Stop overthinking. Whatever happens, happens.
Even though overthinking is a problem, how to stop overthinking, is actually quite simple. Overthinking stems from a variety of sources. From us reading into words or questions to overanalyzing numbers and statistics. We’re at a point where people are plagued by this and it’s safe to say that we’ve become addicted to it.
I know for myself personally I used to overthink extensively. That stemmed from me reading way too much into words and meanings. It’s gotten better since writing for three years and devoting time to improving your craft.
Writing tends to do that.
But I know not every single person is going to take up writing. Hell it took me several years prior to that to even start this blog!
We could talk for days about the sources and causes, but that’s not important. What is important now is what to do about it. Also what exactly can overthinking the wrong way can do to us.
What Can Overthinking Do
In short, many things as a result of overthinking lead to you inflating whatever it is. That or they linger in your mind. Take for example an event or a person that has caused you harm or is a current problem. By overthinking that problem, you are putting yourself through a vicious cycle where you aren’t actively looking for a solution.
From there, this can stem to multiple negative traits that you’ll develop over time. Things like:
Playing the victim card, asking yourself “why me” or “it just has to be me.”
Negative thinking patterns, “you can’t…”, “you won’t…”, “it’s impossible…”
You obsess about or over-analyze day-to-day experiences and interactions with others.
You inflate words, thoughts, and events beyond reason, seeing things that aren’t actually there.
Not to mention there are many others that can stem from overthinking. But the main one I believe is your mindset being in a negative place with a negative outlook. Overthinking often times instinctively moves us to a negative outlook. All humans are like that.
If you ask “how was your day?” (by the way, it’s not a good question to ask.) We make a habit of pointing out the first thing that was wrong that day. Almost every person does that. Overthinking simply makes it worse.
How To Stop Overthinking
Naturally, how to stop overthinking is a matter of developing your mindset and your way of life. Look up any blog post and one of the first things they’ll suggest is some form of activity. Ideally physically, by doing that, you are allowing yourself to change the channel so to speak and focus on something else more immediate.
When I was overthinking things I never came to terms with past events. I kept getting memory flashes and I still get a few to this day. Most have been sorted through meditation. It was done by me looking through myself and asking why I’m holding onto certain things or events.
For a bonus, I want to include a third tactic which is something I hinted at above. That was seeking solutions. This is easier said than done due to the fact that you need to change your thought process.
That’s not something that can be done instantly and can take some time. But this solution is a way on how to stop overthinking and remove it from your system. That is done by thinking in terms of solutions. To do that you can start with asking various questions.
Examples of solution seeking are questions like:
“How does this benefit me?”
“How can I turn this into a good thing?”
This is much like what you’d do with the first tip, changing the channel. You are flipping a question on it’s head and thinking from a different angle. I suggest you do this at the very end, after you’ve worked out most of your overthinking problems.
By coming up with solutions or seeking solutions, it’s different than overthinking. Keep in mind that overthinking is actively inflating a problem inside of your head. As a result you become overwhelmed and shut down completely.
By thinking solutions, you are opening up your mindset to grow and develop. You are still analyzing and thinking, but that doesn’t mean you are spending a large amount of time inflating a problem.
You’re inflating a solution to overcome it.
Overthinking in a negative way doesn’t help anyone.
But I believe a little, in the positive direction , can help. When we are actively seeking solutions together, we are creating innovation as we can look at something and see potential where others could see it as a standard that doesn’t need work.
Overthinking can be constructive, but only in the hands of people who understand when they do it and use it effectively to seek solutions as opposed to being negative.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon