What You Don’t Know About Overthinkers

A lot of people say they’re an overthinker, kind of like the way people casually and incorrectly say they have OCD. Like you may think a lot, but do you truly know what an overthinker goes through?

I’m pretty introverted and socially awkward – I have not always been this way, but it’s something I was shaped into as I got older. I’m pretty weird and that was all fine and fun when I was young and then as I got older we were all pressured into being “cooler” and that’s when I think I became my most uncomfortable with myself and started overthinking.

So, I can sort of remember what it was like to not worry about absolutely everything and I have something to compare it to.

What you may not know about overthinkers is we think all the time – but all. the. time. I think when I wake up in the morning, my work gets interrupted in the day by overthinking, my dreams even keep me up at night because my brain doesn’t shut off. And this thinking can keep us from actually doing. Because we play out so many scenarios and think things to death so much that it just stops us in our tracks.

For most of my college career I avoided seriously dating because it put my thinking into overload and caused too much stress. I would break off relationships before they even started because of the panic that overthinking would cause to come over me.

When I have too much to do, I think about it all day. I make lists and lists and can’t focus on the impending doom that’s coming my way.

You may look at someone and say, “oh you just think too much!” But it’s not as simple as meditating in the morning and wiping your thoughts away. Actually, I can’t enjoy meditation or yoga because the thoughts STILL creep in. There are worry warts, dramatic people, perfectionists – and then there are overthinkers whose minds actually never turn off.

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Preparing For The Worst While Traveling

Traveling gives me a lot of anxiety. I’m normally a hot mess day of, even though I’ve done so much planning and coordinating to avoid any mishaps.

I prepare for the worst as best as I can. I have back up plans and we get to the airport extra early. I do a lot of research and ask for advice of people who have been there – but there are always things you can’t prepare for.

For this most recent trip, I got really sick. Like I was in the hospital on Wednesday night and we were leaving for Vancouver on Friday morning. I had been looking forward to this trip for months and I was at a point in my summer where I NEEDED to get away. The threat of this trip not happening probably made me sicker.

As a very cheap optimist, I didn’t buy flight insurance. I was gripping my stomach Friday morning waiting for the cab, still wondering if I should actually go. Will I be able to make it through a 10 hour day of travel? I had to weigh whether I could willingly give up the hundreds of dollars I spent versus putting myself through basically torture.

After this experience, yes, I will always buy flight insurance now. I’m not invincible. But I stomached it and went on the trip anyway, anticipating spending all my time in bed.

But I was able to pull through. I’m a major foodie so it has been quite a bummer to not enjoy all the yums Vancouver has to offer because I’m sick. But at least I got to enjoy this beautiful city and next time I travel I’ll be even more prepared.

When Life Hands You Lemons

Life has handed me a lot of lemons lately with very little sugar. If I were to try to make lemonade, let’s just say it would be very bitter.

If I back up and take deep breaths and get out of the moment – there have been plenty of good things that have happened to me recently. A lot of big steps, realizations, and falling back into place when I had felt disheveled. But that bad stuff really just feels like it’s piling up and burying anything good.

It’s at the point where life just feels like hit after hit after hit and nothing can go right. I love my new apartment, I love reconnecting with my friends, I love where I’m at with my job. But then my phone breaks, then I shell out thousands for my car over a three month time period, then I get sick and can’t enjoy the nice weather.

How do you really separate yourself from the bad when the feeling of all those things is so overwhelming? I think it takes a lot of support, a lot of positive vibes, a lot of things I just don’t have anymore or can’t appreciate anymore.

With the downs comes the ups – but how long do I have to hang out in the downs until I start climbing back up again?

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The Nervous Traveler

I’m pretty much always convinced something is going to go wrong when I travel. I get to the airport early, print out all my receipts, and check my luggage about 50 times to make sure I have everything.

Yet, I always get nervous. Even though nothing has ever drastically gone wrong, I always think that it will all go downhill for me.

I think this mostly stems from how much money I put into travel with very little insurance. What if I miss my flight? That costs money. What if the Uber’s are upcharging when we need a ride? That costs money. What if I forget something really important? That costs money.

Like clockwork, every time I have a trip the hours leading up to it include a nervous stomach and a migraine. My only tips for someone traveling with a nervous travel is to constantly assure them.

My boyfriend and I travel together a lot and I do 90% of the planning, when he assures me nothing will go wrong I have a hard time believing him because I planned it so I know the possibilities. But that’s his job, I plan and he makes sure I don’t go nuts.

But in the end, the travel is always worth it.

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What Is It Like To Live In The Present?

I know a lot of people who live in the past. They are always talking about high school memories, posting #tbts, and generally just getting by on the life they already lived.

I tend to live in the future. I always want to know my next step, where I can go next, and planning for the years to come. I have a laundry list of things I want to do and I have to wait for time to pass to do them.

It makes living in the present really hard. I’m almost always worried about what’s to come. I enjoy moments, but day to day is nearly impossible. Every day is just a day closer to something I actually want to be doing. It makes life very tedious and repetitive.

What’s it like to live in the present? I know it’s not easy for most people, they either live in the past or in the future (like me) – or they do a mix of both! Which I am certainly guilty of sometimes. What is it like to enjoy the day you’re in without worrying about what you’ve done in the past and what you have yet to do in the future?

Some things that have helped to ground me are making lists of what I am grateful for that day. Another is making the most out of every day – but that really isn’t easy to do when you’re overtired from work and just want to lay in bed.

Do you have any tips on living in the present?

hc
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It’s Okay To Be Sad

I think there is a lot of pressure to be happy. When you work somewhere, when you’re out with your friends, when you’re in a relationship…everyone assumes that because of where you are, you should be happy.

But that’s really not always the case and it’s not always because of the people around you. You might be sad. And it’s not because you don’t have a great job, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends or family. It’s just because at this moment in time you don’t feel all that happy, and that’s okay.

It’s hard to admit you’re just sad especially when you can’t pinpoint the reasoning behind it. Then people don’t understand, they blame themselves and they blame you. But sometimes life gets stagnant, sometimes you didn’t sleep that well for a week, sometimes you feel a little lost and all of that builds up to a sadness that isn’t anyone’s fault.

And the more we deny what we’re feeling, the more we convince ourselves that we should be happy so we are happy, the more sad we actually get.

It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to tell people you feel sad. No one is 100% all of the time and I can almost guarantee the moment you admit your feelings will be the moment that a lot of things come into perspective A step out of feeling sad.

It’s a lot of pressure, life. Everyone’s always trying to one-up each other in their woes and tragedies. But no matter what your situation, whether it be life and death or a flat tire. It’s okay to be sad, stressed, and overwhelmed.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jornidzerda/

That Was So Long Ago

Are you one of those people that sometimes stays up until 2 AM and thinks about that really embarrassing time that you jumped off the swings in preschool and everyone saw your teddy bear underwear?

I am and that’s a true story.

I think about the sad, bad, embarrassing moments a lot of the time and work myself into an anxiety about it. I’ll stay awake until the sun rises over something that happened years ago.

And I wonder why I’m even thinking about it or why it still matters, but I am and it does. Even though I can’t do anything about it now.

I can’t do anything about it now. That’s what I tell myself every night when I’m thinking too much or on my drive home from work when I had a bad day. It’s time to start over, it’s time to wipe the slate, its time to forget about it and try harder tomorrow.

Sometimes I get anxiety when ex boyfriends try to contact me. Because every single relationship ended badly and every single guy reminds me of that. But why does it matter? Why do I care? It was so long ago. I can’t do anything about it now.

And that’s my mantra to my anxiety. It was so long ago. I can’t do anything about it now. It doesn’t always work, but I’m learning not to sweat the little things or the little people.

It was so long ago that I dated that frat boy and made a fool out of myself. It was so long ago that I shut out my family in high school. It was so long ago that I slipped and fell in the middle of the student center during the lunch rush. It was so long ago, I can’t do anything about it now. I can only try to grow and be better.

hc
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