Overthinking - a vicious circle

Overthinking is an art that many of us master. We analyze and doubt everything from our own decisions to the intentions of others. We ponder over the past and worry about the future. We look for signs, signals and confirmations that can give us answers to our questions. We believe that if we just think hard and long enough, we will find the solution to our problems.

But is it really so? Does overthinking lead to clarity or chaos? Satisfaction or stress? Wisdom or madness?

There is no simple answer to that question. Overthinking can be both good and bad, depending on the situation and purpose. Sometimes it can be useful to think things through carefully before acting, especially when it comes to important and complex choices. Weighing pros and cons, seeing different perspectives and exploring alternatives can help us make better decisions and avoid regret.

But sometimes overthinking can be harmful and counterproductive, especially when it comes to things that we cannot control or change. Dwelling on what has already happened or worrying about what may never happen can make us depressed, anxious and paralyzed. We get stuck in a negative thought pattern that prevents us from enjoying the present and seeing opportunities in the future.

So how do we know when we are overthinking too much? And how can we break the vicious circle?

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: Are my thoughts helpful or harmful? Do they lead to something positive or negative? Do they give me energy or take my energy? If the answer is the latter, it’s time to stop overthinking and start doing something else.

So how can we stop overthinking? Here are some tips that can help:

  • Accept that you cannot know everything or predict the future. There is always a risk that something will go wrong or not turn out as you intended. It’s part of life and you cannot control everything that happens around you.

  • Learn to trust your intuition. Your intuition is your inner wisdom based on your knowledge, experience and feelings. It can give you valuable clues about what is best for you in different situations. Listen to it and follow it.

  • Do something that makes you feel good. Exercising, meditating, listening to music or doing something creative can help you relax and break your overthinking.

  • Set a deadline for your decision. Decide when you will make your decision and stick to it. Once you have decided, let it go and move on. Accept your decision and learn from it.

  • Challenge your negative thoughts. Ask yourself if they are true, reasonable and helpful. If not, replace them with more positive and realistic thoughts.

  • Seek support from others. You are not alone in overthinking. Share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust who can listen, understand and give advice. If you feel that you need professional help, do not hesitate to seek it.

Overthinking is not a disease but a habit. And like all habits, it can be changed with a little willpower and practice. So next time you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you have the power to choose how you want to think.