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are you thinking too much

As an introvert, sometimes I think too much.

A defining attribute for us introverts but a little balance is good too!

Thinking is not a bad thing if it is solution oriented. It can otherwise lead to a downward spiral. It’s obsessive and compulsive behaviour and can be changed.

It can paralyse and lead to depression.

It is unhealthy if:

  1. You start reviewing the same thoughts (ruminating)
  2. You are not taking actions on your thoughts
  3. You are only thinking about negative events and actions and not seeking solutions
  4. You are only creating obstacles and ideas with no solutions

Here are a few ways to get out of the trap:

  1. clear your mind
  2. write down the possible solutions and choose one (perhaps a pro and con list)
  3. take some action
  4. live in the present
  5. find an activity you love to free yourself from the thinking
  6. quit looking for perfection
  7. ask the right questions – if you are getting the wrong answers all the time, it’s clearly time to change the question
  8. act on FACTS not BELIEFS

Try it out. Seek balance and make your thinking time positive and proactive. Otherwise, it’s time to slow it down and shut it out. Thinking is only one part of life, doing is the other.


3 Responses to are you thinking too much

  1. Glad I follow you on Twitter or I would have miessd this post entirely. But as it happens, I’m just back from one such gathering of theater strangers and, though you’d not believe it, I have the same inner ten-year-old traveling with me all the time. One picture from the weekend sums it up. At dinner the first night, Polly Carl (another with the same level of introvertedness and equal ability to mask it) and I found ourselves nervously scanning the room with our dinner plates in hand hoping to find a place for two at a table with people we knew. We didn’t so we retreated to a corner and sat on the floor rather than have to put ourselves through the crucible of introductions. At some point I realized that the rest of the room read that as us being unwilling to sit with the rest of the gathering. We must have looked rude to them. Perhaps it was, actually. But it was what we could do to stay in the room. You also won’t find me backstage after your show or comfortably hanging out with groups of theater colleagues with whom I have no actual relationship. I am extremely uncomfortable in those circumstances. As a coping mechanism I’ve developed the capacity to perform extrovert as a character, and few people besides my closest friends and family know that guy isn’t me. Watch closely and you’ll see him at work, though. He’s a big guy, happy host, and something of a Yenta delightedly introducing people to each other, but you’ll soon notice he can’t stay in any of the conversations and is, at some point, going to make his way back to tending bar or busing tables as the way to stay at the ball Here’s what I can tell you, from 30 years of dealing with it: in the end, it will be the work you do that people are most connected to and impacted by. Shy? Nervous? Arrogant? Not even present? Irrelevant once people are relating to your work. So keep writing and meeting in small groups and dragging your inner ten-year-old to the events you simply have to go to and rubbing your sweaty hands on your jeans. Eventually you will master it as a part you play so that your work moves in the world.

  2. While we all have the capacity to learn how to extrovert…it doesn’t change the inherent need to recharge. Something all introverts require. A strong point about “being yourself and having a passion for your work”. If you lead by example and are clearly inspired by what you do, you will inspire others.

  3. Yes! I definitely spend too much time in my head. I’ve found it helpful to practice mindfulness–I take a 1-minute break every 30 minutes, where I breathe mindfully and don’t think about anything. Getting out of the house and doing things I enjoy (such as riding my bike to work) really helps as well.

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