If you are human, you have probably told yourself this at least once in your life “I shouldn’t let this bother me” or “This thing just really bothers me and I don’t know why”. And other people’s response would have probably been something in the range of: “Don’t let it upset you” or “You are overthinking it”. Well even though that’s probably true, its advice known as “TBU” – true but useless. What will you even do with that information? Like – Ok great, I probably am but just because you said it should stop doesn’t make me stop overthinking or obsessing.
The thing is, the reason you are overthinking something or letting it is usually a really good one. You just may not know it. But it is a good one otherwise it would not linger around. Instead of focusing on the thoughts, try to ask yourself:
“Why does this particularly bother me?”
“What about it triggers me?”
“What do I actually feel besides just being preoccupied? Am I angry, sad, frustrated, feel betrayed..?”
And if your answer keeps being “I don’t know” try making suggestions to yourself. For example “Is what Sue said? If so – what about what she said didn’t I like”. When you find the reason, suddenly the overthinking dies down. It quiets down. The whole reason it is bothering you and your thoughts keep circling is because you are not seeing the real issue. You are obsessing over a symptom and not the cause. Its like, treating a cough when you have a flu. You can treat the cough but the cold will always be there and can be triggered easily and cause other pains. The cough is the one you see and feel, not the flu, but the flu is the main issue you should be tackling.
It is normal that things bother you. And they bother you in order perilously to highlight or bring your attention to a deeper issue. Don’t ignore it. Don’t push your thoughts away. The more you push things away, the stronger they come back. Try instead to understand why they are coming up, what is their foundation and I tell you, it will cure a lot of things.