Why do we overthink so much?


We can often blame rumination or continually mentally analysing things in our life as an achilles heal in our thinking. But part of this habit could go back to our ancient ancestors’ need to keep themselves safe. We are all evolved from our early ancestors who would, even before speech, have to keep themselves safe as they mapped out the days’ chores in their minds. Just as we do now.

However they couldn’t reach for Google Maps to guide them safely out of their village. To get past the large tree on the left a mile down the road that often had dangerous snakes around would mean them going back into their memory banks and visualising all the options. They could always take the other route alongside the river but if they did they would have to make sure the river was safe to cross. And of course they had to be careful not to upset the mother elephant who lived on the left hand side of the bank as they were making their way to the stream.

Like us, they had choices to make, but their choices could mean life or death on their way to collect water or hunt for food. So we can imagine them having to carefully work out in their minds the safest route every time they stepped outside the limits of their village.

Much of our thinking patterns are still to a large degree connected to the primal parts of the brain. This part of the brain has one job to do and that is to keep us alive. All these primal connections are still working from the same survival needs that we are using from all those centuries ago.

So it makes sense that we can get ourselves stuck in a loop trying to make up our minds what order to do things, whether we take the train or the plane plus myriads of options and choices in our daily lives. This overthinking and worry can sometimes make us feel as if we are on a hamster wheel as we continually analyse every small detail that comes to mind. All those centuries ago this was a matter of life or death and sometimes it can feel as if we are still in that same place.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other stress issues are all linked to this natural overthinking process which can get out of hand. Learning how to detach and negotiate our way round a never-ending loop of thoughts and worries will help lift us out of the tension and stress that has been keeping us locked “looking out for danger” 24 hours a day.

For help achieving positive change and rapid stress release in your life I offer techniques such as Hypnosis, NLP, Emotional Freedom Technique, Eye movement Sequencing plus much more.

For more information please call +44 7970218451 or email rogerfoxwell.therapy@gmail.com 

How Heart Coherence can help you experience a more relaxed and balanced life

Heart Coherence Breathing Exercise

If you feel you would like more control over your heart rate Heart Coherence is a simple but very effective way to do that. You may feel your heart rate quickening up and slowing down in the different situations in your life and this is what our heart is supposed to do.

If we are stressed the body and mind can easily trigger straight into a Fight or Flight response to protect us from danger. This is our primal brain kicking in.

In modern life, we are not normally living in the actual jungle. However, we are, in effect often in a different jungle as we deal with modern-day stress and worry. This can easily put us in a physical and mental place whereby our primitive protective part becomes continually switched on. Of course, this can be very unhealthy when there is no real danger about and the stress of being in this state (and being disconnected from our ventral vagus nerve) means we cannot heal physically or emotionally.

So what can we do about this?

The science of Heart Coherence has some excellent and very simple exercises to help us connect back into a much more relaxed and healthier state physically and emotionally. Heart Coherence is based on scientific information collected from such modern medical instruments as electrocardiograms and pulse sensors. The material they measure in this instance is known as Heat Rate Variability which can be demonstrated through specific software programs.

These can tell us more about the state of both our physical and mental health but obviously, we are the ones who have to do something to make the changes we need.

One of the Heart Coherence exercises is a simple breathing pattern and you will only need 6 minutes, 3 times a day to help reset your life to a more relaxed and comfortable state physically and emotionally.

When we breathe in and out it feels like our heart is beating regularly when in fact it is an unsynchronous rhythm that accelerates on the in breath and decelerates on the out breath. In fact seen on a graph, each in and out breath also has lots of peaks and troughs and this is in fact perfectly natural.

However, as we do the simple Heart Coherence breathing exercise we will in effect be smoothing out the peaks and troughs of our breaths and the jagged ups and downs that are clearly shown on the computer readout.

All you have to do is set aside 6 minutes breathing 3 times a day

To do this sit or stand (ideally not lying unless you need to) in a quiet place, and when ready breathe in deeply for 5 seconds, (shoulders relaxed) and out for 5 seconds.

Keep each breath moving and you can time this in your head, on your mobile or on a clock keeping lips closed if possible.

Continue working your way up to 6 minutes if needed and do the exercise 3 times a day. After a week or so you will soon be aware of the positive changes you are making. If you are happy with your progress I would recommend doing this as an everyday habit.

If you use this for a week you will very likely begin to notice a positive change in your stress levels. As you breathe more deeply and easily you are getting more oxygen to your blood and the whole of your physiology will be calming itself as will your busy brain.

Of course, to achieve this state we need to practise it but it is a miniscule price to pay for relaxation, well-being and healing that will be triggered as we enter this state of heart coherence.

I recommend that you read this very short book by Dr. David O’Hare “Heart Coherence 365” which tells you all you need to know about the method and how valuable it is. At £3 52p on Kindle it is an absolute bargain and everything is explained very simply. (I have no financial interests in this book but it is fascinating to find out what is happening that we are not aware of as we breathe.

For more help with issues large or small feel free to contact me on +44 7970 218451 or email rogerfoxwell.therapy@gmail.com