How to Stop Overthinking and Start Living
How to stop overthinking? It’s a more common question than you might think. It’s also my natural go-to tendency whenever I have to make a decision, big or small. It’s second nature to worry and overthink, it’s easy, but it’s also incredibly dangerous.
Got to pick a new piece of software to use to send emails? I’ll spend hours Google searching absolutely loads of them, not actually absorbing any information and at the end of all this time, I won’t have found what I need and end up not making a decision anyway.
If this sounds like you too, then welcome to the club.
So, because I’m so skilled in overthinking, I’ve also developed a few techniques to stop overthinking. I seriously recommend trying a few of these if you’re anything like me and you have a serious case of analysis paralysis. Then these may just save you hours of wasted time.
How to stop overthinking
Give yourself a deadline
I know, weird. But if you have a decision to make and you’re ruminating on it, then a deadline is necessary. Trust me, once you set this deadline and are strict with it, you will get it done. By doing this, you’re simply not allowing any time for overthinking, you have to make the decision in the time limit – that’s it.
Make sure your deadline isn’t too far away though, the shorter the better on this occasion.
Let go of perfection
Overthinking and perfectionism go hand in hand. If you’re constantly racking your brain trying to figure out a way to make whatever it is perfect, it’s time to take a step back and realise that it’s not going to happen, and that’s okay.
Perfect doesn’t exist. We all know this, so why waste so much mental energy trying to make it happen. Besides imperfect things are always more appealing than perfect ones. That’s why everyone roots for the underdog!
Get your head out of the future
Overthinking is usually closely linked to anxiety and negative emotions about the future. It’s okay to have a plan for your future, but it’s not okay to constantly think about it to the point where you can’t actually live in the present moment (guilty as charged!).
I know it’s hard to stop overthinking about what could be or what might be, but the more you focus on the negative stuff that hasn’t even happened, the more it will grow and become reality.
If you can’t stop overthinking and using phrases like ‘what if’, then flip what you’re thinking about. Instead of thinking about the worst possible scenario, think about the best instead. As I’ve already said, what you focus on grows. Wouldn’t you rather grow the good stuff and make that become your reality? I know I would.
Let yourself have fun
Overthinking for me usually comes when I’m alone (which is often) and have only boring stuff to do or look forward to. To combat this, whenever I start to overthink, I immediately stop whatever I’m doing, and play a game on my phone, make myself a cup of tea, or remove myself completely from the situation.
Doing something enjoyable reminds you that you’re in the present and you don’t live inside your head. It’s so important to get out of that thing as much as possible.
Our brains may be powerful, but they’re also vulnerable. So if you’re spending loads of time in your head, giving your brain a pointless workout of negative thoughts. When you actually need to use your brain for something important, it’s going to be exhausted.
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