Have you ever considered that you might be overthinking things?
While carefully considering a new idea is a good thing, there comes a time when thinking about something needs to give way to action. Sometimes, though, we stall ourselves out by getting so involved in our thoughts that we never act at all.
At what point does serious planning become obsessive overthinking? Ask yourself these questions:
How Many Times Have You Gone Over This in Your Mind?
Considering a new thought or question a few times is natural. If you’re thinking about this constantly over several hours or even days, you’re probably getting too caught up in your thoughts.
How Many Times Have You Gone Over That Conversation?
Overthinkers can’t let anything rest. If you find yourself revisiting past discussions to the point where you have every piece of dialogue memorized and analyzed, you are definitely overthinking.
Where are the Shades of Grey?
People who overthink tend to concentrate on absolutes – everything is either all one way or all another. There’s never any middle ground. There’s no and. If you can’t find the shades of grey, you are overthinking things.
How Important is What Other People Think?
This goes back to the idea of repeating conversations in your head. Typically, we obsess over what the other person said because we’re worried about their opinion of us. If you’re concerned about how the world sees you, you’re already in trouble. The truth of the matter is that at this point, you’re thinking about them far more than they’re thinking about you. Why?
What is the Motivation?
If you’re spending a lot of time trying to figure out why people are doing something, you’re venturing into dangerous territory. Unless you’re wanting to find out something positive (such as how they did something you want to emulate), you’re wasting your own time. What does it matter if they chose to do a sure thing? Unless it impacts you directly, it’s really none of your business. It’s not up to you to make decisions for them — unless you’re talking about your minor children.
How Are You Sleeping and Eating?
You knew I’d ask this one. If racing thoughts are keeping you up at night, you are overthinking, plain, and simple. Bedtime is when you’re supposed to let go of everything and allow yourself — mind, body, and spirit — to rest. If your mind is constantly in the overthink cycle, you won’t make good decisions about your eating habits. For your health, it’s time get control of the racing thoughts!
Whenever you allow yourself to be caught up in a spiral of worry and anxiety, you’re allowing your thoughts to take control of your day. You become a victim of circumstance. The situation happens to you rather than you happening to the situation. Over time, your thoughts will take over your life, keeping you from the things you desire. When this happens, it’s definitely time to take a solid step back so you can restore the appropriate balance once again.