t cross my mind. I don’t feel hungry so I don’t eat. It’s so unusual for me because before this I battled really hard to form a good relationship with food and understand that food is needed to keep healthy and it’s my fuel to do the things I need to do. But these past few months I’ve found it really hard to incorporate eating into my daily routine.

Moving forward, I’m wanting to grow that relationship with food even more so that I’m eating not just healthily but consistently. By this I mean like having 3 meals a day even if they’re small. What I won’t be doing anymore is not eating all day and then sitting down at 10pm and snacking on crisps and little things.

Healthy body = Healthy Mind

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*So this is what I ate for my evening meal last night and I must admit… I actually really enjoyed it* 

That now brings me to the end of my February goals. I hope you all enjoyed reading and will check back at the end of the month when I reflect on how I’ve done. If any of you guys have any advice then feel free to leave comments below.

Until next time lovelies,

Mollie x

Christmas is coming: 5 things to remember at this time of year

And so Christmas is almost here. This can be a difficult time for many of us. We’re surrounded by images of the ‘perfect’ Christmas, with everyone happily sat around in gaily patterned Christmas jumpers in their beautifully decorated homes opening huge, expensive and perfectly-chosen gifts. Often there is pressure from friends and relatives to celebrate Christmas the ‘right’ way, the way everyone else seems to be doing. That uneasy feeling that everyone is having an amazing Christmas, and you’re the only family who isn’t, whereas in reality most families are just having another normal Christmas, and can be found asleep in front of the TV by 3pm anyway.

Christmas can also be a reflective time, it marks the beginning of the end of the current year, for many a time to review things hoped for and not achieved, the things and loved ones lost. Often the images of Christmas we are shown make us think about what is missing rather than what we have.

So what can be done? Below are a few ideas that you might find helpful at this time of year.

Take time for yourself

I believe it is very important to make a little time for something aside from Christmas as it is very easy to fall into the trap of spending your waking hours thinking about Christmas preparations as well as the stresses of daily life. It would be incredibly helpful if you were able to have a few moments of calm where nobody is demanding anything from you so you have more energy when returning to the fray.

Spend time with people who are important to you

Find some time for people who are important to you, amongst the many and varied family commitments that many of us face. Try to make some time for the people you love and trust, that accept you for you, not the presents that have been bought for them this year.

Your way is ok

Your way of doing Christmas is just fine, be it constant Christmas music, gaudy Christmas decorations, or one tiny tree hidden in the corner. There is no ‘right’ way to do Christmas.

Their way is ok too

We often find ourselves in unfamiliar places with other people’s customs, family members and ideas on how Christmas should be, due to our own family commitments. This is probably the way it’s always been, and it works for them. From wearing a Santa hat for the entire day, to having to watch the Dr Who Christmas special, they’ll give you a bit of the Christmas you love, and maybe the others will join in and enjoy your little rituals too.

New Year’s Resolutions Are Not Set In Stone

If the end of the year comes and most things aren’t achieved it can make people feel demotivated and depressed, whilst at the same time writing a list of things to achieve can be highly motivating. Sometimes things aren’t possible, sometimes things take longer and the things we resolve to do don’t fit into yearly boxes. If it is important to you, you will do it whether it is on a list or not but don’t forget that plans are sometimes made to be broken. When writing your list of New Year resolutions, ensure that you are doing things you truly want to do, not what you think you ‘should’ do.

To summarise, it is no surprise that Christmas can be a very difficult and stressful time of year for many of us. Remember to give yourself some space and to look after yourself.

 

Time to talk about stress

Ok so today I am wanting to raise the issue of stress. Stress affects everyone of us at some point of our lives, some more so than others. But what can we do to minimise it?

To me, I struggle incredibly with rationalising my stress levels on a daily basis. Nowadays, it’s the stresses of everyday life which have the greatest impact on my mental health. At lowest times I felt isolated, lonely – even when surrounded by familiar faces. I was merely existing, not living. You wake up fighting a daily battle. Your brain telling you you’re not good enough. You feel exhausted all the time.
Unfortunately, not all conditions are treated equally in the media. People who are suffering are somewhat seen as dangerous, crazy, not human etc. Stigmas attached to mental health are all wrong and need to be changed.
This shouldn’t stop innocent victims of mental health from speaking out, but it does. These negative views are having such a great impact on the people who are struggling.
I guess all I’m trying to really say is to speak out. Don’t be ashamed that you’re suffering. Mental health isn’t something to be ashamed of. To benefit from help you need to accept that you need it, otherwise the body will automatically reject it. If you aren’t ready for help, don’t force it, just support it. The key thing is communication. By communicating with friends, family, support networks you will be able to minimise the stress.

So I suppose my message from this is to just not shy away and to find your voice.