Why are some of us stuck in so many endless rounds of overthinking?

Many years ago, my friend attended a very unique bachelor party. All of them were told to strip down and change into silky shorts. They had their hands tightly bound up in tape, mouth guards were shoved into tightly clenched mouths, cushioned helmets were strapped on, and finally large bulky boxing gloves were fastened to their fists.

Before they were paired up and pitted against each other, the trainer gave them one single piece of advice. He chuckled as he warningly said, “Hit your opponent as hard as you want to be hit back…”

As soon as the whistle was blown and the first punch was landed, his advice was instantly embraced. There were some who intimidatingly charged their opponents, but in the final moments of impact they merely tapped them teasingly on the cheek. All that was returned to them were equally friendly flurries of harmless jabs.

But this instantly changed when the groom entered into the ring. He grinned cockily at his best man as they were sizing each other up. And once the whistle blew, he let loose a powerful hook that rippled across his opponents face. And in that moment, the best man forgot the fiance’s warning not to bruise the groom. They ended up spending the next twelve grueling rounds mercilessly beating each other to a pulp.

In this story, the trainers advice doesn’t just apply to a boxing match. It also applies to our thoughts as well. When we find ourselves facing off against our thoughts, a passive engagement usually ends in a quick friendly round in the ring. But if we explode out our corner and start aggressively engaging and grappling with our thoughts, they will also mercilessly strike back and not let up. This only ends up in twelve grueling rounds of overthinking, emotional bruises, and complete mental exhaustion. In the end, the more we engage with our thoughts, the higher risk we will end up feeling stuck in an unending cycle of overthinking.

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Samuel Hong

Samuel Hong

I believe writing is a form of art. It shouldn’t just enrich the mind, but it should also touch the heart and your soul as well. #mentalhealth #relationships