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Finding Balance and Overcoming Sleepless Nights from Overthinking

Insights from The Weekly REBOOT

By: Evan Owens

I’m thrilled to have you here as we begin a new series called “Over It.” Our theme this time is, “How to stop overthinking your problems and underestimating God.” This series is inspired by our tendency to worry, stress, and become anxious. It’s time to talk about how to break free from those habits.

The Struggle with Overthinking

To be honest, I’ve struggled with overthinking. Sometimes I find myself caught in a loop of over analyzing, turning over the same thoughts, and creating scenarios that may never happen. It’s exhausting and unproductive.

Even when I start a new project, like writing this series, I get bogged down by the pressure of getting it just right. My mind races through all the things that could go wrong. Have you ever found yourself in a similar position? Do you sometimes feel like you’re your own worst enemy when it comes to overthinking?

When Overthinking Takes Over

Overthinking affects many areas of life, even sleep. For me, it starts when I lay my head on the pillow. Instead of resting, my mind jumps into overdrive, worrying about everything from the trivial to the significant. I start creating problems that don’t exist, rehashing old scenarios, and catastrophizing new ones.

A recent example: I stayed awake half the night after seeing a nonprofit I know receive a large donation. I couldn’t stop thinking about why our organization didn’t get that kind of support. What was I doing wrong? Could I make a difference? It spiraled out of control, leading to anxiety and self-doubt.

Identifying the Habits of Overthinking

Overthinking can become a habit, one that’s tough to break. It can lead to perfectionism, comparison, and doubt. Overthinkers are prone to perfectionism, believing if they can get everything just right, they’ll find peace. The truth is, striving for perfection only brings more stress.

Comparison is another byproduct of overthinking. We start measuring ourselves against others, seeking approval from external sources. This can lead to constant second-guessing and a relentless cycle of overanalysis.

Doubt is yet another outcome. As overthinkers, we bombard ourselves with “what if” questions, eroding our confidence in our abilities and in God’s plan for us. What’s the fruit of your overthinking? How has it impacted your life?

Finding Peace in a World of Overthinking

Philippians 4:6-7 offers a roadmap to overcoming overthinking: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The key is recognizing that peace comes from God, not from solving every problem or overanalyzing every situation.

It’s helpful to remember that overthinking is a form of self-reliance, not trusting that God has it all under control. It can be a challenging mindset to break, especially in a fast-paced world where we feel like everything depends on us.

Practical Steps to Break the Habit

How do we stop overthinking? The first step is focusing on God rather than ourselves. Instead of dwelling on the “what, how, and when,” we should focus on the “who”—the source of our peace. It’s about trusting that God will guide us through our challenges.

Changing our perspective on prayer can also be helpful. Instead of seeing it as a task, consider it as calling on a wise friend for advice. Just like we call on mentors and coaches for guidance, we can call on God, who has the ultimate wisdom.

Another strategy is shifting from focusing on what’s wrong to recognizing what’s right. Gratitude is a powerful tool to break the cycle of overthinking. By focusing on what we’re thankful for, we can start building a mindset of trust and reliance on God.

Conclusion

If you’re ready to break the habit of overthinking, join us as we journey through this series. Together, let’s build the muscles of trust, patience, and thanksgiving.

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