Dr. Chris Lee
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Thinking is the Cure for Overthinking??? ...

Thinking is the Cure for Overthinking???

Nov 08, 2022

The voice that tells you can't isn't your own…

I have a voice in my head; his name is Steve.

He's an a$$hole. I constantly challenge my intuition, worrying about things that don't even exist. The guy has no chill.

Steve is the voice of my overthinking, and geez, with 29 years of practice, Steve is a pro.

But Steve isn't me.

Steve is designed, in fact, perhaps the first artificial intelligence to have existed. Steve is a program, self protective program.

He was written by nearly 100,000 years of survival training; it's this program's job to make sure you feel afraid. To challenge novelty, to question anything that challenges the status quo.

He even buildsf a little home in that 3lbs of meatloaf that runs your brain.

Steve lives in the DMN or default mode network, but nearly every day in the afternoon he goes for a walk down the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex where based on a new meta analysis from NeuroImage says, he creates depression constantly.

So let's talk about Steve's home for a moment; the default mode network, like many other networks of the brain, has triggers. This specific trigger for overthinking is lack of focus mixed with absence of positive stimulus.

" K, fancy words,. What's this mean."

It means that when you look at your phone with constantly shifting topics designed for defocusing and eye strain, it makes the perfect environment for triggering the DMN.


So why does thinking make any sense for correcting overthinking? Like adding gas to a fire doesn't fix the fire?

Yes and no.

Rumination and overthinking are automated thinking. It's Steve, who's a program, taking your head and changing what you focus on. You're not the one in control, stress is, fear is.

Steve is doing his job, triggered by being bored for my neurodivergent people and sensations/memories for my neurotypical people.

HOWEVER, when we self direct our focus and think intentionally we are triggering our focus. WHICH is YOU not Steve taking control.

This is exceptionally powerful knowledge because …. guess what turns off the default mode network and turns on the task positive network to get you into action (which is evidenced as a behavioral modification to be the best change for depression) FOCUS!!!!

That my friends is how thinking is so powerful for overthinking. It's taking control of the runaway train and getting it back on the tracks. STEALING your focus back.

Again Steves job is to…. keep you safe and afraid. Which glued to your phone will do. This helps explain why those with depression have challenges with addiction and why those with ADHD have such a higher affinity for depression. They all play together to keep you as safe as possible.

" So… Asking for a friend… how do we apply this."

Great question, let's make this real.

Steve in my head strongly believes that loving myself or being vulnerable with others is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. So he likes to protect me with thoughts of self-loathing, not being enough, or not deserving of pleasure, and love. The essentials for level 2 of Maslow's pyramid.

Stage 1: Recognize that Steve is attempting to derail my life and has stolen my sovereign ability to direct my focus consciously. (What an a$$)

Stage 2: Shame is incredible, but you know what's even more relaxed, loving your shame. So instead of calling yourself names or saying that Steve is right, stop him. Hug Steve and thank him for protecting me, AND this doesn't feel good, so let's change it up.

Stage 3: Focus your thoughts on a sensation. What do you smell right now? What do your shoes feel like? Are you holding something? Is it smooth? Soft? Direct your focus.

Stage 4: Is this true? Challenge Steve, am I not worthy to receive love? Is it really dangerous? Should I feel like sh*t for taking an extra 10-minute shower today so I could just be? No, I am worthy to receive love, in fact, I've done a lot of work on myself, and I think my jokes are funny even when no one else laughs and I smile at myself in the mirror. So no, Steve, thanks but no thanks.

Stage 5: Affirm the facts, and direct the truth into self-awareness of the current moment. I know that in the past, it might NOT have FELT safe to be loved because you were afraid of being vulnerable and showing your shadows but that's not cool, and smokey the bear doesn't approve of this just as much as he doesn't approve of not putting your ashes entirely out with water. So armed with a healthy fear of cartoon bears and a willingness to love myself, I shall go forth here open and expressive.

Stage 6: Prove the facts with actions. Nothing says I love myself more than actually practicing. This is action. So today, I'll show I'm worthy of love by loving myself. I'm worthy to spend money and time on myself. I'm going to stop on my way home from work and get a latte, listen to true crime and smile like a fool the entire time.

BONUS: reflect that night on what a lousy a$$ you are and see if you can remember the trigger that started Steve's bickering.

The note is somewhere, then wake up and be fantastic tomorrow.

These systems and protocols are beneficial for me when it comes to creating healthy change, and it's mental mixed with behavioral changes, the perfect storm for learning to self-love through science!!!

If you like this type of content,, consider taking a look at our Stress Detox Course,, a weekend course designed with science based self care strategies for expressing a healthier you, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.


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