The Worry-Overthinking Spiral and Its Effect on You

The Worry-Overthinking Spiral and Its Effect on You

Spiral Background.

Worry is a misuse of imagination ~ Dan Zadra

The mind can be a useful survival tool that helps figure out the best ways to interact in a world of increasing complexity.

It assists you to:

  • manage your bank account,
  • decide what is healthy to eat,
  • when to exercise,
  • where is the best place to live,
  • make choices for your well-being and safety,
  • helps you discern what is important and what matters to you

However, this same vital capability that keeps you alive and thriving can have a glitch that causes you to overthink and worry. Worry is not always a bad thing but it certainly takes awareness and determination to maintain a balanced perspective and to know when it is too much.


Effects of Worry

As worry takes over, it can suck your energy, cause foggy thinking, and distract your focus from the present moment. When you are either remembering the past with regret or longing or projecting into future with fear or anticipation, you are unable to take any conscious or meaningful action in your life today.


And “today” is what heals the past and seeds success and happiness in the future!


When worry takes over, the amygdala that is a more primitive, reactive part of your brain that is responsible for your survival and safety, activates the fight or flight responses in your body. It is loud enough to talk over from your higher thinking capabilities.

Repetitive worry can create frozen responses to everyday situations that normally operate on autopilot. So, just going to the dentist, shopping for groceries, driving your car, going to work can become energy-draining events.

When worry keeps you up at night and generates anxiety in your life, it can have devastating effects on your well-being, your relationships, and your ultimate happiness.


What to do about it:

In order to beat the overthinking and worry gene kicking in, here are some practical steps you can take to change the track of your thoughts:

  • Use your breath
    • let the breath calm the worry by breathing slowly for a few cycles
    • consider a breath session to clear old stories that no longer relevant
  • Journal – write about your worry to release it from your consciousness
  • Meditate – to provide quiet, peaceful moments away from the worry
  • Get moving – walk or exercise to pump up endorphins in your system.
  • Call in higher perspective – Sometimes taking a long look at the bigger picture might help you realize solutions to issues you worry about.
  • Engage the worst-case scenario and let it go – make a plan for the worst “what if” you can conjure up. Once that is done, put it away, knowing you can handle whatever comes your way and you don’t have to worry about it.


From a more heart-based, loving perspective, let the source of your worry be dissolved with:

  • Gratitude for all the positive outcomes and events of each day
  • Acceptance that you are equipped to handle what comes your way
  • Letting go of perfectionism- Thinking you are not worthy or good enough if you make mistakes call for you to love yourself for who you are and to make your efforts good enough
  • Catching yourself – When you worry or overthink and give it a voice for 15 minutes. Just let the worry speak. At the end of 15 minutes, turn off the thoughts and move on with your day.
  • Surrendering- trust that you cannot plan for every possible life scenario. Accept that you are equipped to handle what comes your way and be open to the powerful transformation and personal strength that facing fears and worries can introduce into your life.


When life experiences seem overwhelming and fear-inducing, use the above techniques to help release the story of the dire outcomes that your imagination is feeding you.


Step through, use the tools and find freedom for living life on a bigger stage when you do.

See possibilities where fear existed so you can step off the spiral of stress and move into your power – It is who you really are…


for more information on Breathwork – visit www.johnstamoulos.com 

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