Is it bad to think? Sometimes…yes. It is.
Anytime we feel stressed about things in our lives, we retreat back into the world of our minds. It’s normal to want to think about the things causing us problems. Sometimes though, this kind of focus can become harmful. We start losing faith in ourselves and even stop making decisions.
What should we do when we’ve fallen into this trap of overthinking absolutely everything? Try this four-step plan to get back on track.
1. Revisit the Truth
Overthinking has a way of pulling you away from the facts. It’s so easy to fall into the world of fallacies and drama when you’re overthinking things. You create worst-case scenarios and get so far from the truth you don’t even know what’s right anymore. By pulling back and asking yourself what is true, what you absolutely know for certain, you get your head out of the clouds and back in the game.
2. Check Your Emotions
Once you know the truth, examine how you feel about this. What are the real emotions connected with this thought? Are you perhaps sidetracking yourself away from something you really don’t want to acknowledge like fear or guilt? This step can seem daunting because you’re really having to be honest with yourself here as you can’t possibly move past this step without a clear understanding of what’s going on.
3. Decide the Impact
So, where does all this leave you? By obsessing and denying certain emotions, what possible benefit are you giving yourself? Or, more accurately, what are you holding yourself back from? For example, if you’re obsessing about a job interview gone wrong, you might realize the emotion connected to this event is an embarrassment, or fear because you’re worried you’ve made a terrible impression. The impact? You might not get the job you wanted.
4. Make a New Decision
You’ve come this far. Hang in there! The real question at this point is, what will you do going forward? Rather than overthink the interview in the previous example, what can you do instead? Is there some way to salvage the situation? Or is this a learning experience you can apply to future experiences?
With these four steps, it’s relatively easy to attack the overthinking monster and pull your thoughts back under control. Once you do, it’s an easy matter to push yourself back into motion, especially once you’ve completed the last step and figured out from it your next best move.