Being a chronic overthinker, I have the expertise of linking tons of people and past incidents, forming a circle of thoughts that whirl around in my head till I get dizzy from the futile mind-chatter. I sometimes get so lost that I end up thinking about someone who isn’t even remotely related to the person/event I started thinking about in the first place. I’m sure this superpower of mine would have made me a very successful investigator.
Overthinking has the ability to disrupt one’s peace of mind. Whether it is thinking about a past event or worrying about a future one, much of what we think isn’t really useful.
How often have you heard someone say ‘Stop spending so much time in your head’? Well, it’s easier said than done – it takes enormous amounts of patience and determination to put the brakes on one’s genius thought process.
The most useful technique to stop overthinking is something I read in the book ‘The Big Leap’ by Gay Hendricks. In the book the author explains how worrying is one of the ways we sabotage our happiness, and the way we can stop that is by asking ourselves this one question:
‘Is there anything I can do at this moment to remedy the situation in order to stop worrying?’
– If your answer to the above question is in the affirmative, then go ahead and do whatever you have to do in order to stop panicking. For example, if you are on your way to work and you’re worrying about whether you’ve turned off the stove at home, call someone up at home and ask them to check the stove or else head back home and check the stove yourself, it will stop you from worrying.
– If your answer is in the negative, it means that you need to stop worrying immediately. For example, if you are sitting idle wondering why someone said those hurtful things to you all those years ago, or why that person behaved in that particular way, it is pointless thinking about it. There is nothing you can do at the moment to change the event of the past, so getting overwhelmed by it is completely unproductive.
A few more tips :
1. Practice mindfulness – This can be done best by meditating regularly. By paying close attention to what is really bothering you, you will be able to solve most of your problems and put an end to the chronic worrying.
2. Express yourself – Write about what is worrying you, that’s why blogging is such a blessing. Speaking to someone helps as well – getting someone else’s opinion on the matter will enable you to make a better judgement about whether your worrying is warranted or not.
3. Unwind – Schedule breaks in between your work, go for a walk or listen to music – anything that will help reduce stress, thereby helping you avoid overthinking.
4. Be grateful – This is the key to happiness. Stop and smell the roses. Once you learn to practice gratefulness your perspective of life will change drastically.
The vicious cycle of overthinking can make life much tougher than it actually is. Learn ways to handle your mind, before it takes over your life.
Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!