Worrying and overthinking is much like sitting on a rocking chair – you might be moving, but you are not exactly going anywhere. Such is the dilemma of overthinkers. They tend to worry excessively about the things that they cannot control. They tend to get anxious about having to make a choice, or rehash situations that happened in the past or are yet to happen.
Because of their constant worrying, overthinkers feel less satisfied with their lives, as if they are not living at all. Without them realizing it, overthinking is already affecting their mood. Because they often feel dissatisfied, they also tend to be unhappy and feel alienated from others.
While carefully planning, choosing, and studying things before we move into action is a good idea, overthinkers spend so much time thinking that they are unable to do almost anything and that they are stuck in one place – much like being in that rocking chair.
Developing a positive mindset can help overthinkers feel more confident and content. Optimism can help counter our negative thoughts and anxiety by making us see the brighter side of things. Our mind is a powerful tool, and we can train ourselves to develop a positive mindset by following these simple steps.
Start The Day With Positive Thoughts
Philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said, "Our life is what our thoughts make it." His logic makes perfect sense. Thinking negative thoughts only attracts negativity – constant worrying and overthinking of the "what ifs" distract us from achieving a positive mindset.
Starting our day by creating positive thoughts can have a profound effect on our well-being. Whether it be reading positive affirmations, listening to upbeat songs, or by simply being grateful about what's to come can help us shift our focus from negativity to a more positive one.
Take Short Regular Breaks Throughout The Day
With the constant pressure to perform our duties throughout the day, getting burned out by the daily grind often takes away the pleasure of living, making our lives little more than an existence. Overthinkers often fall into a ‘worry spiral' when tasks begin to pile up and they feel incapable of accomplishing anything.
Taking regular short breaks throughout the day can keep us from drowning in worry by turning monumental tasks into bite-sized portions. Identify in which part of the day you can take quick short and energizing breaks – to have a cup of coffee, stretch, talk a walk, or simply look out the window. By doing so, we also refocus our minds and begin to see things in perspective, with greater objectivity.
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It is easy to fall into the trap of overthinking, especially when there's a big decision to make, or there are too many choices to base our decision on. Overthinkers have a tendency to go over every single detail of every single choice. They take so much time making a decision that in the end, they are not able to make a decision at all. Worse, often by the time a decision is made the opportunity is gone.
A positive mindset sets us up to take action. By not dwelling as much on making the decision and moving from inaction to action, we are able to move forward with our lives. Start taking action by giving yourself a set time period to think about the decision to be made. Enough to make a good choice, but not enough to micro-analyze every variable.
Decide on a reasonable time to allow yourself to make a decision, study the pros and cons, and once you have made a choice, stand by it and know that you have made the right choice based on the circumstances available to you.
Acceptance is Key
Accepting our limitations helps us acknowledge the reality that we simply cannot control everything. In life, we deal with the cards that are laid to us, and by not overthinking and overanalyzing the different situations we are faced with, we can make the best out of that set of circumstances.
A positive mindset helps us see the best of a situation, whereas when we overthink, our worries cloud our judgments and we begin to neglect other aspects in our lives. Being gracious with your own limitations can help ease your self-guilt and can make you more confident in your decisions.
Having a positive mindset enables us to get out of the rocking chair and to finally start living as we can and should. Moving beyond overthinking and into the action phase lets us live in the present, not in the past or in the future.