Think of a time you’ve overreacted to something, can you remember the intensity of the conversation within before you blurted out with your spoken voice?
It’s nothing for you to think beyond 70,000 thoughts in a day. Your mind and heart are the two most active muscles in your body. The heart gets no rest, and the mind is difficult to put to rest. The hamster wheel of your mind can lead irrational, fearful, or romantic thinking. Your emotions are a result of the of your inner-voice.
Do you remember a time you courageously expressed a strong feeling of love or hurt? Can you reflect on how you internally spoke yourself into knowing you are safe and can be brave? The ability to be able to listen to yourself, constructively, is the basis of finding AND using your voice. The way you talk to yourself, then represent yourself to the world through your spoken voice are the most life-changing resources you have with you - ALL the time.
I may have summed the power of finding and using your voice in just a sentence, but let me be clear, it is a process that deserves patience and respect. You are ultimately learning to be mindful, and getting an A+ in the course of getting to know your emotions.
If you are a brainiac like me, you get stuck in life above the shoulders. You like to understand the why, you are curious and like to reflect and analyze.
This gift can be your curse if you don’t learn how to be constructive with your voice.
To understand the different tones your inner voice can take, visit Module one of the Find Your Voice digital course. Here are 5 additional methods to transform your overthinking into constructive thinking:
1. Locate the problem and brainstorm solutions.
Journaling and talking with appropriate people ( a wise friend, a supportive family member, a life coach or therapist) to help you reveal the root of what you can’t let go. Once you have an idea, write down in a simple sentence exactly what’s bothering you and think of ways to improve the problem. Writing down a list of things you can do to improve a situation can help ease overthinking, extreme sadness and anxiety. For example, if you’re battling loneliness, action steps to try might include joining Bumble Friends, taking a dance class, or monthly biking group, anything based on your interests.
2. Write self-statements to counteract negative thoughts. Writing a self-statement is not about some b.s. affirmation. It’s important that they are written in your voice, your personality, with a goal to counteract each negative thought. Remember your self-statements and repeat them back to yourself when you notice the little voice in your head creeping in to snuff out a positive thought. In time, you’ll create new associations, replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones. For me, it’s either the gangsta’ or the Puerto Rican that snaps me out of my pity party when I repeat little mistakes, statements like: “Leggo boo! You got this…” or “Dale Diosa!” coupled with the right music snap me out of my funk very quick.
Self-statement shouldn’t be too far from the negative thought you are repeating. If you’re thinking: “I’m so depressed right now,” rather than saying, “I’m feeling really happy now,” (bunch of b.s.) a better statement might be, “Every life has ups and downs, and mine does, too.”
The message tells you that it’s okay to bump up the degree of happiness you experience. At the same time, your mind (we have a reward center that needs activation) applauds itself for keeping joy in check to protect from disappointment. It’s okay to recognize that part of you that’s trying to do something healthy.
3. Find new opportunities to think positive thoughts.
I’m a firm believer that change happens when you are being triggered. Notice your automatic reaction to life, beit a new food, person, or even catching a red light - this IS the space to train yourself to locate five things you DO feel positive about. No, you don’t have to spend the rest of your life counting to 5, but you will have to do it, until you train your inner-voice and brain to respond differently to life.
4. Finish each day by visualizing its best parts.
At the end of each day, write or visualize, perhaps over a glass of wine, or after a good workout, the things in your day you’re most thankful for. Recording positive thoughts, and even sharing those thoughts online, can help you form new associations in your mind or create new pathways.
5. Accept disappointment as a normal part of life.
Disappointing situations are a part of life, and your response can affect how quickly you can move forward. If you’ve noticed you’re thinking like Black n’ White Betty: “What’s the point in looking good? I’ll never meet anyone else,” there is a downward spiral of sadness and depression waiting for you. A better approach might be to allow yourself to feel disappointed, then remember what is within your control: Write down what happened, what you learned from the experience, and what you can do differently next time, watching out for overly negative thoughts (learn about Judgemental Judgy or Psychic Phyllis here). This can help you move on and feel better about your future.
This is not a race, it is a process.
Rejoice and take part in activities that fuel you, you will need the stamina.
At the ends waits the ultimate version of you. The one that has been trying to scratch her way out beyond the over-analyzing, criticising, and suffocating thoughts.