Overthinking is my downfall – it sucks me into a world of catastrophizing, a world of ‘What Ifs’??? What if I never get my dream job? What if I get my dream job but I’m no good at it? What if I get my dream job, I’m good at it but it’s not my dream job after all? It’s exhausting! I have to remember these are just thoughts nothing more – an imagination in overdrive. The more you overthink the further down the rabbit hole you go, judgement and reality become a cloudy mix of possibles which inevitable aren’t real.
Three Easy Steps to Stop Overthinking:
1. It’s All in Your Head
Imagination is a wonderful thing it helps us create images of pink elephants riding tiny trikes while playing tunes on a purple saxophone. The “What If’s” and “might be’s” in life are no different they are just thoughts created by you! Negative thoughts are usually produced by a single emotion: fear. Once you realize this thought is from a place of worry you can stop feeding it and turn it around. Focus on all the positive aspects if things are to go your way and you will immediately notice a transformation in your mood and confidence. Top Tip: Smile whilst thinking of positive outcomes, it not only enhances your mood quickly but you’ll think of several more positive outcomes and the good energy lasts much longer.
2. Just Jump Right In – Stop Thinking and Do!
When I say jump right in, I’m not talking about the big decisions in life, buying a house or resigning from your job. I mean the kind of decisions where we don’t need to dip our toe in the water, the decisions we can make where the consequences are “so what if it doesn’t go perfectly“, agreeing to go on the blind date, trying raw oysters or agreeing to sing Karaoke on a works night out. The fear of being perfect would hold everyone back – nothing in life is perfect. I hear perfectionism is so overrated anyway – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
3. Rule of Threes
The second you notice your thoughts collecting speed like a snowball gathering into an avalanche, remember the rule of threes.
- What three things can you see?
- What three things can you feel?
- What three things can you hear?
This brings you immediately into the present and you can then gain focus on your thoughts and please remember they are only thoughts, unless you have a crystal ball – if you do please can I borrow it, I’d love to know next week lottery numbers!
“Don’t get too deep, it leads to over thinking, and over thinking leads to problems that doesn’t even exist in the first place.”
― Jayson Engay
How do you avoid overthinking?