“Am I going mad?”
“You’re totally bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Okay, a toughie. This article mainly written for people with an anxiety disorder. It’s for people whose thoughts scare them, but who know these thoughts are unreasonable or originating from pointless ruminations. Actually I think everyone should read this. People talk about this topic way too little. Unreasonable thinking is way more common than we ‘think’.
“You think too much”
Are you anxious and are your irrational thoughts scaring you even more? Every single person has once thought ‘an impossible thought’ or has had ‘a strangely unreal idea’. A thought or idea that could actually really scare them if they’d get into it. Most of the time people however ‘simply’ forget about the thought or deny the idea. But that’s not you, is it? Or at least not at this moment, right? How many times have people told you that ‘you think too much’ or ‘that you know too much’? They’re probably right, but of course you knew that, right? “Please tell me something I don’t know?” Pretty frustrating, isn’t it?
You’re a thinker, an analyzer and all you can think is “Okay, so why am I having this thought. I shouldn’t be having this thought. I’m intelligent enough to know this thought is impossible or not worth spending time on. It’s irrelevant. If I can just think this through, if I think about this enough, I should feel a sense of certainty and feel better.” If only…
Problem is ruminations can get curiously absurd. Thoughts can make you worried without any good reason. They can even trigger some form of paranoia, or make you wonder whether what you’re thinking is normal. You’ve probably never thought about how many people might have had that specific thought as well. The only difference? They didn’t ruminate. It’s way easier to ruminate when you’re not feeling well. Physically, mentally, emotionally, … doesn’t matter, at those moments you’re sensitive to start ruminating. It’s important to know that in fact it all starts with ‘just a thought’. A thought that you, however, start questioning. At this point talking to someone can really help. Sometimes you also just need some confirmation. Confirmation that there’s actually nothing wrong and that it’s just thoughts. It’s good to get this confirmation before the ruminations and anxiety get too intense.
It’s just a thought
Your mind is a tricky thing. But remember: it’s just a thought. We all think, but sometimes we overthink. And yes, if you’re an analytical person, you’ll probably overthink a little more rapidly than others. At that point we actually need to stop ourselves, get busy, look forward to fun stuff, focus on our passion, … anything that turns around or stops the chain of thoughts. And oh yes, the thoughts will be back, but you can fight them even. Keep fighting the good fight and keep looking for fun activities and thoughts that shift your focus. And the torturous unnecessary ruminations will slowly fade.