Stop Overthinking Everything

One of the chief advantages of the human brain is the ability to think of a multitude of ideas. We call the process “brainstorming,” and for good reason: when done right, an actual flood of ideas results. We can then grab the likely looking ones and start throwing them at the problem until something sticks.  But human intelligence also has its drawbacks, including a tendency to think too much. That may seem unlikely to those of us who have suffered from the occasional maverick’s preference to operate purely on instinct, but believe me, overthinking can be nearly as deadly as a surprise tax audit. 

Overthinking actually comes in two forms. One is the inability to stem the tide of ideas before virtually drowning in it. In this scenario, every idea seems equally valid, and making a choice becomes impossible. The other kind of overthinking stems from an obsessive focus on one specific idea or issue. You keep reviewing it, questioning your motives, and turning it over in your mind, until it practically drives you crazy.

Here are a few ways in which you can connect with your body through your senses. You’ll naturally let go of your racing thoughts as you mindfully bring all of your attention to one of the following things for 1-2 minutes :

  • Touch – Feel the breath moving in and out through your nose. Rub your hands on your clothes. Feel the bumps of your fingerprints rubbing over the texture.
  • Vision – Look around ad notice how may shades of green can you see. What things that you’re looking at have a smooth texture? Bumpy texture?
  • Hearing – How many sounds can you hear right now? Listen for the quietest thing that you can hear.
  • Taste – Centre your awareness totally on the taste and texture of your food.
  • Small – Inhale deeply and notice how many smells you are aware of.

Try one right now to see if it helps you loosen up a little.

26 Comments Add yours

  1. gypsysoulsun says:

    expert over-thinker here! this is great thank you! I say a little mantra “Be here, now” to myself. I know my over-thinking is a survival skill so I am prepared for every worst case possible scenario. Thankfully, I don’t have to live in that world anymore but some of these old habits still like to hang around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      And that is a good mantra. So when you are thinking and thinking about something ask yourself: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks? I’ve found that widening the perspective by using this simple question can quickly snap me out of overthinking and help me to let go of that situation. It allows me to finally stop thinking about something and to focus my time and energy on something else that actually does matter to me.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. JBosh says:

    Thank you very much for the tips. I will try anything. I am a perpetual, overthinker. I believe this might be genetic as well as environmental. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      You can’t totally avoid overwhelming or very stressful days. But you can minimize the number of them in your month and year by getting a good start to your day and by not setting yourself up for unnecessary stress, overthinking and suffering.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you mam for this wonderful post.I will try to apply all these suggestions in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      You are welcome Sharma Ji 🙏🏼🙏🏼
      Glad to see you here.

      Like

  4. brijkaulblog says:

    brainstorming is good exercise to tone up ideas filtering out and reassembling these in chronological order. Thus you learn ability of sifting sorting the right ones to implement . A good article to understand mechanism of brain working

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      This is now your chance to exercise creativity. That doesn’t mean you go off the wall! Keep in mind the previous topics we discussed: stick to one concept, remember the importance of fonts, and don’t get too clever. People brainstorm in different ways, but I encourage you to step away from the computer. Sit down with paper and pencil and start scribbling down the ideas that come to mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at sketching. That’s not the point. These scribbles do not have to look good. You’re simply documenting ideas so you can compare and refine. I sometimes get lazy and skip this step. But when I do come back to it, I’m always surprised by how quickly I end up with a concept I love.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. brijkaulblog says:

        A good concept to try run creativity. But Brainstorming enables you to allow ideas to float freely and later on sifting them one by one to suit your judgement ,utility. etc. Apowerful tool to act properly. Anyway apprecateyourefforts to write on this subject much in demand. All the best.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Thank you 🙂

        Like

  5. I am a horrible overthinker at times and others I don’t think much at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Overthinking can become such a habit that you don’t even recognize when you’re doing it. Start paying attention to the way you think so you can become aware of the problem. When you’re replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive. Thinking is only helpful when it leads to positive action.

      Like

  6. I am on hell of an overthinker😥Thank you for this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      I hope this helps Grace. Just take it easy.

      Like

  7. jr cline says:

    I gave it up for lent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      👍🏼👍🏼

      Like

  8. George says:

    Brainstorming with a group or a team will yield great results as new ideas emerges out of such sessions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      While everyone overthinks situations once in a while, some people are plagued with a constant barrage of thoughts all the time. Chronic overthinkers rehash conversations they had yesterday, second-guess every decision they make, and imagine disastrous outcomes all day every day.
      Thinking too much about something often involves more than words–overthinkers conjure up disastrous images too. Their minds resemble a movie where they imagine their car going off the road or they replay distressing events over and over again.
      Thinking too much prevents them from getting anything done. And it wreaks havoc on their mood.

      Like

  9. Damn. You’ve really covered a trivial matter here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Awareness is the beginning of change. Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it’s happening. Any time you find yourself doubting or feeling stressed or anxious, step back and look at the situation and how you’re responding. In that moment of awareness is the seed of the change you want to make.

      Like

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