Isn't it just great when our brain actually works like we want it to? Last week in my blog, I gave you three different physical positions that actually affect your brain's ability to think. You can read it HERE.

Have you ever caught yourself overthinking? Have you ever caught yourself not being able to sleep, turning over and over for hours, just thinking? Have you ever been in the shower in the morning, thinking about this thing that you said the day before that you just can't get out of your head? Maybe you're at work, trying to concentrate on something, but you cannot, because you keep thinking about this thing that you should have said, or this thing that you should have done, or how that thing could have happened differently.

Overthinking is the art of creating problems that weren't even there in the first place. We make our own interpretation about what somebody else has said. "Maybe it meant this, maybe there was some underlying issues underneath that, maybe I didn't catch it, maybe I made up something that was not there." We get stuck in overthinking.

This all happens in our prefrontal cortex. It's actually even a little bit lower than that, so right behind the ears and the orbital frontal cortex, right in front of the hypothalamus.

What happens is we start making stuff up. Today is the first part of the overthinking series, which is going to be in three parts. We will be covering three topics, but today is about why we overthink. We start thinking: "What would have happened?" "Maybe that person meant this, instead of that." "What could have happened instead? What should I have said?" We make stuff up all the time.

Research shows that 40% of the things that we worry about are never going to happen. We're making it up! They're not even going to happen. We keep worrying about stuff that may happen, but 40% of the things we worry about will not happen.

30% of what we worry about has already happened. It's over, but "we should have done this. We should have done that." We relive the experience over and over in our head and try to figure out why we have not acted a certain way, but it's over. We can just move on. There's nothing we can change about it. Next week, I will be giving you some concrete strategies in order for you to move on, but in today's blog, I'm just explaining what happens in our head.

10% of what we overthink about is connected to small miscellaneous health problems, things that will more likely heal on their own. Our brain has a blueprint of us in perfect health, and more likely, it will heal us. You have a small headache, you have a little bit of a sore back, a small minor health problem, but you worry about it. And you stress about it. And then of course it gets worse, so you Google your headache: "Oh my gosh, maybe I have a brain tumor." And then, you continue reading and you think you only have three days to live. This is a small, minor health problem. Drink a lot of water, go to bed early, and tomorrow it's going to be gone.

Finally, 12% of what we worry about is miscellaneous stuff. "I don't know what shoes I'm going to wear today. Will there be parking when I get there? Is there going to be any side effects when I get my vaccine?" There are lots of things that we worry about and we choose to spend 12% of our stress time thinking about them.

I don't know if you have been doing the math, but 40 + 30 + 10 + 12 is 92%. 92% of what we worry about is nonsense! It will never happen, it has already happened, it's a small miscellaneous health problem that will heal on its own, or it's miscellaneous stuff. Why do we get stuck in analysis paralysis and keep reliving the thing in our head? 

It's because the brain and the body are connected. It's called psychoneuroimmunology. The mind and the body responding to one another. As we start feeling something, an emotion, for example, there's a biochemical reaction in the brain, and the brain will release some chemicals in our blood stream. Then, the body will start feeling a certain way. Because the body starts feeling a certain way, it sends back a message to the brain saying: "Hey, we're feeling bad." So the brain goes: "Oh, we're feeling bad. What thoughts can I generate that could help you feel bad?" And as you generate a thought that makes you feel bad, the brain sends more cortisol in your blood stream to make you feel even worse. And then the body lets the brain know that we're feeling bad, and then the brain generates another thought... Well, you know the drill now, right? It's a vicious circle.

Next week, we'll be talking about this biochemical reaction and how we can have four different strategies to stop overthinking. We'll be talking about that cortisol, and we'll be talking about other different kinds of chemicals that can be flooded into our bloodstream naturally, without any drugs or alcohol, and how we can make that happen to change or break the cycle. 

In the meantime, focus on your 8% of problems that are legit. Let go of the 92% non-sense and focus your attention on what really deserves your thinking time.

See you next week!


Tired of hearing this nagging voice inside your head? Download your copy of the Confidence Guide to discover 15 Keys to Find Confidence & Unlock Your Full Potential.

The Guide includes:

  • The List of the 15 Keys to Confidence.
  • Questions for You to Assess Your Current Situation.
  • Questions for You to Take Action.

Want More? Check out the next parts...

Overthinking Part Two: 4 Strategies to Stop Overthinking

Overthinking Part Three: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}