When you spend all your time overthinking, it makes it difficult to get anything done. It can be exhausting thinking so much to the point it halts all your actions. I often find myself wishing I could turn off my brain and enjoy the moment.
INFP’s ability to get lost and live in their head is both a blessing and a curse. I often can spend hours contemplating ideas and different worlds, but then reality comes crashing down. I have to get some work done in the physical, as opposed to, imaginative world. When it comes to the real world, I often find it very hard to improvise. You know those people you have worked with on a school project who have not prepared at all for the upcoming presentation? But then they wing it and sound comfortable and knowledgeable? Then there is me who has left the project until the last minute, but stayed up all night trying to prepare. Regardless of my preparation time, I let out a fraction of what I planned to say. And along the way, also eliminated all my “funny” jokes I was going to throw in.
It is not only presentations, but just interacting with other people and making decisions. Other INFPs can probably relate that talking through text or writing makes you sound a hell of a lot smarter than the burbles that will come out of your mouth. That media allows you to stop, ponder, and erase. I guess that is why I enjoy blogging so much. Alternatively, I will escape to the other side of the country if you want me to make a speech.
It can get frustrating when I am overthinking everything and not living in the moment. Through my life, I have improved on learning to do things without overthinking them. At least a little bit. Here are a few tips.
Embrace Your Impulsive Friends
As an anxious INFP, I have found that if I am given too much time to think over something, it is much more disastrous than if I only have a couple of hours. I can be a big procrastinator for this reason. I will leave things for the last minute and avoid thinking about it. I’d rather overthink and worry for a few days instead of a span of weeks.
We all probably have that friend who asks us if we want to hang out and do something last minute. You ask them what time they want to meet up and they tell you they are already outside your door. Yeah, that friend. The friend who I will have to hurriedly throw on clothes, sloppily straighten my hair and rush out the door for. Those friends can actually be a blessing. You are given zero time to ponder and worry, and have to make a split second decision. Now unless they are trying to make you do something crazy, I would encourage you to just trudge through your beauty routine and get out the door. Don’t allow your mind to have time to start questioning anything and everything. There are so many things I would not have done if I didn’t have that impulsive friend getting me to do it before I could even have a moment in my brain.
Write Through Your Feelings
I have found it can be incredibly helpful to just write out what your thinking and feeling in the moment. At one point you might feel really excited and motivated to do something. I think it is important you capture those feelings for yourself. Later on, you might have conflicting feelings, and it can get confusing knowing what’s best to do.
I like to have a journal or personal blog that is not organized at all. It is just a ton of ramblings that I can put anything and everything I am feeling or thinking. If I am thinking it would be amazing to travel and live in a new country for a year, you can bet I am going to have days where I am feeling it is a terrible idea and everything will go wrong. Capturing your feelings as they happen over the course of many days will allow you to see a consensus. If you are short on time, write up a pros and cons list. If you have so many good feelings and so many “pros” over “cons”, then allow yourself permission to go through with it. Don’t let the few bad things that may or may not happen keep you from the positive.
Tell Everyone You Are Going To Do It
I often make plans in my head and don’t let anyone around me know about it because I am afraid I will not actually go through with it. I could have a new idea and worry it will flop, so I don’t tell anyone know out of fear of being judged. In reality, that is not the case and my friends are usually supportive about my ideas and projects. It is also incredibly helpful to have people holding you accountable.
I have found when my friends talk to me about my plans as something I am or will actually be doing, it cements them in reality. It no longer is just an idea in my head. INFPs often come up with many great ideas that end up going nowhere. Sharing these ideas with others will help get the ball rolling on turning your idea into a reality. Friends can ask you about the practical sides that INFPs often don’t focus on, and help you figure out a plan. It can even be helpful to ask a close friend to keep you accountable and check in with you. I know I sometimes find it hard to ask for help and want to do things all by myself. However, people can truly be a great help in my endeavors. Even if I want to get rid of them half the time so I can just sit at home alone and play video games.
Allow Yourself to Breathe
If you are having an incredible amount of overwhelming feelings and thoughts, it is important to take a pause before you can come to the best conclusions. I know I can hardly make a rational decision if my feelings are incredibly strong. INFPs get the stereotype of not being logical and that is because they are a feelings type. However, I have found that while yes, my feelings can overwhelm my thoughts to the point they don’t feel logical, if I take time to address my feelings and let them breathe, I can make wonderfully logical decisions.
It is important to accept your feelings for what they are. Do not try to erase and avoid them. Allow yourself time to sit through them until they feel not so overwhelming. I sometimes just lay down and listen to music without doing anything. It allows me to just focus on the music and breathing to calm my body and mind down. You can do whatever works for you. Even just taking five minutes to do this will allow yourself to have a clearer head. Often what I believe is “overthinking” is actually “overemotional-ing.” When I calmed my emotions, I could get out and do what I planned to do.