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The Drawbacks of Overthinking

If you spend most of your time thinking rather than doing, you've fallen into elusive trap of overthinking.

The good news is once you’ve addressed this mindset, you are able to take control of it.

Overthinking is a tragedy. Rather than doing the supposed good of viewing things from every possible angle, over-thinking can send you deeper into a rabbit hole of messy thoughts, and you find yourself unable to get out.

Overthinking can lead you to or stem from other states of mind: Anxiety, depression and stress are a common few. It’s difficult to stop thinking excessively- it's natural, human wiring. We're always thinking of our next steps, what we might’ve missed, what it is we have to do tomorrow- but how do you know when your thoughts are unhealthy, and if it’s time to slow them down?

If your thoughts are almost always negative, you’re probably an overthinker. Wouldn't it be great to always think positively? Of course, no one thinks positive thoughts all the time, and if you do, you’re probably not human (in which case, feel free to email me, because I would love to chat over some coffee.) If you're worried about the outcome, the details, the past or any part of life beyond your control, you're overthinking. It's a good idea to take a mental step away from your thoughts. Ask yourself why you're having these thoughts- are they coming from something deeper, like insecurity, or fear? If you can get to the root of these thoughts, it’ll be easier for you to stop them whenever they creep up.

Similarly, dwelling on past moments are a massive red flag of overthinking. If you’re replaying embarrassing moments, second guessing yourself all the time, or your self-esteem is very low, you’re likely overthinking. These traits aren't healthy for a progressive mind, and the sooner they're recognized the sooner they can be improved. Let go of the past. You cannot change a single moment of it, you can only change your future.

If you feel the need to validate everything, and everything needs an explanation, remember that answering the question "why" will only lead you into more "why's". Forget the "why." "Why" it happened isn't important. Accept that it did happen and move on. Start taking the steps that help you progress past the “why” and into the “how?” How can you make it better? How can you improve this situation? How will you make the next move? If you're always afraid of what could happen, what might happen, what happened that one time... I get it. Life is scary, and full of endless possibilities. But this fear is also freeing, in a way. This is fear of the unknown. The only way to conquer this is to learn to live in the now.

Mindfulness is so much more than a spiritual practice; it's a way of life. Mindfulness is complete awareness of your thoughts that leaves no room for made-up fears and what-ifs. You need to be aware of the way your brain processes these thoughts. Fake it 'til you make it. Force the thoughts you want into your head! Accepting yourself and your life for who you are and what it is right now is the only way to achieve true happiness. We always hear, "I would be happier if..." and "I'll be happy when..." Rarely do we ever hear, "I'm fully happy now." You need to live like you are happy, so that you are happy. Life doesn't tolerate "if's" and "when's." You aren't guaranteed a moment past this second.

If your thoughts are coming from a place of fear, it’s time to face them head-on. Take some time to explore your fear; What are you afraid of happening? What is the scariest part for you? What thoughts are your fears leading you to? When you put these questions into perspective, you'll find that it's much easier to recognize how small your fear really is. Sometimes, our fears are so far-fetched and ridiculous, all it takes is a third-eye to put them into perspective.

Practice viewing your problems on a scale rather than a single picture. While your issues may start off small, they are insistent. First, you're caught thinking about them every couple minutes of every day, until they eventually become bigger. If you're constantly feeding a problem negative thought, it will become a negativity. The next time a negative thought weighs you down, try and focus only on the good for as long as you can, until it disappears.

Don't think, do. This may seem some obvious advice; If you're thinking, you're wasting time that you could be doing. Don't spend your time analyzing every angle of your plan, your only job is to actually produce results and bring them to the table. Anything could go wrong at anytime. Sometimes, you get hit with a curveball you didn't know was coming. Brush yourself off and face life head-on. When you catch yourself overthinking, find a hobby to throw yourself in. Some people drink tea when anxiety makes a visit, others watch sports. Find something you'd be interested in doing that will help clear your mind. And remember- some overthinking might even be good for you.

The world is filled with over-thinkers, over-achievers, and over-dreamers. In order to be a winner, you must decide where you want to focus your energy.

#mindfulness #thoughtprocesses #balance