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The Decision Dilemma
Unraveling the Vicious Cycle of Overthinking
“Persistent overthinking can result in a wide range of symptoms such as insomnia, trouble concentrating and loss of energy which, in turn, often leads to further worries regarding one’s symptoms, thereby creating a vicious cycle of overthinking, says Pia Callesen, a therapist and metacognitive specialist.
In her insightful statement, Pia Callesen underscores the profound impact of persistent overthinking on our well-being. The ramifications of such are far-reaching and distressing.
As the mind endlessly churns through possibilities and uncertainties, I find the body and soul bear the brunt of its relentless assault.
The first sign of trouble often surfaces in sleep, as overthinking spawns insomnia, robbing us of the rest crucial for mental clarity and emotional stability.
Concentration wanes as thoughts become increasingly preoccupied, impairing our ability to tackle even the simplest tasks.
Breaking free from this self-perpetuating pattern requires effort and self-compassion. Embracing faithful prayer, mindfulness and seeking professional support can help redirect thought patterns and restore the equilibrium essential for sound decision-making and living the life you are meant to live.
In James Grimmson's book, Follies of God, he quotes Tennesse Williams, speaking of fear. "Fear serves a purpose, but fear is greatest when it is vanquished - even if only for a short period - and you can then make your moves, tell your story, dance your dance. Fear is the shadow boxer over there in the corner, all the time, waiting to lead you to the floor and have its way with you. And that's ultimately fine because fear makes you think and makes you study and makes you yell your story a little louder to overcome the murmurs of the fear.”
Escaping the overthinking loop necessitates proactive measures. Prayer works for me, enabling non-judgmental thoughts and emotions. Additionally, setting time limits for decision-making prevents dwelling excessively on options. Challenge negative beliefs and replace them with more balanced perspectives. Engaging in enjoyable activities provides a mental break from rumination. Sharing concerns with a trusted friend or therapist brings clarity and emotional support.
Problem-solving techniques can be valuable for addressing specific issues. I find limiting my exposure to the overwhelming information that comes at us, and regular exercise reduces overthinking's grip. I found establishing a bedtime routine and pursuing achievable goals are helpful.
Do not be shy to seek professional help if needed, as overcoming overthinking is a gradual process requiring patience and self-compassion.
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