Are you an overthinker? Are you are ever obsessing and over analysing things, do you worry a lot about the what ifs rather than living in the moment, are you always indecisive and live with regrets, and do you always come up with the worst case scenario making things look worse before they even occur? If you experience some of these tell-tale signs then you are an overthinker.
You know you are an overthinker when you scrutinise endlessly even the tiniest thing that demand simple action. You tend to put every little problem under the microscope-magnifying it until it gets bigger and even more terrifying. What could have been dealt with as a reasonable issue becomes tantamount and un-doeable. This sort of deconstruction and over analysis removes your chances of being happy in the moment.
Frankly speaking overthinking brings to mind negative thoughts that trigger anxiety, pessimism, and procrastination, sapping your motivation and ability to take action. Overthinking and anxiety are intrinsically linked- overthinking creates anxiety and vice versa.
There is a clear-cut difference between overthinking and deep thinking. Overthinking is associated with negative emotions which hardly provide a clear window but instead further cloud or distort your thinking into a narrow view of the world. Everything from the past, present, and the future is turned into negative, the focus is more on what has been wrong and what could be wrong.
Overthinking can be a very serious burden to one’s life more so if you can’t shut your own mind. By the end of each day you will feel exhausted and sad. You get constantly inundated with thoughts and questions that hardly make you happy but sad.
When you overthink you consume yourself and endanger your life-your situation can mount further. Nothing is likely to be achieved if you become overthinker-everything stalls, all you do is go over a situation, opportunity or issue over and over. Otherwise, your over thinking is likely to sabotage your plans holding you back
Overthinking and not acting on your thoughts can make you lose a lot of time and accomplish little things. Do you ever get to thinking about how your overthink? As tough and difficult as this is, there are several ways that can make you win the battle with your thoughts and push away the negativity, so you can live happily. Here are a few tips;
More action and less thinking
If you continue to overthink without actioning your plans you will be left feeling drained, tired and worried. Once you have set plans and deadlines in place, follow them through by ensuring that you act, actions and only actions make a difference.
If it helps you can jot down some of your to-do list on a daily, weekly or monthly planner. You will need to get yourself in the habit of writing your achievements or actions taken. So you want to lose weight-what are you doing about it, you want to change your job-how many applications have made-or you want to launch a new product-have you done the market research. You are likely to achieve your goals when you taken action.
You can also drive yourself into taking action by setting deadlines—this is a way of encouraging yourself to even take small steps forward. Each step you take and each action you accomplish gives you more confidence to tackle the next challenge. If you continue on this path you are likely to get into the habit of taking action and thinking less.
Live in the now moment
You are likely to overwhelm yourself if you continuously hover over your past or worrying about how you want your future to be. Along the way your mind is never in the moment, today is likely to pass you and become yet another worry to think about.
Having an awareness of what makes you overthink is a great step that can help you monitor your trigger points. When you notice you’re re-playing events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t being productive. Awareness is the first step in putting an end to overthinking. You know when your thoughts are snowballing, you know your trigger points.
Whatever regrets you have, you can hardly change things that happened in the past, neither can you live in the future. But you can make the most of your time today and focus on how you can change your life by taking actions today. You need to distract yourself with things that stop you from worrying about your past or future making sure you foster positive and well-being today.
You don’t have to control everything
We all experience that fear, the fear of being in a situation you feel you lack control over. You immediately second guess yourself thinking you are likely to make wrong decisions, that you will not be able to handle the outcome of your actions of getting into a situation and will embarrass yourself. All you are doing is projecting the worst that could happen, this only gets you stuck in the what if rut.
Yes, no-one wants to make mistakes, no-one wants to fail or make a fool out of themselves, but if you look at it, those are the things that are critical to test your limits, to stretch your creativeness, your imaginations and to make you stand out. The very people that inspire you from successful entrepreneurs, sports-persons, career people have at one point failed, and embarrassed themselves-they made mistakes. The difference is they learned from their mistakes and never let fear of failure to hold them back.
Allocate time for making decisions
When you are an overthinker you are likely to fret about whether you are likely to achieve whatever you are set to do. It can be quite a task for to get your thoughts together and make a decision even for something considered less important. Your mind can be on the go, running over something that needs less focus but destructive enough to stop you from dedicating your thinking to something that needs doing. The only way you can free up your mind is to designate time to think through things.
Setting time limits to your decision-making process helps you to avoid going back and forth. Of the number of things you plan to go over, you can identify which ones can take less time over those that might demand more attention.
You can start by allocating short time to make the decision to things like responding to social emails, going over daily routines and allocate more time to attend demanding issues.
Time is always the limiting factor there is only so much time you can use to focus on an issue before because other issues also matter. Setting or allocating time gives you the flexibility and comfort to exhaust your thoughts mulling them over but when the time is up you need to be firm and move to the next thing. Be firm with yourself especially when you overlap your decision outside scheduled time because only you can take authority over your mind. Never allow your thoughts to run you down.
Be aware of who you spend time with
The environment in which you live or work makes a big impact. The mindset of people around you can influence the way you think. You are likely to constantly worry and over think if you are around negative people. Further to that even the things you read, how you interact on social media can influence your thinking patterns.
You are better off changing the people you hang around with. When you hang out with positive people, you can also start adopting their thinking patterns and importantly how they act on their plans. Being with people with a different perspective to life opens your mind up
Remember the mind is like a sponge, it absorbs what is around it. Take charge of what goes into your head by being selective of who you hang out with. What can also help further is to change environment, try a different coffee shop, park or library. New environments always bring a breath of fresh, something you need to distract you from focusing on your thoughts. Why not take advantage of your disrupted thinking patterns and create positive affirmations that enriches your mind. Why not take advantage of your disrupted overthinking patterns and create positive affirmations that enriches your mind.
Find an activity or exercise
A bit odd you might think. Any form of physical exercise is known to be therapeutic, it helps to reboot the mind. Exercising as you may know require some form of absorption that gets you into a different state of flow. Your mind is pulled out of the usual thinking mode into a state of peace.
Performing daily exercises or physical activities that raise your heart rate and improves health. From taking brisk walks, sports, fitness training you notice such movements can help you let go of your tensions and worries. You should however, only go with an exercise that you like, something you don’t have to think about it. If you get into the routine of training, you are likely to start thinking of how you can alter your exercises, how you can improve on yourself and eventually the more you take on them the more you can free your mind. Beside exercising you can pick on hobbies that you fancy, gardening, knitting, art or anything that can divert your thoughts. Along the way, you can actually discover things that can actually bring you more joy, perhaps talents that were hidden away. Soon you will start making decisions and taking necessary action, meet people or start a career with much ease.
Many times, overthinking doesn’t only fail to provide you with a solution to your current problem, it actually creates new problems and further issues for you to think about. It is often better just to deal with the one issue that life throws up rather than fretting yourself over a range of possible problems and issues that could derail you.
Putting an end to rehashing, second-guessing, and catastrophic predictions is easier said than done. But with consistent practice, you can limit your negative thinking patterns. Affirm yourself- You’re in charge of your mindset and never allow your thoughts to manipulate you or stop you from doing what you want in life.
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