A Definition of Over-Thinking

A teacher of mine and of many, Stephen Gilligan, once said,“Over- thinking is holding your breath and clenching all of your muscles…”

Have you ever tried to do anything at all when you are holding your breath and clenching all of your muscles? How does worrying about the same thing over and over and over again with an emphasis on what may go wrong work for you throughout the night? How rested are you the next day?


Did you know that being tired is the most effective way to exacerbate anxiety? So what is a more realistic way of living your life?

a) Focusing on the negative, ‘what-iffing’ about what can go wrong, and being self-critical

b) Focusing on the positive, imagining all that can go right, and being self-supportive

Milton H. Erickson, M.D. believed that that your conscious/thinking mind “doesn’t do much of anything of that much significance.” The answers reside on the inside, in your subconscious/creative mind. Accessing the benevolent wisdom of your subconscious will enable you find answers, create solutions, and sleep deeply through the night.

Therapeutic Exercise: Absorbing Activity—1-3 Minute Power Zone

Plant a ‘solution seed’ in your subconscious mind regarding something in your life that you are working through, a problem at work, a relationship issue, etc.. Now, absorb yourself in something that you enjoy doing: Playing/ listening to music, working out, yoga, reading, cooking, powerwalking, ceramics, therapeutic channel surfing, anything that dips you down beneath the clatter and chatter of your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind will now activate and generate solutions, ideas, and new ways of experiencing the issue you are dealing with. After your activity, take five very slow, very deep breaths and enjoy staring at the inside of your eyelids for 1-3 minutes. Repeat the breathing a few times a day and before bed. Your solutions will unquestionably bloom.