Catching that Overthinking Train

“Warning: my train of thought might be missing a few tracks … I’ve reached an age where it often leaves without me.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love train travel. There’s something romantic about being cocooned inside a carriage watching life roll by, however these days things aren’t quite as simple as they used to be.

Years ago in Italy, we boarded a country train from Florence to the mountains of Aosta.  The passing landscape was so different to Australia but I’ll never forget the sense of freedom and the excitement of heading into the unknown.

Another flashback: Growing up I often caught the train from Sale to Melbourne, a three hour trip. The journey to the big smoke on the “Red Rattler” was always tinged with a mixture of excitement, worry and nerves.

And that’s how I feel about my life right now.

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All Aboard

If there’s one word that describes me it’s ‘Overthinker.’ Perhaps that can be the name of my hypothetical train.

Climb on board if you’re game. The Overthinker is unpredictable, often slow and scenic, but at other times it’s fast, frantic and everything around it feels like a blur.

I’ve always been a deep thinker and tend to over analyse and worry about situations, getting ahead of myself in my head. However, as I get older I realise I could be making the trip a lot smoother and less stressful.

Train lines (800x533)

Hold on

There are handles for a reason.  They come in the form of the real deal but mostly they come in the form of inner courage.

Hold on tight when the train’s going fast. If it’s crowded, you’ll find yourself leaning on someone. That’s okay. There’s always other passengers feeling the same way but ultimately you’re on your own.

Accept that this is your journey and yours alone and know that the scenery will change and your needs will change too. Stay steady and keep going. That’s all you have to do.

Be mindful

I’ve come to notice when I’m on this spiral track which can be a good thing.

Being aware of my thoughts allows me to choose whether the train (and worry) picks up speed or changes direction. Those little choices in life often chart the track on which we run.

We always have the power to shift our thoughts. Shift, shift, refocus. To switch onto a different line of thinking, a more positive one.

Hit Pause and Breath

Sometimes we just need to slow it all down, breath deeply and put the brakes on. We all know that 99% of stuff that we worry about never eventuates. So, why do we spend so much time stressing?

Another train always comes. Life is full of missed trains but even if we miss one, there’s always another train pulling into the station and another opportunity.

Make a date with your doubt

“The Hurstbridge train has been delayed and will arrive five minutes late” says the voice over the loud speaker. Sometimes delays are unavoidable, and so’s that worry.

Schedule a time to worry if there’s something on your mind. Rather than let it consume you tell yourself you’ll think about it 4pm Friday afternoon (or whenever). Chances are by the time it comes around, something’s happened to change the situation.

And if it hasn’t, then you can deal with it. At least you haven’t spent the last two days worrying unnecessarily. Just get on with life, knowing that when the time comes, whatever happens, you can handle it.

Passengers change

We can’t predict who’s going to get on or off the train, just as we can’t predict who’s going to come into our life and affect us. Often people will be with us till the very last stop, but sometimes people come into our life for only a short period of time.

Have you ever struck up a conversation with someone on a train, or anywhere, and really connected, and then they hop off and you never see them again. It’s happened to me.

They jump on at one stop, keep you company for a while, maybe even teach you a lesson or two and then they disappear. We don’t realise it but usually they come into our life for a reason.

Imagine the best

Put your positive hat on and envision the best, knowing that if the worst case scenario happens you’ll deal with it. You’re strong and you’ve dealt with everything that’s happened in your life, you’ll handle this too.

Remember, you can always redirect that train. You can always redirect your thinking.

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Steaming Ahead

“The biggest mystery of our journey is that we never really know when the final stop will come. Neither do we know when our travel companions will make their last stop. Not even those sitting in the seat next to us.”

So, let’s make the best of the journey and be grateful for every single day. Stay awake to all the joy, the friendships, the adventure and those unexpected stations and stops along the way.

For somewhere along the line we will find, not simply our platform, but our passion and our purpose.

Perhaps we should re-name the ‘Overthinker’ to the ‘Hope Train’. Who’s hopping on board with me?

Have a happy August.

In light and love as we continue the journey.

Both trains are moving (800x600)


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99 thoughts on “Catching that Overthinking Train

  1. Such wisdom woven into ever track dear Miriam.. I was only just thinking of you really and I decided to open my email listings to start with the new posts.. to catch up.. And there you were top of the list..
    I remember years ago using the train as given me in an analogy of life by automatic writing..
    So true what you have said here.. We are all of us on the journey… not knowing exactly when our final destination journey will take place.. But so much to see along the way when we sit back and enjoy all that unfolds before us.
    And I always find it so interesting just who hops on to sit beside us for a while.. Often they only travel with us for such a short time.. Yet their words and conversations impact the rest of our journey..

    So Soooo. loved this post Miriam.. and good to be reading your wisdom again..
    Loved all the photos..
    Have an exciting trip my friend ❤ Worry is useless, though I know easier said than done, from one worrier to another over the years.. One learns as they grow older to Trust what is around that next unseen bend..

    LOVE and Blessings
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So lovely to hear from you Sue and yes, what you wrote is so true “trust what is around that unseen bend”. Wise words my friend and ones I’ll well remember. Thank you. Hugs and love xx

      Liked by 2 people

    2. “And I always find it so interesting just who hops on to sit beside us for a while.. Often they only travel with us for such a short time.. Yet their words and conversations impact the rest of our journey.. ”

      Sue, that is such an insightful observation. Some of the most interesting effects and influences on us were brought about by people we knew only briefly. Thank you for sharing that!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Many thanks Paul, I will share with you and Miriam something that was taught me about our train journey through life in a post about personal responsibility and our ‘train of thought’ which came via the ether of shared thought vibration many years ago now which I published on my blog back in 2008. https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/our-train-of-thoughts/
        Love and Blessings.. And many thanks to you both.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great analogy Miriam, really works comparing life to riding a train. Hope you can get a grip on that overthinking and sit back and enjoy the journey a bit more. I’ve never been an overthinker or analyser, always thought life was just there for living and experiencing. Easy to say but not always that easy to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. great wisdom on board this train, Miriam … I look at the worst scenario and then focus on the treats as they come along … less surprises or disappointments that way and when things go well you slip up to the dining carriage and have a favourite snack 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m with you on the overthinking. Catching those thoughts that secure me to the runaway train of overthought is a tricky business, but if I catch them early, I can throw them in the luggage car, and let them ride by themselves! 😝.
    Overthinking can be exhausting.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, as usual, Miriam 🙂 I really like the idea of scheduling a precise time to think about certain issues. I had never thought about it, but it seems like a good way to deal with things that trouble our thoughts…. I’ll sure give it a try! Thank you for sharing your wisdom 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m mourning the loss of one or two passengers on my “train” and your words have eased my sorrow, these are two friends who have/will be returning home after sharing part of their journey with me…I’m looking forward to the new passengers that might take their seats!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A wonderful post, thank you, Miriam! I wrote about how worry can sap our energy last week so we are on the same ‘train’ 🙂 I really enjoyed how you connected train travel and worry and I did like your point about making a date with our worry and scheduling it in. Now, I’m not sure I could do that but it is worth a try. Apart from your advice, I also love train travel, especially in Europe. Have a beautiful week, Miriam and thank you again for such an insightful post, it has certainly helped me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Fun post and analogy Miriam. I’ve taken many a ride on the worry train! Thankfully not as much these days, but it’s always lurking. 🙂 I like your idea to schedule a time to worry, then see if it’s even necessary. All aboard the Hope Train!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post Miriam. I like your comment to Rob about there being no point looking back with regret. Move forward and live in the moment is always the best option. I too am an overthinker, and I am trying to just let things happen as they will anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s the best way to live isn’t it? Moving forward and in the moment. Sometimes easier said than done but so worth trying to keep our head clear of worry and overthinking. Have a great week Barbara. x

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m on board….I was an overthinker but now when I find myself doing that I do exactly as you say…shift shift refocus…I love the idea about setting a time to think about the problem. That’s excellent…especially when you go to bed and then start to think and become wide awake….I now say there’s nothing that needs my attention right now. I think by setting a specific time to think about something will put the mind at ease and it will wait til then. Of course, I might think about 4:00 pm Friday, for the rest of the night!!! 😉 In addition to the Hope Train, how about the Can Do Train, we can do it or anything we put our minds to!! Let’s “train” our minds not let our minds “train” us! How are you my lovely? Hope you are having a magical Monday. I’m off to bed shortly…but it’s been too long since I stopped for a visit. Big hope-filled hugs xo, chat soon!! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww, it’s so good to see your smiling face here Deb. The Can Do train, I love that! I’m on board with you, without a doubt. We can do anything! And I love all your play on words, made me smile. Yes, I’m well, busy doing finance stuff at the moment after a nice weekend. Hope yours was good too. Well you have a relaxing sleep and we’ll chat properly very soon. Big hugs xx ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Such an interesting article Miriam. It’s not fun when overthinking hits. It’s happening much less for me these days thanks to mindfulness and meditation. Sometimes focusing on my breath brings me back to the present moment effortlessly, and yet sometimes focusing on my breath causes greater angst! 🤷🏻‍♀️ Anxiety even! The mind certainly isn’t easy to navigate.

    I so love and enjoy reading your posts Miriam, thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much Bridey.
      It sounds as though you’ve got yourself in a pretty good place. Good for you though I agree that the mind definitely isn’t easy to navigate. Take care and keep meditating. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Paul! Yes I’m on IG and on here. Look for pagingmrszen. However I don’t tend to blog much about my own experiences, but I do share other people’s writing on mindfulness though. 😌✌🏼

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  12. Loved the parallel drawn between life and a train journey. Simple yet so deliberate, every similarity is so practical to relate to and understand. Hope the journey continues and the every mile proves its worth. Kudos !

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This really spoke to me, because I am also an “over-thinker.” Believe me, I can relate! But I love how you used the illustration of a train to describe how we are traveling through life, and all the ways that we can make it a better trip. You’re so right, we have no idea what the final stop will be, for us or anyone else. So all we can do is make the journey as intentionally as possible and to make sure we are both noticing and enjoying the good parts. Thank you so much, Miriam!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, absolutely Ann. Here’s to putting it all into practice and making the trip as good as it can. I’ve just come back from walking Harry and am looking forward to the day ahead. Thanks for your lovely comment. x

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi, Miriam, I was an overthinker almost all my life. You stay on the train of thought all the way. I didn’t feel any derailing or even a slight jolt. What an insightful post. I was with you all the way through!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. All so true, Miriam. It’s easy to get carried away with the overthinking and worrying about things too and I make a conscious effort to leave it behind me. Funny you should mention how pleasant train travel is. While in Canada, we did two train journeys, from Quebec City to Montreal and then on to Toronto a few days later. It was delightful – so much more space and comfort than a plane, and that was in economy class. We think someone needs to invent a way to travel by train from Australia across the oceans. We would do that every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Well, darn it, Miriam — your post got me to thinking about whether or not wisdom can be taught. So I wrote a post about that, a post I’ll publish after midnight my time — in about four hours. Hmmm….I think I’m going to include a link in my post to this article. Yeah, I think I’ll do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I reckon I have a peculiar notion of what it means to “overthink” something. I do a lot of thinking — thinking is both my occupation or vocation, so to speak, and my chief entertainment. But I don’t think of myself as “overthinking” anything unless I become dull to sensations like the sound of rain, the feeling of a breeze across my arm, etc. That seldom happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the way you described overthinking, ie it’s not really overthinking but living life to the full and in the moment. That’s what you’re doing when you’re hearing the rain and feeling the breeze. Love it.

  18. What a great analogy as a way to look at life as a train journey. A journey comprised of a series of stops along the way. I too tend to be an “overthinker” which at times certainly resulted in creating situations in my mind far worse than they actually were. Life is meant to be lived and to enjoy the journey as it unfolds in front of us. Yes, we may need to switch trains, but that is still part of the adventure. Thanks for posting!

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  19. I told you before already but I will say it again: I like your way of thinking and writing Miriam. I agree 100% with your very wise words. I’m definitely on board with you! P.S. Schedule a time to worry… Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Miriam, this is incredible! You have so many valuable tips and techniques for us to work with an overactive mind (God bless them.) I particularly love “Hit Pause and Breath”, similar to the step I mentioned in my blog last week. And how cool is making a date with doubt? That is an expansive, fun way to accept ourselves and let out what’s worrying us.

    I’d like to share this for #ForgivingFridays, is that ok?
    You’re welcome to put a link to my post if you want to.

    Sending you love. You have such a creative and love-filled expression. That is a unique gift!

    I love you,
    Debbie

    ps – my spiritual teacher John-Roger has a great CD called “Double Bind in a Double Mind”. It helped me greatly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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