Overthinking is like quicksand. It will quickly immobilize you without the rescue of healthy distractions.
Women increasingly fall victim to the self-perpetuating cycle of overthinking by virtue of their relational nature. This is especially true in the workplace because the workplace is fundamentally an interpersonal setting.
It’s no surprise that overthinking will typically occur around the parts of your life that are most important to you, the least of which is your livelihood.
People’s intentions are good. Overthinking is often the result of someone trying to understand and solve their own life problems. But the unfortunate thing about this type of thinking is it’s really counterproductive. Overthinking pollutes healthy thinking, hurts relationships, and in general, makes life a lot harder than it needs to be.
I know this to be true from my own experience. Like kneading bread, I would replay events over and over in my head and worry about things I had no control over. I was looking for answers, but I was going about it the wrong way. I was actually distancing myself from answers. Considering thinking uses 25% of the body’s energy, I was exhausting myself physically and mentally.
Overthinking makes it hard to see the forest through the trees.
I had to learn to rise to higher ground by distancing myself from the details. The temptation to think the answer is behind the next thought is very real.
Breaking the grip of your thoughts with healthy, active distractions frees your mind to ponder big issues in much more meaningful and effective ways.
Find a healthy hobby or activity that you can lose yourself in.
Avoid overthinking in the middle of the night. That’s not the best hour for making decisions anyway, and lack of sleep will do you no favors. In fact, loss of sleep undermines your ability to cope and think straight. If nothing else, keep a notepad by your bed as a place to catch your thoughts and then get back to bed.
Use journaling. There are many positive effects to journaling. Seeing your thoughts on paper gives you a sense of control, helps you sort things out and provides a place to gain perspective.
Scheduling time to think is another valid strategy to breaking the cycle of overthinking. It creates a healthy boundary between you and your thoughts and moves you to higher ground where you can more effectively evaluate your concerns and identify solutions.
Self-awareness is the first step to all change. Complete the form below to get a link to the bonus self-discovery questions to help you stop overthinking!