Letting Go of Your Intrusive Feelings

If you’re anything like me you go through periods where you get so focused on things that you invariably lose yourself for a while.

Sometimes these things are small little nothings that you’ve overblown in your head, and sometimes they’re actual tangible worries that you have.

These obsessions could be about relationships, health, money or any number of things but those are the big ones for me.

Sometimes I’ll find myself so intensely focused on stuff that I’ll lose track of minutes or hours just ruminating.

Sometimes these obsessions can be painful too.

In these moments, you’re probably thinking really hard about how to solve a problem, planning so intently and rigorously for a future situation that makes you nervous, or overthinking and analyzing a situation to ridiculousness.

I’ve been caught in loops like this on and off for a majority of the time since I’ve been diagnosed and I don’t tend to tell anyone about them. They seem so personal or they seem so inconsequential that you worry you’d sound ridiculous if you said anything.

Sometimes though, saying something is exactly what you need to do, if you’re with someone you trust they’ll probably be able to talk you off that ledge.

Other times, you do speak and the person you’re with has no idea how to respond or what to say.

That can be tough because then you’re worried that you’ve alienated that person which, in turn, can cause a whole new loop.

As I said before, I tend to keep this stuff to myself most of the time but also I’ve taught myself how to lessen the impact of how it’s affecting me.

It’s a valuable exercise for people who overthink and it starts by just simply saying to yourself, “I accept and acknowledge this feeling” If you take those words to heart and you consciously do your best to accept the feeling, instead of fighting it, you can drastically lessen it’s power over you.

If you sit with the feeling and do your best to actively feel it completely, you’ll notice that it fades rather quickly.

At that point you realize it was just one little feeling or one little thought that you were grasping with every ounce of strength that you had.

You realize, now that you see it objectively, that it really didn’t matter all that much to begin with.

You can let it go if you want.

I’ve used this exercise with myself countless times over the last few years and it’s lightened my load drastically.

I’m at peace now with a lot of the stuff that really really bothered me for a long long time.

It may seem hard at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll realize you can use it for pretty much anything that bothers you, it it’ll take the power away from the problem almost immediately.

All said, there is a way to deal with this stuff, and to let go of things that bother you.

Like I said, you just have to accept them, sit with them and feel them instead of fighting and it will make a world of difference.

Hope this helps.

Remember, you are not alone in how you feel and you got this.

It’s Ok to Overthink

I’m guessing I’m not the only out there that has a tendency to think and overthink things to the point of exhaustion. In fact, I know I’m not.

Millions of people struggle with anxiety in their daily lives and one major facet of that anxiety is the tendency to overanalyze.

For me, my mind seems to mostly spiral on social interactions and money related issues sometimes to the point of ridiculousness.

“Did I say something off when I was talking to that woman? it seemed like the energy shifted. I think she looked at me funny like I said something I shouldn’t have. Did my face look weird? Did my voice sound ok? Does she think I’m weird. I better apologize in case I said something weird.”

A monologue like this can run through my head for hours and I yell at myself to stop, put a lid on it. Stop overanalyzing Mike.

Of course then, that only makes me angry at myself which causes more anxiety.

Having dealt with this for most of my life though, I’m here to tell you, It’s ok to overanalyze. It’s ok to be anxious and it’s ok to worry.

These are all natural human reactions to stimuli and while they may have served us well in the past when we had to deal with very real scenarios of life and death, these anxious reactions don’t really have a place in modern society.

We can’t ignore them though, it’s smart to be wary of what’s happening in your surroundings and be prepared for eventualities, but when they cause us unnecessary anxiety it’s time to get a handle on them.

How do we do that?

Acceptance and acknowledgement.

In order to lessen the power these mental windstorms have, we need to realize that they’re normal and rational and ok to have.

You are not messed up because your thoughts are too overpowering. It’s perfectly normal to be anxious sometimes and it’s ok to overthink.

We have to accept and acknowledge that we are having these thoughts and sit with them. We have to get to know them and become familiar and friendly with them instead of constantly fighting them and trying to push them away.

Lastly, we have to acknowledge them as what they are, transient, floating thoughts that drift through our brains like clouds. We don’t have to hang on to them, we don’t have pick them apart. We can accept them as simply thoughts and let them pass.

Sometimes assigning a name to these thoughts helps too. Like, oh, that’s just my brain pest Phil who likes to mess with me. Get bent Phil.

I’ve used all these techniques in dealing with my intrusive spiraling thoughts and each one works in different ways.

Finally, one of the most powerful ways we can quell our pesky thoughts is to meditate, that is, to focus on something like our breath going in and out as we close our eyes and breathe deeply, even just a few deep breaths like this can calm our nervous system and make it easier to forget and let go of overthinking.

Believe me when I say that I am no stranger to overthinking and dealing with spiraling and intrusive thoughts. They have been part of my experience of schizophrenia from the very beginning and even before then so I know what it feels like to have them.

Trust me when I say that it’s ok to overthink. It doesn’t mean your weird and it doesn’t mean you’re crazy.

You probably just need to take a moment to yourself and get friendly with your thoughts.

Fighting them is only gonna hurt more.

Whatever happens, you got this.