Put a STOP to Overthinking


Conquer Overthinking

Do you dwell or worry incessantly about the same things over and over? Are you afraid to make decisions out of fear of making the wrong ones? If overthinking every detail and decision is leading to decreased productivity and poor mental health, you may be experiencing rumination, future tripping and/or analysis paralysis.

Here are seven strategies to put a stop to the mental gymnastics of self-doubt, worry and fear so that you can make quick decisions, avoid second-guessing and reach your full potential.

Practice Self-Awareness and Mindfulness

It’s not uncommon to find yourself so deep into overthinking autopilot that you don’t realize you are doing it. Make an effort to become more conscious of your thoughts and thought patterns so you can recognize when you are falling into the rabbit hole. And, if you are already deep into your downward spiral, try bringing your awareness back to the present moment by acknowledging your thoughts but shifting your focus back to your feelings, physical sensations and environment. Mindfulness is often not a one and done, but a constant practice of bringing yourself back to center. 

Ditch the Negative Self-Talk

We all make mistakes, but while some people are able to move on from them, overthinkers often beat themselves up over and over and over again. If you are stuck in this self-destructive cycle, try taking a step back and looking at the situation from an outsider’s perspective. By distancing yourself from yourself, you will be able to gain clarity into the situation and your next steps. 

Put On Your Rose-Colored Glasses

Negativity breeds more negativity. If you are feeling stuck in a rut with no clear vision, it may be time to reframe your mindset. To start, cut yourself a break and think about what you would tell your younger self or a colleague in a similar situation. We’re betting you probably wouldn’t be as hard on them. Show yourself the same compassion to reframe your response and gain perspective on the situation that is causing you distress.

Keep Moving Forward

Standing, paralyzed at a crossroad will get you nowhere. While neither path may seem like the perfect answer, one will better meet your needs. If you are prone to analysis paralysis, try making a list of your top priorities or criteria that need to be met from your decision. When it’s time to make that decision, move forward with the one that best satisfies your criteria.

Set Deadlines

Allowing yourself more time to (over)think doesn’t always lead to better decision making. Set limits around the time you allow yourself to research solutions and if there is someone waiting on your decision, create accountability by letting them know when they should expect to hear from you. 

Trust Yourself

Your body will give you signals when something feels right or wrong. And, while not a perfect science, your initial gut reaction is usually right. It’s when we start overanalyzing situations that things get blurry. Your own intuition combined with analytical thinking will lead you to the best possible decision. 

Conserve Your Mental Energy

Some things just aren’t worth your time or energy. We make tens of thousands of decisions every day which often leads to decision fatigue. And when we are fatigued, we often don’t think clearly leading to indecision and overthinking. Decide what warrants your headspace and try to make bigger decisions earlier in the day before burnout sets in. 

Finally, know that you are not expected to be perfect… you are only human after all. You will make good and bad decisions, but if you can let go of the mental spiral and work towards progress, not perfection, you will begin to trust yourself more. 

Missed the livestream event? For more from LMSW And Best-Selling Author, Melody Wilding, catch the session on-demand. 



Read: Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work

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