June 10, 2024

5 Words that Saved me from Overthinking time & time Again.

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I met Sophie, a seven-year-old girl who was traveling with her parents, in Nepal many years ago.

Her room was next to mine, so we got to spend the majority of the time together.

One time we were sharing snacks when Sophie offered me two additional pieces of cookies. I respectfully declined and told her that I was only going to have one piece and leave the rest for tomorrow.

With confidence and kindness in her smile, she looked at me and said five words that hit me to the core, leaving me feeling shocked.

She told me:

“One day at a time.”

She offered me the biscuits again and reassured me that tomorrow is a new day and worrying about it right now is just plain silly.

Although I know nothing about Sophie today or where in the world she might be, I will never forget her enthusiasm for presence.

To be completely present in the here and now is something that’s hard to master. If, like me, you struggle with overthinking or anxiety, then you know how difficult it is to turn off the incessant, destructive voice in our heads.

Worrying about the future is automatic. And so we overthink because it makes us feel better—or in control. We either obsess over the future or ruminate about the past.

When Sophie told me to take things one day at a time, a new portal opened in my head.

She has made me realize that worrying comes in many forms—not just as stress or upset. It could be disguised as a harmless thought that convinces us to not fully immerse ourselves in the present moment because, hey, what about tomorrow? Or the day after? Or…or…or…?

“One day at a time” has become my daily mantra. I say it to myself whenever I feel that my mind is plotting against me.

So pause, take a deep breath, and remember that overthinking every little thing doesn’t help. When we worry excessively, we let negativity build up in our minds.

So stop overthinking before it spirals out of control and remind yourself that…one day at a time.

~

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