How to overcome overthinking? For many of us, the biggest problem with decision-making is that we rethink. We take much more time than necessary and review each option before finally making our decision. In the worst case, we hesitate indefinitely. If this happens to you too much, you’ll find very difficult moving forward in life.
Weighing Your Options
Do not get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with weighing your options and taking the time to make the right decision.
This is especially true when it is an important decision that has far-reaching implications, such as buying a home or deciding what direction your business should take in the coming year.
Rethinking Leads To Overthinking
But sometimes we take much more time than we need to make a decision. The reason is usually to rethink. You know that you think about it when you go through the same points in your head without making any progress.
In other cases, rethinking makes us rethink our choice after the final decision. When you think about your choices – and we all do that from time to time – there are some simple things you can do to stop yourself. So, do you want to know how to overcome overthinking?
1 – Write It Down and Let It Go
A good tip I got from idealist.org on how to overcome overthinking is to “write it down”. Writing down your thoughts and doubts can be an easy way to unload your mind from this decision-making burden.
I have my own way to do this and this will show you how to relax the mind from overthinking.
I’m going to share it with you right now.
First, start by writing your decision options and, for each of them:
- Why you are not choosing this one right now
- Why you are not discarding this one right now
This will reveal what you are really locked to and what is making you unable to take your decision.
Then do this little relaxation exercise:
- visualize those whys in my mind,
- imagine to breathe them,
- feel your emotions, how this feels in your body
- then breathe out and let them go
Do this a few times for the options you are “resisting” to, then you’ll see things a little clearer. Repeat as you need…
We’ll see a variation of this exercise when we’ll dwelve into overcoming Decision Fatigue due to having too many decisions to make every day…
2 – Cut Options
We have already seen that Too Many Options Lead To Decision Paralysis And Procrastination, so if you already didn’t, first reduce the available options.
This is especially useful if you find that you are constantly oscillating between your options and you’re moving without making much progress.
Often this is caused by the fact that you are overwhelmed by the enormous choice.
How to overcome overthinking in this case? Choose your two or three best options and ignore the rest. Remember that you CAN let go a few options, it’s not a life and death matter. And if it is, deciding will benefit you much more than not deciding.
Making your final decision will be much more comfortable and you will not be distracted from everything else.
3 – Limit Time
Another good tip on how to overcome overthinking is to take only a limited time. If you’ve thought about a decision for a while and looked at it from all angles, it’s time to pressure yourself and make the decision. Grab an egg timer, a watch or your smartphone timer app and decide within a minute.
Right. You can decide yourself within 60 seconds or less. If that sounds too daunting, give yourself five minutes to see if this works. If not, we recommend reducing the time to 60 seconds or less. It’s amazing how much a countdown timer, with just a few seconds left, can clear your mind and guide you to the right decision.
Then Take Action and Stick With It
These three strategies on how to overcome overthinking are essentials tools to move forward. But the most important tips is the fourth one: to stop overthinking, just suspend thinking, look forward, start action.
If you have made your choice, stick to it unless there is a very good reason not to. Looking back and tormenting about your choices are a waste of time and will continue to make you think about your future decisions. Instead, spend your time and energy implementing your decision.
Taking action will give better understanding of what’s happening, clearer vision, learning and momentum.
So, how to stop overthinking? Every time you are tempted to overthink, just use that time to take another step forward.
Overaction is much better than overthinking. Moving forward in life is much better than struggling back. Trust me. Your time is much better used.
See you next time!