Stop Overthinking it! by Janice B Gordon

Stop overthinking it!

You worry about what may never happen. You stress over what cannot be even through you really want it. You anticipate problems that do not exist yet. You spend money before you have earnt it even mentally – you can admit it I will not tell. You think of and prepare for all the what-ifs. After you have done all this, spent all your energy you either procrastinate the action or stress some more because now you are paralysed by the growing problems.

Sounds familiar?

You are overthinking when you analyse, comment and repeat the same thoughts in continuous circuit, instead of acting on your thoughts.

You may think ‘I have to think of all the consequences of my decision’ but what if this overthinking stops you from deciding and taking action?

3 Reason Why Overthinking is Bad for You and Your Business

  1. Researchpublished in the American Psychological Association found that dwelling on your shortcomings, mistakes, and problems only increases your risk of mental health problems. As your mental health declines, your tendency to procrastinate increases, leading to a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
  2. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Yale psychology professor, a nationally recognized researcher who wrote Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life. Her work included ‘ground-breaking research on rumination, the tendency to respond to distress by focusing on the causes and consequences of problems without active problem-solving.’
  3. Over-thinkers resort to unhealthy coping strategies, such as alcohol or food. Science Direct study confirms that rumination and worry lead to fewer hours of sleep due to the mind no switching off and poor sleep patterns.

The two important points to remember:

  1. To achieve your goal, it never ever takes one decision, it is a process of continuous decision-making, so there is no point procrastinating over the one decision, you always get another roll of the dice.
  2. There are many ways to get to the same point because all the branches interlock. If you are on the wrong track, change track – the connecting branches allow you to go in any direction to get on a track that takes you towards where you want to be.

 I have an easy tool to help you stop over thinking it.

Imagine the top of a beautiful oak tree heavy and full of leaves so when you step back you see the clumps of foliage as the texture and shape of your brain. When you move closer you see the interlocking branches of a tree beneath the foliage.  Now imagine your thought patterns are the neurons travelling along the branches transmitting information to cells and muscles firing-up your emotions connected to your thoughts to make decisions. When your thoughts go around your brain continuously, this is your thoughts stuck on a few interlocking branches and you need to get off the continuous track to take action.

You must decide to get on a track, (any track) because being on a track helps you to understand where you are. Only when you start can you change track.  If you do not start you will not progress.  You cannot make a wrong decision, you can only decide what track is working for you when you are on a track. Procrastination only stop you from progressing it does not protect you for having to change track. You must decide to get further decisions that brings you closer to your goal.

When you are aware of the stuck overthinking, you can visualise the continuous circuit and you can change your thinking and change track. If you want peace of mind, clear thinking, healthy habits and a restful sleep, you must recognise when you are overthinking and start imagining your beautiful tree.

I will be discussing how to stop overthinking on Facebook #LIVE #WednesdayWisdom at 1pm 17th June – make sure you post your question. below and join me on the discussion here where I will be answering your questions.

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