Over thinking doesn’t sound so bad on the surface thinking is good, right? But over thinking can cause problems. When you over think, your judgements get cloudy and your stress gets elevated. You spend too much time in the negative. It can become difficult to act. If this feels like familiar territory to you, here are 10 simple ideas to free yourself from over thinking.
1. Awareness is the beginning of change.
Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it’s happening. Any time you find yourself doubting or feeling stressed or anxious, step back and look at the situation and how you’re responding. In that moment of awareness is the seed of the change you want to make.
2. Don’t think of what can go wrong.
In many cases, overthinking is caused by a single emotion: fear. When you focus on all the negative things that might happen, it’s easy to become paralysed. Next time you sense that you starting to spiral in that direction, stop. Visualise all the things that can go right and keep those thoughts present and up front.
3. Distract yourself into happiness.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like mediation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, knitting, drawing, and painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the over analysis.
4. Put a timer to work.
Give yourself a boundary. Set a timer for five minutes and give yourself that time to think, worry, and analyse. Once the timer goes off, spend 10 minutes with a pen and paper, writing down all the things that are worrying you, stressing you, or giving you anxiety.
5. Stop waiting for perfection.
This is a big one. For all of us who are waiting for perfection, we can stop waiting right now. Being ambitious is great but aiming for perfection is unrealistic, impractical, and debilitating.“This needs to be perfect” is the moment you need to remind yourself, “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”