It’s a new month and exactly the perfect time to do what so many of us do: OVERTHINK. While any of us can have the overthinking bug creep in once in a while, some people are plagued with this fear-based practice.
Chronic overthinkers rehash conversations they had yesterday, second-guess everyday decisions and constantly imagine disastrous outcomes. That’s not fun.
Like all habits, changing your thought patterns can be a challenge, but you can train your brain to think differently. Here are four ways to stop overthinking everything:
- Notice when you’re stuck in your head. When you’re replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive. Thinking is only helpful when it leads to a positive outcome.
- Keep the focus on problem-solving. Dwelling on your problems isn’t helpful–but looking for solutions is. Focus on the things you can control, like your attitude and effort.
- Challenge your thoughts. It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. So, before you conclude that forgetting one deadline will cause imminent disaster, acknowledge that your thoughts may be exaggerated. Emotions interfere with your ability to look at situations objectively. Take a step back and look at the evidence. What evidence do you have that your thought is true? What evidence do you have that your thought isn’t true?
- Change the channel. Telling yourself to stop thinking about something will backfire. The more you try to prevent a thought from entering your brain, the more likely it is to keep popping up. Change the channel in your brain by changing your activity. Exercise, engage in conversations on a completely different subject or work on a project that distracts you. Doing something different will put an end to the barrage of negative thoughts.
Here’s to the power of POSITIVE thinking! Make it a great week!
Something to Think About
Thinking too much about something we can’t prevent, also prevents us from getting anything done and wreaks havoc on our mood.