Are you a chronic overthinker? How to tackle rumination by LawCare

Do you replay scenarios over and over again in your mind?

 

Do you dream about your client matters and their outcomes?

 

Do you endlessly go over and over old cases, what you did yesterday, last week, even ten years ago?

 

Do you find yourself saying ‘If only I had’… ‘I wish I had thought of’… ‘I am sure there is something else I could have done?’

 

At LawCare we often get calls from lawyers who struggle with overthinking, unable to sleep properly because they go over and over their work in their head. They often ask ‘Am I the only one who does this?’

 

If this is familiar, know that you are not alone, what you are doing is known as ruminatingRumination refers to the tendency to repetitively think about the causes, situational factors and consequences of one’s negative emotional experience.  Excessive rumination is a form of anxiety that can if left unchecked prove very damaging to mental and physical health.

 

Lawyers by their very nature strive for perfection; they are superb at looking at all the outcomes, negative and positive.  The profession demands an obsession with details and there is no room for mistakes.  Combine this with a heavy workload, long hours and a questioning mind and there is a perfect storm for natural overthinkers.

 

To tackle rumination and overthinking try the following:

 

Exercise

Do whatever you like as long as you get moving. Exercise makes it difficult to overthink as you need to concentrate on the physical activity itself and the melatonin, serotonin and endorphin boost will help to combat negative thoughts.

 

Schedule in time to think

Allow yourself a set amount of time to think about work and then follow it with some time to think positively, daydream or practice some mindfulness. Try the Headspace app.

 

Interrupt negative thoughts

If you find yourself in a spiral of negative thoughts try to interrupt your thinking with a positive question – ask yourself ‘What if it all works out?’ or ‘What if we get the outcome we want?’

 

Talk to your client

Ask your client what they think will happen; they may be able to offer insight into what the other client may say or do. Discuss possible outcomes with them. 

 

Seek help

Phone our free, confidential helpline and

lawcare-medium_002-min

talk to another lawyer who’s been there –

0800 279 6888

 

www.lawcare.org.uk

 

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