Where are my fellow overthinkers? I’m definitely one of you!
While sometimes it can be awesome to get lost in your thoughts, it can also get pretty exhausting. You turn the same thought around in your head, over and over again, until you feel like you’re totally lost. Oftentimes, it helps to confide in someone, to share the thoughts that are keeping you up all night. This “someone” can also be a “something“: Writing down what’s going on in your head can have a therapeutical effect and the chaos can be untangled. Writing can also have a healing effect when dealing with stress and nervousness.
How writing can help
Many people are searching an outlet for everything that’s going on within but feel uncomfortable at the thought of telling other people about it. A piece of paper or a journal will never spill your secrets to anyone and cannot judge you. This is your place to be 100% yourself and write exactly what comes to your mind.
When you have written on a regular basis for a while, you can take your journal, flip the pages and look back at your journey:
Which obstacles have you come across?
Do you see a pattern with the topics that keep your mind busy? For example, maybe frustration or anger are brought about by similar situations or the same persons?
Do you see things a little clearer when they’re right in front of you, written on paper?
Instead of just writing everything down, it can be helpful to organize your thoughts – especially when you’re overthinking. Journal prompts are a great tool for that. You can find them online, but you can also use questions that are running through your head.
Getting to the bottom of your thoughts
Free writing can shed light on things that you weren’t even aware about. Set an alarm for about 20 minutes and just start writing down what comes to mind. Don’t settle on a topic beforehand. It is also important that you never stop writing during these 20 minutes to think about what to write. If you can’t think of anything else, just write “right now I can’t think of anything else to write down”. This type of writing brings unconscious thoughts and feelings to the surface – which is very beneficial, especially if you’re experiencing an undefined tension or depression, without an idea where it’s coming from.
Giving your thoughts a positive direction
“Force“ yourself to think of nice things and choose journal prompts that will evoke positive thoughts and feelings in you, like:
When do I feel the most comfortable?
One of my most beautiful memories is…
I’m proud of myself when I…
Gratitude is also a great choice for this type of journaling. Jotting down some things you’re grateful for every morning and every evening, will direct your awareness to the positive aspects of your life. A nice side effect is that you will create a list that you can take a look at whenever you’re in a funk and having a hard time seeing the good stuff.
“Whining” in doses!
Be careful that you don’t “whine” too much. Of course you should let all your feelings flow onto the paper, not only the positive ones. Just try to not obsess over them or to wallow in self-pity. It can be helpful to not elaborate the experience that brought about the negative feelings in a super detailed way. It would be better to reflect your feelings in that situation. Instead of writing page after page about how bad your boss is and what makes him or her a terrible person, you should focus on describing the situation and then concentrating on how you feel about it. Maybe you will even get an idea about what to do to feel better while you are writing.
Try to stay consistent, so that you will be able to see a red thread when you go through your journal. Of course, it would be best to write every day – just a few lines can already be enough. Try which time of day suits you best and block a few minutes to journal. It will be worth it – promised!