“Stop thinking, and end your problems.”
~ Lao Tzu
Have you ever felt like you were going nowhere with a problem, situation, or just life in general because you were over thinking? And then you found yourself more stressed, anxiety ridden, and overwhelmed? Over thinking is the enemy of being happy and productive and a friend to stress and anxiety. I know in my life over thinking has caused me to become anxiety ridden, depressed, and paralyzed, which has affected me personally and professionally.
- makes you fearful and fabricate negative stories
- makes you unnecessarily worry
- makes you unproductive and paralyzed
- makes you depressed
- makes you doubt yourself and question everything
- makes you lose confidence
- Sucks all the energy out of you
- Drives you crazy like you’re in a vicious cycle
When you get on the over thinking track, it becomes a domino effect where the over thinking becomes a run away train. It’s like a cancer that starts to spread, getting out of control, and instead of helping you to be creative and solve problems, it makes the problem worse. When over thinking becomes out of control, you can make bad choices and miss great opportunities which could have changed your life. I had a member in my family who lost a great job opportunity because of over thinking, and to this day, she regrets it.
You’re over thinking when the same thought is just spinning in your head, like a rat in a cage wheel, and your mind devises endless scenarios and what if’s. You feel trapped and your stress level starts to elevate. When you catch yourself over thinking, then change your environment and what you’re doing. It can be as simple as getting up from your desk and speaking to a co-worker or taking a 5 minute walk. When I’m in my over thinking mode and start feeling paralyzed, I usually take a walk to my local coffee shop to work. Or sometimes I start to clean or cook. A new task or environment usually helps me to shift my thoughts, re-focus and become productive again. The important thing is to break the over thinking cycle by changing your task or environment. If it’s a problem you must deal with and solve, then you can come back to re-visit it with less stress, anxiety and a clear head.
We are all in the driver’s seat when it comes to over thinking, so when it occurs, put on the breaks, stop the over thinking car, and change your course by pushing the accelerator again to a more productive road. Just by breaking the over thinking cycle, you will naturally be in a happier place.
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living
“Embrace the Chaos: How India Taught Me to Stop Overthinking and Start Living” by Bob Miglani
“Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life” by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema