Who here has fallen down the rabbit hole of excessive worry about the state of our lives right now? My anxiety has been sky high and the certainty I am craving is nowhere in sight.
I can justify my overthinking as "knowing the facts" or being "prepared." But in truth I am ruminating. And it is draining my mental energy.
Anxiety is often the over-estimation of a threat combined with the underestimation of our ability to cope. Perception and reality are not the same. However the threats we face during this pandemic are very real. And there is only so much we can do to problem solve. We can take precautions and plan for the future (problem-solving). But much of our thinking is rumination.
For example, I am stressed about my new therapy practice. Before everything shut down I was finally feeling established and had several new clients.
I leaned into rumination. New clients won't want to do teletherapy without an established relationship? Will existing clients even come back? How will I ever get all of my paperwork done at home with 3 kids here 24-7? I will never have time for billing, marketing, and writing. This business is doomed. Am I overthinking my overthinking?? Why am I so anxious? It was a real spiral.
I realize that this was unproductive and unhelpful. I have tried to accept that anxiety is inevitable. I am becoming more comfortable with my emotions and trying to relate to my thoughts differently using mindfulness techniques that help me focus on the present. I created an action plan for my business by making a list of things I could do to market during this slump. Then I carved out specific calendar hours for working.
Of course I still worry but taking action (problem-solving) and accepting my emotions stops me from a rumination spiral. During a crisis like this it is appropriate and expected that we are anxious. But even now we can take steps to feel as calm and grounded as possible. How do you cope when rumination takes over?
Written by: StacyLPC