Are you prone to overthinking? This will be my final blog to discuss Dr. Tasha Eurich’s work, which she presented in her great book Insight. Again, if you haven’t read it yet – it is a must read! In her book, she speaks about rumination, which she defines as “the single-minded fixation on our fears, shortcomings, and insecurities.” We all do it to some extent, some more than others. Here’s the thing though – this is not something that is healthy to do, and it takes up our much needed energy to face the day. I’m referring to my Secret to Super Productivity system, which involves energy management rather than time management. If you want to learn more, visit SecretToSuperProductivity.com.
Back to Dr. Eurich’s work – she provided a few key strategies that I will share with you along with my own thoughts. The first strategy for working your way past rumination (or going down the rabbit hole of worry as I like to refer to it), is realizing that other people don’t care about our mistakes or what we perceive as shortcomings as much as we do. They are so wrapped up in their own stuff, that they are most likely not going to even notice what we said or did. So when you find yourself replaying that last scene with another person over and over in your head – just drop it – they most likely did not even pick up on whatever issue you find yourself continually mulling over.
A second strategy for overcoming that spiral of worry is to have a learning mindset or what Carol Dweck termed a “growth mindset.” I like to call this the Enlighten Me method – this is where you take a perspective that each and every person, situation, or circumstance provides you with an opportunity to learn – so what is the lesson?
A third strategy for getting out of the rabbit hole of worry is to distract yourself. Whatever you can do to get yourself into a state of flow, which is where you are completely focused on the task at hand, is what will work for you. My son uses video games for this, my daughter throws herself into learning a new language, my husband and I love to tackle escape rooms. I have found that when I am so engrossed in an escape room, I even don’t feel physical pain. Pretty amazing, huh? Do what you need to do to distract yourself (in a healthy way, of course!)
Another strategy presented in Dr. Eurich’s book is to simply stop ruminating. Believe it or not, this one has worked for me – when I find myself in a worry spiral I will say “stop” out loud and in a firm voice. It seems to get my mind’s attention and I am able to focus on the task at hand.
The final strategy mentioned in Dr. Eurich’s book is to share the situation with a trusted confidant to get feedback. This is a good one as long as you have chosen a friend that will give you an objective viewpoint and you don’t turn it into a pity or venting party. Research studies have shown that prolonged venting actually makes things worse. So share enough context of the situation you are worrying about to get decent feedback from an objective friend.
There you have it folks – several strategies to help you get out of the rabbit hole of worry when it sucks you in. Pick out a few of your favorite presented in this blog and try them out today!
n he asked himself Now What? which means now that the hero of our story reflected on what happened and what he learned, what will he do differently? He decided that he will work on checking his assumptions before allowing himself to have a full-blown emotional reaction to similar situations.
Don’t ask yourself why? Instead, find ways to craft the questions you ask yourself using what instead. Specifically, as yourself: What? So What? Now What?