A Creative Way to Curb Overthinking

Sheena Gershom   |   July 14, 2021 

Anybody else struggle with overthinking? I just happen to be exceptional at it!

Give me a whisper of a thought and I can magnify it to a hundred decibels in my mind within seconds. And that was during the pre-pandemic years!

While thinking things through thoroughly can be a blessing in a work environment, it often wreaks havoc on my peace of mind at home.

I can get so obsessed with a toxic train of thought that I pay no attention to the treasury of Bible verses in my heart that have the power to rescue me.

When I feel my mind starting to race and my thoughts spiralling out to not-so-nice places, I know it’s time to take action before I fall apart.

It’s at that time that I turn to a creative habit that’s become a spiritual discipline for me in recent years – journaling.

Writing has a way of grounding me, especially on those days when my thoughts run haywire. While I write a lot on a screen for work, the practice of holding a pen and writing on paper has a healing quality to it.

With 3 sons doing virtual school, a high-energy dog, an enterprising husband, and a worldwide pandemic to boot, not a day goes by without a million things crossing my mind.

Journaling has become a creative way for me to put my thoughts down on paper, sort them out, and discover where God might be leading me.

Two decades ago, journaling meant jotting down rambling thoughts, recounting monumental events, or simply writing a letter to Jesus.

For many years I had the habit of just writing a sentence or two each day - either a verse, a quote, a memory or something I was grateful for.

In recent years, I’ve started maintaining a simple journal with just four sections that I fill out each week.

  1. Love – Something I especially loved or am grateful for that week.
  2. Learn – What I’ve learnt (quotes from books I’ve been reading, Bible verses that spoke to me, something I’ve learnt about myself or my family).
  3. Laugh – What made me smile, chuckle or laugh out loud.
  4. Live – What the week was like (this often includes the not so “blessed” events as well).

Journaling the 4 L’s probably sound cliched but it’s been a helpful practice. And I really do enjoy looking back at journals past and recollecting special events that occurred several years before.

On those days when I'm feeling exceptionally overwhelmed, I take out a larger journal and just jot down what's on my mind.

It starts off with me feeling conflicted and emotionally weary. But as I keep writing, the Lord brings to mind verses that comfort and ideas that take shape on the pages before me.

By the end of my journaling session, I feel a bit more hopeful and a lot more refreshed than when I began.

I end up signing off with gratitude to my Father who’s helped me process yet another muddle of thoughts. I close my journal with the deep assurance that the Lord has given me the wisdom, grace and strength to find my way forward.

Journaling has become a creative spiritual discipline that’s saved my sanity (and my family's peace) on more occasions than I can count.

The pandemic has especially brought on a lot of overwhelming days. I've found it calming to write down what’s on my mind, process Bible verses that stand out to me, and record thought-provoking passages from books I’ve been reading. Journaling has become a surefire way for me to quieten my mind and clarify my thoughts.

The time I spend journaling has been a balm to my oft distressed soul. I’d like to think it’s how David wrote most of his psalms – a mixture of praise, questions, gratitude, grief and genuine thoughts.

Journaling helps me turn my wayward thoughts towards God, renew my mind, remember who I am and whose I am, and get right back to doing what God has called me to right here right now.

What's a spiritual discipline that helps you curb overthinking and saves your sanity?

 

 

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

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Sheena lives in Bangalore with her husband and triplet sons. When she gets a moment's peace, she enjoys journaling, reading, and listening to podcasts. She sporadically documents real-life stories and lessons she's learning from God's Word at SheenaGershom.com

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2 comments on “A Creative Way to Curb Overthinking”

  1. This is very encouraging Sheena!
    Thanks for sharing ????
    This reminds me to get back to my lost love for journaling

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