You need to make a decision about a simple matter, but you keep thinking about the pros and cons, discussing the matter in your mind and thinking about totally different matters. You just can’t arrive to a decision.
Every time you want to make up your mind other thoughts and ideas pop up, and you spend time exploring them. You just cannot make up your mind.
Are you familiar with this situation?
It might seem strange, but often, the first thought is the right one, but the mind is not convinced and continues exploring other options and other ways.
As times passes, it becomes more difficult to make up the mind. More and more thoughts, ideas and options flow into your mind, until you feel your mind is going to explode. You are overwhelmed with thoughts and you cannot stop them.
It’s like trying to sail on small boat in an ocean with giant waves, and being helplessly tossed around with no control of the boat.
This is overthinking – the habit of the mind to overthink, which sometimes just complicates matters.
Overthinking occurs not only with important matters that need thinking and analyzing, but also with simple decisions that have no real importance. Too often, people overthink about simple and minor matters that don’t require more than a few seconds of thinking. They just are not able to stop thinking.
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This happens when you want to go to a movie, but just can’t make up your mind which one to see, or when you want to buy a pair of trousers, but are not able to make up your mind which pair of trousers to buy.
Overthinking also happens when you need to make your mind what kind of job to seek, decide about renting or buying a house, or what to choose from a menu at a restaurant.
In all these situations the mind keeps thinking, instead of deciding and getting through with the matter. If you don’t stop this habit, it will get stronger and stronger.
Overthinking occurs not only when you need to make up your mind, but in almost every situation in life. This is a sort of unstoppable activity that goes on all day long, and sometimes at night, not allowing you to sleep, one thought following the other, without a moment of rest.
You are not always aware of this habit, because it is an automatic habit.
Most people regard overthinking as a natural activity, and become aware of it, only when they need to focus, study, make decisions, or finish a certain task in time. Then, they become aware of the habit of overthinking, and how their mind just keep discussing, analyzing, commenting, and moving from one thought to another.
At these times, they see how uncontrollable the mind is. They discover that they are not able to stop this restless activity of their thoughts, relax their mind, and focus on the matter at hand.
Thinking is a useful activity, but overthinking is not a productive activity. It just tires the mind and gets you nowhere.
Overthinking is a habit that prevents you from living in present, focusing on what you are doing and enjoying life.
Tips to Help You Overcome Overthinking
- Try to focus on what you are doing at current moment.
- Try to be aware of what is going on in your mind.
- When you need to make a minor decision, set a time limit, by which you need to make this decision, one minute, five minutes or more, depending on the subject of the decision.
- Stop and think, do you really need to think all these thoughts?
- When your mind is overwhelmed with thoughts, do something else. Go for a walk, meet friends or watch a movie, This will take away your mind from the topic you are thinking about.
- Engage yourself in a hobby.
If you want to learn to calm down your mind and overcome the habit of overthinking, I suggest you read and study, and implement the advice, guidance in the book Peace of Mind in Daily Life.
I suggest you also read the articles about concentration at this website, as well as the articles about peace of mind. These articles, together with the book mentioned above, will take you a long way toward a state of inner peace and control of the habit of overthinking.