Is Overthinking About Your Future Hindering Your Happiness?

Is Overthinking About Your Future Hindering Your Happiness?

I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now…

So why have I been feeling unsatisfied + unfulfilled? It’s been a battle over the past few weeks + as much as I tried to control it, I couldn’t seem to shake it. I was frustrated + confused. I have a great job with a great company, in the field that I went to school for; my fitness journey has led to partnerships I never thought were possible;  I have the best support system;  I am healthy;  I feel + give all the love; and I even have a bucket list trip on the horizon. I am essentially living out my dream – so WTF Angelynn?

Then, I had a moment; I realized over the past while I have constantly been living with the future on my mind. “What am I even working towards? How am I going to get there + when? When am I going to meet ‘the one’ (!!)?” Everything seemed so unclear + I didn’t have answers, I literally felt so lost (my poor fam + friends that have had to listen to me lol BLESS YOU). Overthinking (key word) about my future has been hindering my happiness, my performance + my mood, to name a few. Of course it’s great to have goals + a vision for your life, but when you’re not enjoying the present moment + the journey you’re on, you feel so disconnected from everything + everyone around you. When I think about my week last week, it feels like a flipping dream. Was I even present? I am annoyed with how much I worried, stressed + complained. But let’s not get hung up on worrying about the past either.

I wanted to share this personal experience as there may be a few of you out there feeling the same. We all do our best to stay positive, but occasionally we can slip into negative thinking patterns that can take a spin on our lives. It’s okay to feel unclear + unsatisfied about things in your life, the way you handle it is what matters.

Here are some tactics that have been helping me process my thoughts + find some peace of mind.

Take Action

Whatever you’re overthinking about – take action on it. That doesn’t mean pick up + leave on the fly. But put a plan together + put one foot in front of the other. Example: you’re thinking of switching jobs/career. Don’t quit what you’re doing right away, do your research, fix your resume, connect with individuals in your network that might be able to help. Getting started can be daunting, but it’s the first step in the right direction.

Stop OVER-Talking About It

When faced with feelings of confusion + frustration, it’s natural for most of us to overthink + seek advice from others. You end up talking about it with many people over + over; it starts to seem impossible not to overthink. In the same breath, of course it’s healthy to speak about your feelings + not hold it in; but with too many people involved + all sorts of advice you receive, you get more + more confused, which leads to overthinking. HOW?

The human mind hates uncertainty. Uncertainty implies volatility, randomness, and danger. When we notice information is missing, our brain raises a metaphorical red flag and says, “Pay attention. This could be important…” When data is missing, we overestimate its value. Our mind assumes that since we are expending resources locating information, it must be useful.

When you limit information intake, you can “take the best” + look at it more productively.

Don’t Forget to Celebrate Your Wins – Big or Small

You don’t need a job promotion or a major change to celebrate. Any accomplishment, no matter how small, activates the reward circuitry of our brains. When this pathway is opened some chemicals are released that give us a feeling of achievement and pride.

In particular, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released which energizes us and gives us a feel-good aura. This chemical enables us not only to get that sweet feeling of reward but also to take action to move toward what triggered its release in the first place.

When you figure out what caused you to experience this feeling of happiness + pride, it will give you the motivation + encouragement you need to keep going. Finding out what gives you the most satisfaction in life will help keep you on the right journey!

Write It All Down

The benefits of writing things down are very real + will positively impact your life as a whole. Get it all on paper (not on your phone or computer), you’ll be shocked how much release you feel when you do this. It will help map things out for you. You’ll think big picture, explore dreams you may not want to share with others, you will learn and remember more without distraction.  It also:

Frees up Mental RAM.

Your brain is like a hard drive. A multi-layered, super-epic, crazily-complex hard drive.

When you note down your ideas, thoughts, and emotions, it helps your brain to unload some baggage, giving it room to think about other things. Or better yet, with all that extra space, it could even begin to relax.

Remember, Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

What you feel is what you get. Although you may feel you have no control over the events that unfold in your life, which can be true, our thoughts are a powerful key to creating your reality.

Every effect you see in your outside or physical world has a specific cause which has its origin in your inner or mental world.

Like attracts like, so the more you worry about something, the more you will begin to attract exactly the energy you are worried about. This is a work in progress for me, but once you have a conscious mind around this powerful movement, you can start to control your thoughts.

IN THE END, cheers to us for figuring out this adult thing. I hope reading this (unexpected on my end) blog post has brought some insight to whatever your situation may be at this time. We’re constantly facing change + sometimes, a lot of pressure. Day by day, one step at a time, we WILL get there! Until then, keep it real + stay true to yourself.

Health & Happiness,

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2 Comments

  1. Cathy Knoespel
    April 19, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    Even us Adults-for-a-long-time-Adults — struggle with this. Then sometimes we look back at what we didn’t achieve. You are right — even a small win is still a win. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • April 19, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      haha Cathy, you’re only as adult as you want to be 🙂 Thanks for the message <3 !!

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