Do you ever feel like your mind goes in circles and can’t stop racing? It feels so repetitive, fast and you feel like you can’t stop your excessive thoughts?
I’ve had this feeling for a while now. Probably because I just moved into my new place and I feel like there is so much I have to do and so little time.Overthinking leaves me feeling frustrated and burned out. Not only is it emotionally draining for me but I’ve seen it show up physically on my body. Stress causes me to feel aches on my lower back, shoulders and even weight gain 🙁
In the past, I never cared so much about my thoughts. I was the kind of person that just assumed my thoughts would just go away naturally. But as I dig deeper into my childhood and think about why my mind was always so high strung I begin to understand why I’ve always been like this for all of my life.
A bit about my childhood and how my anxiety and overthinking began:
- I grew up in Vietnam, in a household where my feelings, my sensitivity, my expression for love was suppressed.
- Because I didn’t receive love and kindness in return, I felt anxious and kept thinking to myself “well what did I do wrong to deserve this?” It was so hard for me to figure out and I had no one to talk to about it because in Vietnam you don’t share your family’s issues to your friends 🙁
- Since I had no one to share this with I was so alone in my thoughts and kept overthinking and overanalyzing things in my life.
This pattern followed me ever since. But now that I’m older and I’m away from my parents I’ve realized a lot of things –
#1 My parents will never have the capacity to acknowledge me in the way I would like them to see me. They will never change their values and I’ve learned to be okay with that.
#2 I can take care of myself. I have my own values and I can give myself the love and care that I so desperately wanted as a kid.
NOW, I don’t want you to think my parents are bad and malicious people. They gave me a great life and because of them I am here in LA. But let’s just say that my parents and I have very different values.
You don’t need to be a therapist to see this but anxiety and overthinking is related and rooted in your upbringing.
Off course when you’re feeling stressed and high strung you’ll blame it on external factors but if you take a closer look at how you were raised, I think you’ll be able to identify a lot of things that might surprise you.
Now that I live alone and abroad I understand the importance of self-care. This is how I keep my sanity intact and it allows me to take my power back whenever I feel sad and lonely in my thoughts. I feel happier, at peace with myself and less stressed when I take the time to care for myself. That could be reading, exercising, cooking, learning a new skill, sleeping and doing nothing. That counts right? 🙂
Each day, at my own pace I take action to reduce my anxiety. The goal for me is not to get rid of all my thoughts but to note it and acknowledge it. When you’re anxious and high strung it’s impossible to get rid of your thoughts. The best you can do is to learn how to calm yourself.
If you watch this video you’ll understand what I mean.
I highly recommend downloading Headspace btw! This app really sets the tone for my morning. I never walk out the door without meditating at least 3 mins now! Headspace has every possible scenario under the sun for you to listen to whenever you get nervous. My favorite is the “feeling overwhelmed” and “frustrated” meditation. You need to try it! You feel very zen afterwards 😉
Also don’t be afraid to get help. Ever since I moved to America I started doing therapy and it has helped me release all my emotions. Therapy has been such a great outlet for me; to be able to say everything even the things I couldn’t express as a kid, and to say it out loud to someone that has the knowledge and expertise to help me heal…wow, it feels great! But therapy comes with a price and in the beginning I couldn’t afford it. That’s why I work part time jobs to save up and go when I can. To me health is always a great investment.
It will take time and it will be difficult at first, but if I can do it, so can you. It took me 3 years to realize that I have anxiety problems because so much of my life I was in denial. I thought my level of anxiety was normal for someone who was a perfectionist and always wanted to excel. But when it took a toll on my health thats when I decided it was enough and I was going to do something about it.
I am still in the process of learning how to overcome my anxiety. I have my days where it feels impossible to control my thoughts but I get back up and continue to improve and be better.
The mind, the body and the soul are all related.
When your mind is calm and relaxed I guarantee you, you will carry on your day much better. Some people are just naturally calm and don’t need to do much to feel relaxed. But people like me who constantly overthink and get triggered easily have to take the steps to reduce anxiety and worry.
My morning routine usually goes like this…
I roll out my Yoga mat and do guided meditations with Headspace. It usually takes 3 mins or sometimes I do 10mins depending on how busy I am. Afterwards I go on Spotify and I search for Tibetan Singing bowls and Hong Kong Atmosphere music. It calms me down so much and makes me feel so happy and nice when I cook my breakfast.
I’ve also become more spiritual. If you’ve never prayed before and want to start learning how to I recommend Gabrielle Bernstein. She’s incredible and I love her videos!!
Here a few tips I’ve learned that I want to share with you all:
- Understand the source of your anxiety and overthinking: Note the external factors that are bothering you but also look internally. This took me a long time and it does not happen overnight. Do your research, read books, and never feel afraid to ask for help. I couldn’t do it alone so I went to counseling and therapy and always turned to my close friends for advice and support.
- Have compassion and empathy for yourself: Going through this is already aggravating so don’t be so hard on yourself. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t solve everything and nothing happens overnight. Patience is key.
- Exercise Regularly: The last thing you want is to stay inside and be a hermit. Going to the gym always makes me feel so much better about myself. Release those endorphins and it will help you get a good night’s sleep too.
- Meditation: Download headspace right now. They have a promotion going on that you don’t want to miss!
- Practice Gratitude: At night time I say 3 things that I am grateful for out loud. Also be sure to take in a few deep breaths and get a diffuser and put some lavender aromatherapy oil in. This has been a great way for me to de-stress before I go to bed.
I hope these tips will help you with your anxiety and overthinking.
Last but not least I want you to honor your struggles, your adversities because those are the things that help shape the person that you are today 🙂 Sometimes I feel so down about myself because I feel like I’m not achieving my goals fast enough. That’s why I’ve been posting less on Instagram and taking time away from it just to ground myself and feel more center and present.
School is now back in session and I quit my part time job so I can spend more time pursuing my blog, fitness and Youtube.
Can’t wait to share with you guys what I’ve been doing this summer.
Goodnight from LA 🙂