6 Ways To Love An Overthinker

6 Ways To Love An Overthinker

Overthinking is not something that's voluntary, nor something that people enjoy doing -- it just happens.

If you, like me, also suffer from depression and/or an anxiety disorder, you know that overthinking automatically comes with the description on the labels.

You might worry relentlessly about something your boss said to you at work in a moment of frustration, automatically thinking you're sure to be fired. Maybe it's over an unwanted response to a text message--or worse, no response at all. Do you lie awake some nights, playing out scenarios in your head that you could have handled better or worrying about what tomorrow holds?

Maybe you're not the over-thinker here; rather, maybe it's someone you know, love and care about. How do you react when they're having an episode or dwelling way too much one one specific thing, something that might never even happen?

Do you shrug it off and get frustrated with them, telling them they're overthinking it (newsflash: they know they are) and that they need to just stop and go with the flow? Or do you just sit in silence, listening to them share their racing thoughts, unsure of what to do or say?

It's not something that's voluntary, and it's not something that people enjoy doing--it just happens. Without thought (no pun intended), without warning and without much reason. So, if you love an over-thinker, here are some of the best things you can do to love them well. And if you are one, you can likely verify that most of these suggestions are true.

1. Be patient with them.

Over-thinkers know they're making more out of a situation than what is really there; you don't need to remind them of it. Instead, let them process their thoughts in whatever way is best for them. If you have a helpful suggestion or nugget of wisdom that could boost their confidence or be of use to their situation, tell them. Just be gentle and let them know you are there for them.

2. Lend an ear.

Keep in mind that their thoughts are racing a million miles an hour, so if they choose to open up to you about what's bothering them, let them. They trust you, so don't give them a reason not to. Some people find that writing their thoughts out on paper is soothing, so it only makes sense that for over-thinkers, verbalizing their thoughts would have the same effect.

3. Provide distractions.

Sometimes a little distraction is all that's needed. After all, dwelling on the same thoughts constantly is unhealthy! Suggest that you take a walk in fresh air, go shopping, head to a movie or play a board game. Once their mind is freed up from worrying about a situation, you'd be amazed at how relaxed they become.

4. Be the voice of reason.

Occasionally, you might have to intervene with an over-thinker. Many times they'll automatically think of the very worst thing that could happen in a situation and it makes them anxious, restless or physically ill. If it gets to this point, gently remind them that you are there for them.

If there's nothing that anyone can do to control the situation, remind them--anything that cannot be controlled directly by the person isn't worth losing sleep over. If they have some control over a situation, discuss possible avenues of resolution with them.

5. Stand up for them.

People often dismiss or discredit those who think way too much, because they don't have time, patience or understanding to deal with the unknown or irrational. It's then that over-thinkers need love and support more than ever.

6. Spread positivity.

The last thing an over-thinker needs to be dealing with is negativity. Try to keep as many interactions and words as positive as possible. If they are freaking out over nothing, counteract the fear or worry with a positive remark or reassuring words of advice.

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Forgiving Others Is Important, But Just As Important Is To Forgive Yourself

None of us are perfect, and that is what makes us human.
“Free yourself from your past mistakes, by forgiving yourself for what you’ve done or went through. Every day is another chance to start over.”

Forgiving others is important, but sometimes you need to forgive yourself too. None of us are perfect, and that is what makes us human.

We feel like we mess up friendships, relationships, opportunities, etc. Have you ever just been sitting and thinking and all of a sudden everything that's ever gone wrong comes back and haunts you? You sit there over analyzing every single detail until you're upset and depressed. It could have been something that happened years ago, but there you are, thinking about it and how you wish you had a do-over.

Don't beat yourself up.Take those as learning experiences and keep going. If I learned anything in my sociology class my freshman year of college, it was that "all emotional pain lasts twelve minutes. Anything after that is self-inflicted." Allow yourself time to learn and grow into the person you were meant to be and want to be.

Change doesn't happen overnight, so ride with the process, even if some bumps occur in the along the way.

"Forgive yourself first. Release the need to replay a negative situation over and over again in your mind. Don't become a hostage to your past by always reviewing and reliving your mistakes. Don't remind yourself of what should have, could have or would have been. Release it and let it go. Move on." Les Brown

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Should Living With Anxiety Be Referred To As A New Epidemic?

40 million adults deal with anxiety per year, and why are these numbers so high?

Have you ever noticed the amount of anxiety floating around in the world?

Personally, anxiety has taken hold of my life on more than one occasion, but I've noticed that even as I cope with my anxiety others are falling victim to it. It's human nature to get anxious before first days, important events, or when things just aren't going your way.

However, there's a growing number of young adults who experience anxiety in their day to day lives. So, what's the cause to this growing "anxiety epidemic?"

I often wonder what causes my anxiety, and how that relates to others. Of course, I'm no doctor, but as someone who struggles with anxiety I wonder what makes my anxiety run. What does it fuel from?

One moment I could be laughing up a storm, and the next I get this overwhelming feeling of dissociation. Things escalated quicker than a Kevin Hart movie, and not in a good way. My normal moments were bombarded with breakdowns, anxiety rashes, and the constant desire to cry, but why?

Is this generation focusing too much on the bad part of life? Are we easily bothered? Has entitlement and privilege weakened our mental strength? Or is the world really just that scary?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults, aged 18 and older, are affected by anxiety PER YEAR. The most common is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, although Social Anxiety is very common in young adults as well. Even still, no one is really sure why these statistics are so high?

What's it like living with anxiety?

Being a young adult with a mild case of Generalized Anxiety Disorder isn't easy. An overwhelming amount of school work, or the slightest change in my day could spur a day full of stress. You expect the, "Are you okay?", "Is this one of your days?", or "Are you sick?" questions.

You settle into the idea that your face will probably never clear up because all you do is worry and eat junk food, and as a girl you always wonder if your anxiety disorder will keep you from having kids.

Personally, I think every thing that goes wrong is my fault. If you ask to ask me a question before asking me the question, I'm liable to start worrying. Also, don't expect me to talk about what's wrong because often times talking about my worries makes me susceptible to a cry fest.

You learn to cry, and appreciate the three different types of tears used to help you heal. It's not odd to lose your appetite, or go a day or two without eating. The spontaneous idea of throwing up isn't crazy, and it no longer worries you because this has become your life. You hide behind your bedroom door and cry in private, or you act all fine in public. Relationships are hard, maintaining trust is hard, but even more surrendering to God is hard.

Anxiety makes you question everything you know. I know that my God has me in His hands. I know that He has planned my life, my obstacles, my words before I could have even fathomed the idea of them. I know when I cry He catches my tears, and holds my hand. Anxiety is not of Him, and falling victim to it is not what He wants. Our God wants us to live loved, and joyful. He wants us to run into His arms instead of the fears of the world.

Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition."

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to you a future and a hope."

Psalm 18:6 says, "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears."

These disorders tell us we are NOTHING. They tell us we are BROKEN, UNLOVABLE, INCAPABLE, MESS UPS.

This world tells us that we are UNSAFE. It tells us we are HELPLESS. STUCK. PERPETUALLY LOST.

But our God, He tells us we are loved. He tells us we are good. He shows us that we are worthy. He proves that we can be fixed. He reminds us that WE ARE NOT ALONE.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

Be still my friends. If you suffer from anxiety you are not alone. You are not broken, but you are loved. If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety please talk to someone. A therapist, a doctor, your family, but most importantly God. There are treatments and ways to a better life.

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31

Cover Image Credit: Kat Smith

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