My problem is I think too much! I've been told this time and time again and have denied that this is true! I've always said that I like to think, I like my intellect to be challenged and I like solving problems. How can I possibly think too much?
But do you know what I've come to realise? I think too much!!! God darn other people being right!! But it is indeed true, I relent!
This revelation came about recently when I began to crave a feeling of being switched off, of dialling down and of not having to think so much. It comes from the gradual rebalancing of my nervous system and my growing ability to self regulate which is now meaning I sleep better, I am less anxious and I am enjoying that life is generally feeling much easier! Of course, no one is making me think the amount that I am thinking - other than myself. It's in part due to emotional protection, but mainly now it's just habit, pattern and essentially what I'm used to and have been defaulting to for oooh, decades!
My overthinking has kept me stuck. It has stopped me moving with ease in my work life, it has stopped me following my dreams in my playtime, it has stopped me seeking opportunities for my growth. It has created a box around me which has become safe to be in, but ultimately constricting. My brain is always on, trying to work things out and as a result I don't really feel like I'm going anywhere other than round in circles trying to think through all possible options. Any moving forward seems to come with a heavy head and furrowed brow (which my posture will show you in an instance!).
So, my challenge of late is to learn to go with the flow! It's an interesting challenge and the more I make this my intention, the more I realise just how much I've been holding on, over-controlling, over-thinking and generally making life difficult for myself! But it feels scary to let go and to trust and to risk coming out of my head. But I like challenge.
As always, I learn best about life and my patterns through movement. And indeed, one of the best ways to understand flow, and how to go with it, is through movement. If you think about it, when you're stuck in your head, you need to get into your body - and move with your whole body. Then things just happen. In flow, we are fully present. And we breathe easy. In flow we breathe with rhythm. As our breath unsticks and finds its rhythm and its ebb and flow then everything else becomes easy.
When I overthink I constrict my breathing but I have struggled to then focus on the breath to release my overthinking. What I've found is better for me to do, for now anyway, is to follow a rhythm.
I have started running with a metronome which stops me focusing on 'how' I run - a habit from an injury protection and also from my days as a performance athlete. As I run with the metronome, my mental focus on the rhythm drifts in and out but my body maintains the rhythm without me needing to concentrate on it. My body takes over and my mind lets go. It wanders and it drifts and thoughts come and go. I lose any sense of fixation on thoughts and instead fall into a slightly hypnotic state which tells me my subconscious and unconscious mind are taking over. I come home relaxed and refreshed rather than overworked and exhausted.
With pilates I am finding it trickier to come out of my head since it is so related to my work. I have however stopped teaching with studio equipment and instead reclaimed this practice again for myself. I am able to approach it once more with curiosity and with a passion to expand and grow with each movement. I'm giving myself permission to be rubbish at it and to look like I'm rubbish at it, my intention being to let go of my over control. My teacher compassionately cues me to go faster and I know this will mean that I cannot overthink each movement. I trust her implicitly and take the cues more and more acceptingly. I've had joyful moments of coming back into myself and feeling like it did way back in the beginning of my pilates practice. It is full of magic for me once again.
As my body and breath open and expand once more, so too does my mind. So too does my outlook. What seemed like something I had to find a 'how' for, now becomes something that just is and which will be. What felt like a problem needing to be sat down and solved, now seems to just take care of itself. My head is clearer and I'm in no rush to fill it up again. My creativity is coming alive again and things are being done with less of a heavy head or furrowed brow.
I may always default to over-thinking. But I'm learning my signs and I'm learning that it feels good to let go and flow. I'm also learning that when some tells me that I am over-thinking things, then they are probably right!!