What is holding people back from the life that they truly want to live?
They overthink every little problem until it becomes bigger and scarier than it actually is. They overthink positive things until they don’t look so positive anymore.
Over thinkers are plagued by distressing thoughts—and their inability to get out of their own heads leaves them in a state of constant anguish.
Keep the focus on active problem-solving
Dwelling on your problems isn’t helpful, but looking for solutions is. Ask yourself what steps you can take to learn from a mistake or avoid a future problem. Instead of asking why something happened, ask yourself what you can do about it.
Set short time limits for decisions
If you do not have a time-limit for when you must make a decision and take action then you can just keep turning your thoughts around and around and view them from all angles in your mind for a very long time.
So, learn to become better at making decisions and to spring into action by setting deadlines in your daily life. No matter if it’s a small or bigger decision.
Notice you’re thinking
One such tool is calling out your thoughts as just that – thoughts. For instance, turn “I’m a bad parent” into, “I notice I’m thinking I’m a bad parent.” “Step back and observe your thoughts rather than … believing your thoughts are facts.”
To take it a step further, search for a fact that proves your thought wrong, or ask yourself how you’ll cope if the thought is right, suggests Martin Antony, a professor of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto and co-author of “The Anti-Anxiety Workbook.” For example, if you’re anxious about a date, remember a time one went well and, if this one doesn’t, consider it good practice.
You can’t have a regretful thought and a grateful thought at the same time, so why not spend the time positively? Every morning and every evening, make a list of what you are grateful for. Get a gratitude buddy and exchange lists so you have a witness to the good things that are around you.
Overthinking is something that can happen to anyone. But if you have a great system for dealing with it you can at least ward off some of the negative, anxious, stressful thinking and turn it into something useful, productive, and effective.
Tell me in the comments below – What is your favorite way to relax and stop your mind from overthinking?
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