One of my bad habits I struggle to shake off with my mental wellbeing is how frequently I overthink a situation.
The longer I overthink, the bigger the anxiety I suffer.
The worst thing about it is that I know exactly how to avoid over thinking and have proven experiences that show the reward when I don’t, I just can’t help myself in so many situations.
From my travels I have one story that doubles up as a great metaphor for it and it just so happens to have occurred five years ago today – The Bungy Jump.
Five years ago was my penultimate day in Australia after spending six weeks travelling the east coast from Melbourne to Cairns experiencing the great outdoors – very different to where we all are right now.
When I was in Rainbow Beach I walked past a tour office with a poster for Australia’s one and only bungy tower in the window and thought that could be a bit of fun, a few days later I was in my final stop in Australia, Cairns, and decided to go ahead and give it a go.
I didn’t really think about it during the days between booking and jumping. I think it was a mix of constantly having my mind on what is right in front of me while I was making the most of my time in Australia doing other fun things such as snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef.
The day arrived and my friends from Essex, Ryan and Summer, who I spent most of my time in Australia with, drove 40 miles north of Cairns to Port Douglas and on the way was the bungy jump where we would make a quick stop.
The Bungy Jump
It wasn’t until we arrived that I really realised how high 50m was. It was as if I said yes to it before I really knew what it was.
After a safety briefing where I signed my life away I took the long walk to the top while Ryan and Summer waited for me at the bottom.
I got to the top and was greeted by the most laidback group of Australians I have ever met who asked me to sit down.
At that point I thought ‘Oh no’ as they wrapped old towels around my ankles and attached them to a cord and tightened it all up – that was it.
After that they tapped me on the back and gestured towards the platform with a 50m drop to the water below. With my legs strained in such a way I couldn’t simply walk to the edge of the platform, I had to waddle over like a penguin.
Standing on the edge of the platform, waiting for the signal that I was good to jump was one of those moments where time seems to stand still, but I didn’t wait long once the green light was on. I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t worry, I didn’t overthink the situation at all.
I just took a deep breath and took the leap of faith.
Let me tell you, the longer you stand there and overthink the jump the harder you will make it for yourself. And the same can be said for most situations in life.
That’s all it takes to overcome life as an over thinker, just take the leap.
Sometimes it will work out, sometimes it won’t – that’s life.
If it works out that’s great and if it doesn’t at least you know where you stand in these situations and there’s no need to over think it.
As much as I would love to stand here and say I don’t overthink things anymore and it’s all a big happily ever after I must confess that would be a lie. I still overthink things all the time and the strain it puts on my life can be quite unbearable sometimes.
For now it’s just one of those things, none of us are perfect, we all have something we wish we could shake and for me this is one of the biggest, I would honestly say it is responsible for more than half of my anxieties.