Stop Overthinking And Become Productive

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Stop Overthinking And Become Productive

Why Too Much Thinking Blocks Us - And How We Can Free Ourselves From It

Paul Knulst  in  Self Improvement Jul 28, 2023 4 min read


You probably heard of people who worry about every little thing. Perhaps you belong to this type of person yourself, who is also referred to as a so-called overthinker. The problem with this, however, is that such people make themselves slaves to their own thoughts and can get lost in veritable thought spirals. But there are some useful and sensible tricks on how you can tackle overthinking.

What exactly is overthinking?

Before you find out what you can do against the negative thoughts spiraling in your head, you should first be aware of what so-called overthinking is. Occasional headaches are perfectly normal and human. Everyone thinks about what can and cannot be from time to time. It doesn't matter whether it's during an upcoming job interview or before an exam situation.

Merely overthinking certain situations and decisions is not in itself a bad thing either. Of course, you should weigh certain things and think about the potential consequences that certain actions can bring. However, overthinkers tend to so-called “overanalyze”. This means that such people keep racking their brains over certain situations and going through them over and over again.

People who tend to overthink get lost in such theoretical trains of thought. Thought constructs are spun, which become more and more abstruse and put people in metaphorical chains. Overthinking serves no useful purpose here, doing more harm than good. Overthinkers get lost in their thought constructs and develop veritable spirals of negative thoughts. This prevents personal progress and ensures that only the negative aspects are taken into account, while the positive is no longer considered at all.

Of course, this rethinking can also be something positive, for example, if you keep thinking about a positive event in the near future and play it out in your head over and over again. In this way, you develop and strengthen a certain anticipation, which of course represents a positive feeling. However, this is very rarely the case with real overthinkers. Such people tend to get lost in negative thought spirals or, through their way of thinking, ensure that initially, positive thoughts develop into negative thought processes.

What you can do about overthinking

If you have now noticed that you are one of those people who get lost in negative thought spirals and block themselves with them, then you don't need to panic right away. Because there are actually some easy tips and tricks on how you can easily overcome this compulsive negative thinking. You just have to be willing and have some patience.

Discard superstitions

Many negative thoughts result from religious superstitions and false beliefs. This is not to say that you should demonize religion in general, but you should not let it rule you and your life. Because people often look for explanations for more complex situations in the supernatural, since these situations are not otherwise tangible for them at that moment. The problem with this, however, is that you are blocking your own path to rational thinking. So you make yourself a slave to your own negative thoughts and superstitions. When you break these superstitions, you'll find that dealing with certain negative thoughts and situations becomes amazingly easier.

Thoughts are not facts

Everything that's in your head and makes up your thoughts doesn't correspond to reality. These are just theoretical approaches and scenarios that you have imagined for yourself. You should definitely internalize this fact. This may sound extremely banal at first, but once you get lost in such a negative thought spiral, you will no longer remember that all these scenarios do not really exist in your head. Therefore, try to make yourself aware that thoughts are not the real world, but merely a construct from your own head.

The challenge of negative thoughts

That already leads you to the next point. The direct confrontation with your negative thoughts. Because every time you catch yourself overthinking, it's time to challenge the bad thoughts head-on. Face them instead of running away from them. Here, too, make yourself aware that these thoughts do not reflect reality and are merely constructions of your head. You can handle this, for example, by eliminating certain scenarios with rational and fact-based explanations. So you make it clear to yourself again that these are just scenarios from your head and by no means reality.

Don't misinterpret your concern

Finally, remember that a healthy amount of worrying is by no means a bad thing. Of course, you shouldn't walk through your life with rose-tinted glasses and worry about nothing anymore. Of course, a healthy balance needs to be found here.

A person who does not think about anything and does not question his own actions lives just as dangerously as someone who suffers from extreme overthinking.

So some concern about certain things is important and absolutely necessary.

However, you should be careful not to let your worries guide you again.

Closing Notes

I personally think that overthinking can be a daunting and self-limiting habit that traps everyone in negative thought spirals. This will hinder personal growth and block rational thinking. It is very important to be aware of the difference between healthy contemplation and harmful overanalysis.

Discarding overthinking superstition and understanding that thoughts are not facts but constructs of the mind can break you free from the chains of overthinking. An important approach is directly confronting negative thoughts and challenging them with rational explanations. This will remind you that worries do not define reality.

But, keep in mind, that it is a natural behavior to have some level of concern, as it keeps you grounded and aware. Finding a balance between thoughtful considerations and excessive worry is very important to get a healthier mindset.

With all these "tricks" and exercises I explained in this article, overthinkers should begin to regain control over their thoughts which will lead to a more fulfilling and positive life.

Remember, it takes time and patience to master all techniques but it is possible!

What do you think about the topic? Are you an overthinker yourself? What consequences has it had for you in the past to overthink a situation? Is there anything else an overthinker should do? Also, do you have any questions?

I would love to hear your feedback, your thoughts and answer all your questions. Please share everything in the comments.

Feel free to connect with me on Medium, LinkedIn, Twitter, and GitHub.

Thank you for reading, and Stop Overthinking! ⛔🧠⛔🧠

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By Paul Knulst

I'm a husband, dad, lifelong learner, tech lover, and Senior Engineer working as a Tech Lead. I write about projects and challenges in IT.