How do I avoid overthinking?

I don’t know about you, but I for one am prone to overthinking. Whether it’s lying in bed at night obsessing over trivial things, or doubting yourself on major decisions because you’re overthinking them, overthinking can lead to increased anxiety and destroy your productivity and decisiveness.

It’s safe to say that it’s usually a bad thing if you are attaching to your thoughts. Sometimes it’s best to let them pass and not overanalyse. Sleep on things and let your brain process what’s happening overnight. So, let’s look at a few ways you can avoid overthinking.

Acknowledge it

They say that the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, and this doesn’t have to only apply to harmful addictions. You need to first become aware of when you’re overthinking before you can tackle the problem. Mindfulness and meditation can help to improve your self-awareness and ability to hold a space for your thoughts and give yourself space between thoughts that come thick and fast.

Get some perspective

Whatever you’re focusing on might seem like a huge problem right now, but stop and think – will it have any impact on your life in a month, a year, or five years? Putting your problem into perspective can help you to realise that it doesn’t need as much thought as you’re giving it.

Shift your focus

If you’re overthinking something that went wrong or a time you embarrassed yourself, you’re focusing on the negative. Instead, shift your focus to the positive aspects of what happened. Maybe you failed at something, but at least you gave it a try. Similarly, if you’re spending time focusing on the problem, shift your thinking to focus on the solution. What lesson did you learn? What would you do differently next time? Even if the outcome of a situation is not what you wanted, perhaps it’s for the best long-term.

Distract yourself

If your mind is stuck on one thing, then do something else to distract yourself from the cycle of overthinking. Do something you enjoy that will take your mind off it and help you to relax. Go to the gym, meet up with friends, watch your favourite film. Whatever works for you. You might find you even have more clarity on the situation afterwards. Shift your posture, shift your energy and shift your focus.

If you’re a chronic overthinker, then it can start to negatively affect your life and work. Give these tips a try to overcome your overthinking, and if you need any more guidance in this area, then contact me to find out how my coaching can help.

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