What happened, should not have happened? Why me?
Who should I share my condition with?
Will the person judge me after knowing?
How to Stop Overthinking and Make Decisions, Take Actions Faster?
What will happen if I do not get this business deal?
What? If? But? Why?
Our past and future will always haunt us. We get angry about what happened in the past and worry about what will happen in the future.
Be it personal or professional, we all think before making any decisions. But it becomes overthinking when that thought process does not conclude.
We keep on wondering about the situation. Worry, anxiety, and nervousness capture our minds. It does not let us reach an outcome and instead makes us restless. It makes us mentally tired.
The effect of physical and mental tiredness is the same. When we get tired physically, we do not get the energy to do anything. Similarly, you can’t do any work if you are mentally tired. If you do overthink, then you must have experienced it.
There are many effects of overthinking. Some are as follows:
- Heart disease
- Stomach Ulcer
- High blood pressure
- Nervous breakdown
- Upset body calcium that causes tooth decay
- Face wrinkles
- Turns your hair gray and hair loss from tension
- Turns down your complexion
- Skin rashes, eruptions, and pimples
- Eating disorder
- Anger and irritation
- Lack of sleep
To avoid these health issues, you should avoid overthinking.
Overthinking is nothing but when you do not think based on reality. You keep on thinking about the problem and the imaginary outcomes (the chain of problems) it may lead to. So, instead of the solution, you think of the following possible situation that could occur.
In this process, you waste lots of time without getting any solution.
I will show you how to stop overthinking. Not only will it help you make decisions faster, but you will live a healthy and happy life.
Here we go!
1. Reduce the Effect
You do not want to waste all your time thinking about the problem.
What if I say not to focus on the problem, but instead on the solution?
First, think of the worst thing that can happen if you face a problem. Then, accept that situation. Finally, try to reduce its effect.
Let us take an everyday example.
Suppose you gave a job interview. After it gets done, you start thinking, “Was I good or bad at answering the questions? Did I answer all? No, I missed one. Will it create a bad impression? Will the panel reject me for that one unanswered question? What if I do not get this job?”
It happens, right?
Now, in this situation, think of all the worst outcomes.
What extreme can happen? You will not get the job!
Next, think about what you can do. Yes, apply for the other job interview. Your life does not end if the first company rejects you. If not this company, then another company will hire.
It will help you reduce your overthinking, either whole or to a certain extent.
2. Cause and Solution
If the first way does not work for you, try this.
You overthink when certain things happen or might happen. There is a reason behind every thought.
So, first, you need to find the problem. What is the problem that you get worried about?
The next step is to identify the causes of the problem. What led you to this situation?
Then, instead of thinking only about the problem, find the possible solutions. Lastly, pick the best solution that can solve or reduce the effect of the situation.
It helps you make decisions faster. You identify the causes and then move towards the solution.
If I take the same example above, identify the causes of your rejection. It can be:
- Less technical skills
- Less experience
- Inability to relocate
- Low confidence in the interview
- Unable to answer questions
Once you know the cause, work on them. It will help you get a better job next time.
3. Keep Yourself Busy
One of the best ways to avoid overthinking is to keep yourself busy.
Many research papers say our brain cannot multitask. If you try to do it, you will be less efficient.
Try it once. Conduct a meeting with your team. At the same time, try coding (or the work of whichever profession you are in). The research papers say you will not be able to concentrate on any of the two.
So, your brain focuses on one task at a time. It cannot perform two or more complex works together.
Now, you will say, “But Shruti, I can talk and cook simultaneously! That is also multitasking.”
Yes, that is. But mark that here, cooking is a process-driven and habitual task. Your brain gets monitored to do that work. So, no analytical mind gets used.
Also, when you do two separate office work simultaneously, you are still not multitasking. Here, the result is you being able to quickly handle two tasks together, focusing on one thing at a time.
The conclusion is that keep yourself busy with some work that needs concentration, not something mechanical. It helps to avoid overthinking. Paint, dance, sing or learn any new language or skills. Do what makes you happy.
Work tirelessly so that when you go to bed at night, you do not have the time to think about anything and get a deep sleep quickly.
4. Little, Little Things
We can’t stay quiet even for a minute.
Why sit idle and rest? Let’s worry about small things.
This is how our mind works. You do not have any control over your thoughts. They will come irrespective of whether you want them or not.
If not significant, then small worries, but you will think, right?
Do not worry unnecessarily. Instead, as I said earlier, keep yourself busy with important things. Those that need your attention.
Keep all those minor tensions aside if they are not the matter to get thought about. Like, “How dare he say this to me? I wish I could look better today. Why am I always sad?”
These do not make any point. People are too busy to remember how good-looking you were at the party.
Still, if you want to think, set a timer of 5 minutes. Think about how much you want, and then move on. No looking back after that. You have other critical pending stuff to do.
And if you want a permanent solution, practice meditation. It will help you control your mind and lets you focus on your essential work. Work that matters the most.
Let me tell you a story. I have a friend who is a digital marketing freelancer.
One day, our group of friends organized a party. We all enjoyed the moment. But she seemed very upset. She was constantly looking at one place and thinking about something.
I went to her and asked, “Hey! What happened?”
She said, “I had an interview with a company for a digital marketing freelance service. But I am not sure if I converted them into a client.”
I said, “Millions of companies stand registered across the globe. Suppose this company rejects taking your service. What will happen?”
“Will you stop working?”
“Will your life end?”
“Of course not.”
“If one company rejects you among those millions, can’t you get the other client?”
“Do you have that confidence and belief in your work?”
“Then let’s party, my friend!”
5. Chance of Occurrence
Instead of stressing about any situation, analyze the chances of event occurrence.
If you think you might not get the job, then think about its chance.
You gave all the answers except one. So, the chances of getting rejected are significantly less. Many get nervous, fake out the answers, and fumble while speaking.
But you were confident, true to yourself and the panelist, and answered all the questions.
So, in this situation, you should not waste your time worrying about whether you will get the job or not. Instead, relax, be calm, and go for your next move.
Never panic and waste your time. Avoid unnecessary worries that are not going to happen. Analyze the situation and act based on it.
6. Inevitable Situation
The inevitable situations mean those that can’t get avoided.
You can’t do anything about the inevitable situation. Accept that it happened and move on because it can’t get changed.
It does not mean you should accept all situations as they are. If there is a chance that something could get done, then do it. If you see that there is no otherwise for the situation, accept it and move on.
For example, students stress a lot after they give their exams. Throughout their way home, they discuss and worry about their mistakes, the answers that they might get wrong, etc.
When they see their parents’ faces, they start thinking about what will happen if they get low marks. “Will the parents scold me? Did I put less effort into the study? I wish I could have prepared back for the exam and not waited for the last moment.”
These storms of thought are useless. I know that thoughts and ideas hook you automatically. But take time and consider whether it is worth thinking about or not consider whether it is worth thinking about.
You cannot go in the past and change your answers. What you have written in the paper is gone and submitted. Now, accept that, and prepare for the following form.
Another example is when someone dies. We miss a lot when people, we love, leave us at a certain point.
Yes, we are aware that know they cannot come back to life again. So, when you get low and feel like you cannot live without them, think this is a life cycle. Everyone has to go someday.
You cannot change it, nor can you bring back their life. Accept reality and try to move on. You have responsibilities towards other members as well who are dependent on you.
Our brave soldiers are taught the same lesson. When someone from the battalion gets killed in the war, they do not leave the fighting and cry for their team member. Instead, they stay strong and continue fighting until they get victory over the enemy.
They indeed feel sorry for those who got martyred. But they always remember their responsibilities.
Worry, anxiety, nervousness – all these and nervousness destroy our mental ability to think.
It makes us so tired that we become weak even if we have physical strength.
So, it is vital for all, be it the younger, adult, or older generation, to come out of overthinking. Its treatment is necessary.
Else, they make us weak, destroy our health, lose decision-making power, and make us restless. We do not concentrate on one work, and our mind jumps from one thought to another.
Try out the ways I suggested above. It will help you overcome your overthinking problem. You will become very productive once you win over it.
You will feel happy and stay happy. And when you stay happy, people around you also stay comfortable. You will feel involved in the moment at home and in the workplace.