When a problem arises, it’s an instinct of ours to react immediately. For non-immediate issues, we sit down and think for a while. This is called preparation, and it’s the thing that makes us so successful as a species. However, when we prepare ourselves for these impending problems, we overdo it. Let’s take a look at how can stop this for good.
1. What is my ideal solution to this problem?
When facing a problem, your first contact should involve acting or doing anything at all. Instead, visualize your ideal situation. What would you like to happen? If a loved one of yours is ill, you want them to get better as soon as possible. If you’re failing classes at college, you want to pass everything with good grades. The first step to stopping your overthinking habits is to visualize before acting.
It does seem surprising, but most overthinking stems from not having a vision. We get so scared and anxious to solve the problem right away that we don’t even have a plan nor a vision. Sit down, calm yourself and write an ideal scenario for the five biggest problems in your life. This is the first step to solving the problem that bothers you.
2. Am I focused on the problem or on finding a solution?
Overthinking stems from being preoccupied with a certain problem. When we first come to contact with an issue, we are confused. How did this happen? Why did it happen to me? Why couldn’t have it been some other time? All of these questions are normal, and you have nothing to be ashamed. Overthinking is human. However, fighting your thoughts is almost within the realm of human capabilities.
Instead of looking at the problem itself, think about the ideal vision you’ve created. As you delve deeper into your plan, you will see plans emerging. Soon, you will have ideas on how to treat your problem and mitigate it, if not solve it. Only after you come with these ideas can you really approach the phase of action.
3. Am I doing everything I can?
Now that you have ideas, write them all down in random order. Next, align them from most realistic to craziest. This hierarchy of ideas will give you a good plan on how to stop overthinking once and for all. Ask yourself – am I doing everything I can? Once you’ve harnessed inspiration from your ideas, give it your all.
The most surprising result of this final question is not the resolution of the problem, but the journey itself. Even though the problem might not be solved right away, you can see progress. This is a testament to your mind that you can do it. The next step will be easier, and the one after that won’t even be felt. Devote yourself to solving, and you will realize that the positive thoughts will replace your overthinking. Trust the process and don’t give up.