Overthinking is one of the biggest problems that we don’t really talk about. Overthinking ultimately stops us from taking action, and too much of it can be bad for our mental health. Everyone faces challenges in life. These problems might arise in relationships, at work, or at school. But when we start overthinking, we start inventing problems that don’t exist, and we hinder our ability to accomplish our goals. So how can we stop overthinking and get back on track? First, we have to understand what overthinking is and how it can affect us.
Overthinking Can Lead To Depression And Anxiety
Overthinking is the fixation on a particular thought or scenario. Studies have shown that when we focus on specific thoughts for too long, it can lead to depression and anxiety. This is especially true if we feel we have no impact or influence on the outcome of the situation. Depression and anxiety can have a negative impact on your physical and your mental health. That is why it is important to identify overthinking and figure out ways to avoid the behavior. The best things you can do to beat overthinking are staying in the present moment, and taking action.
Stay In The Present Moment
Staying in the present moment is a lesson that many meditation gurus preach. It is key to eliminating overthinking. If you find yourself drifting to invented scenarios and anxiety, snap your mind back to the present. Feel where you are right now, and take note of your surroundings. Push your consciousness into the immediate, instead of fixating on an improbable negative future outcome.
Instead Of Letting Fear Paralyze You, Take Action
When you stay in the present moment and take action, you eliminate the overthinking problem. The same goes for developing a plan and putting it into action. It is only when you fear taking action and do nothing when you become a victim of overthinking. You can start working on having better self-awareness, so you realize when you are overthinking a situation. When you find yourself in that mode, make a conscious effort to stop and to start actually taking action in a way that can materially improve your situation. Worried about the outcome of a test? Study for it. Fearful of your relationship with a friend falling apart over a disagreement? Set up a time to talk it out. When you decide to take action, you gain greater control over the outcome.
Overthinking is a problem that virtually everyone has faced at some point in their lives. The good news is that it is an experience that you can learn from. Overthinking in your past doesn’t have to define your present or your future. You can get to decide how you handle your inner thoughts and your personal challenges, and you decide how they are defined.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.
* Taking Action image credit goes to: TK Hammonds.