Introspection versus Overthinking
Repatriation & Rumination:
Coming "home" can be a very rich experience that can lead to personal growth. One important ingredient for personal growth to take place is introspection. Introspection and reflections are very different from overthinking or rumination, the first leading to personal growth the latter leading to depression.
* Introspection is “a reflective way look inward : an examination of one's own thoughts and feelings.”
* Rumination or overthinking is “to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly” and “to chew repeatedly for an extended period.”
Preventing overthinking can help you make your home "coming" easier.
Once you are back home you often get projected in a far past, or you might be confronted with a part of youself you have forgotten about. With all the best intensions, old friends and family members are maybe pointing to your less attractive habits. Your financial situation might be different and your life -work balance might have changed.
Introspection or Overthinking?
Here are some redflags to make you alert when turning from introspection to rumination. Do any of these sound familiar?
▪ Emotional reasoning: Conclusions based on nothing but strong feelings. (“I feel guilty—I must have done something wrong.”)
▪ Overgeneralizing: Seeing a negative event as part of an endless pattern of defeat. (“I didn’t get the job. I’m such a loser. I’ll never get another job again.”)
▪ Disqualifying the positive: Discounting anything good. (“That interview went well, but soon they’ll figure out I’m a fraud.”)
▪ All-or-nothing thinking: Looking at an issue in black-and-white terms. (“My boss didn’t like an example in my report—I blew the whole thing!”)
7 steps to stop overthinking:
Here are 7 steps that can stop overthinking:
STEP 1: Accept you have a problem with overthinking:
If overthinking is stopping you from living a happy life, making decisions or having meaningful and loving relations, you have a problem. Denying this reality will only make things worse.
STEP 2: Forgive yourself: After you face reality and acknowleged you have a problem with overthinking, forgive yourself. It is a very human thing to do.
STEP 3: Understand that happiness is an inside job: When something goes wrong we often tend to internalize the problem. When you experience a setback rather then seeing it as "all your fault", look at what part was out of your control, know that it is temporally and do not internalize it.
STEP 5: F.L.Y. (First Love Yourself): Self-love is an essential ingredient for personal growth.
Loving oneself is caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself, this means being realistic and honest about one's strengths and weaknesses.
STEP 6: Deal with your inner critic: Challenge your beliefs about yourself by asking yourself questions that challenge your existing thoughts.
STEP 7: Get physical and busy: Go for a walk or run in a nearby parc. This helps to get out of your head.
Last but not least TAKE ACTION and get the help you need. Find a coach who can help you deal with overthinking and learn tools to stop overthinking.
Feel free to contact me with any further questions.
I found it worse to seek out help from counselors because most have never lived abroad. I felt at home in Asia, was starting a career there, and it changed me so much. I found that I just came back to a very awful abrupt and unwelcoming city. Some of this could not be helped, as I had come back in crisis. I see that the easier I was on myself, the better I felt. The counselors made me feel worse and took a really weird "snap out of it" approach to me. And frankly had no experience at all. When I quit therapy and was easier on myself that is when I took better care of myself and a weight lifted. I became my own coach.
Thanks for your valid comment.
If you have not experienced or never lived abroad it can be quite difficult to relate to repatriation. I do think there is a need for good counselling for people who lived abroad. I have had a lot of clients with the same experience. Very good for you that you took things in your own hand.
I give all my clients a toolbox for selfcare and in a gentle and kind way we start our counselling journey. I love your remark "I became my own coach".
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