Has slowing down your mind led you to slow down your life, or was it the other way around?
‘Hmm, that’s like the chicken and egg question! I think they’ve informed each other. Learning more about myself, how my brain works and what gives me energy as well as drains it has led me to adjust my life accordingly. I’m quite far down the introvert end of the scale so I enjoy time on my own and I need space to recharge after being in the company of others. And by living in a beautiful, rural patch of Wales (we moved here nearly five years ago) it gives me physical and mental peace, quiet and space.’
Why do you think so many of us struggle with overwhelm and overthinking? Is it a symptom of our modern world?
‘I doubt it’s a modern phenomena but I don’t think that the challenges of our current, increasingly digital, world help. Our society teaches us that to be ‘good girls’ we need to put others first, be nice and helpful and amenable. So we learn that to meet our own needs is selfish and we should take care of everyone else first.
With mini computers in our pockets we’re not only contactable at any time, so work is no longer kept at work, we can also see what everyone else is doing all the time too. What fun, exciting, popular, idyllic lives they’re having. Or at least that’s the story we tell ourselves from the edited snapshots we see in social media posts.
This all creates pressure, expectation and comparison, a feeling that we’re not doing enough, that WE aren’t enough. I’m not saying that it’s all the fault of the internet and digital devices – they’ve allowed me to create my online business and as an introvert being able to connect with people across the globe from the comfort of my couch is amazing! But it takes conscious, intentional effort to choose how we use and relate to the technology at our fingertips.’
What are the benefits to reducing overthinking? What impact does it have on your life?
‘Huge! The number one being it simply helps you to feel happier. Which might sound too simple or glib, and notice I don’t say happy because it’s not a destination, but ultimately we all want to feel a little bit happier. When we’re in our heads going round in circles overthinking, replaying the past or worrying about what could happen in the future, when we’re running around doing all the things feeling like we’re on a hamster wheel, we’re not being the best version of ourselves.
When you bring down the overthinking and overdoing you bring down the overwhelm. And that frees you to feel happier so you can live more fully in your life. To appreciate who and what is good in your life. To do your best work, to laugh more, to try new things. It allows you to be the creative, patient, funny, generous, loving person that you really are deep down.
And when you feel happier it’s not just you who benefits, everyone else around you does too. Instead of getting a stressed version of you, and we all know what we’re like with our loved ones and at work when we feel overwhelmed, they get the real, beautiful person you really are.
Plus research has found the ‘Three Degrees of Influence’ which shows that your actions and behaviour have a ripple effect to others, and that you can influence someone three people removed from you. Which means that your happiness, your calm and confidence, can rub off on your friend and in turn their friend AND in turn their friend!’