“Should I invite that woman out? She is my colleague… what if things don’t work out? It will be awkward to go to work every day… But, what if things do work out? What if this is just a fling? Can I make the attraction go away? Oh, I can’t think about this anymore… I’ll decide tomorrow.” And tomorrow, you’ll go through every possible scenario over and over again.
That’s called overthinking. Your mind works in circular patterns and it brings you in an impossible situation: you’re constantly worried and you can’t make decisions promptly. Did you recognize yourself in that description? If that’s the case, then it’s time to start unloading your mind.
People overthink for various reasons:
- We all have them, and the solutions are not easy.
- Awareness of the consequences. Each action leads to a reaction. You have several options, and you know the outcome will depend upon the decision you make. That’s why it’s so hard to make choices.
- Unsolved questions. You don’t know why bad things happen to you. You keep looking for the reasons in your own behavior and past actions.
- Other people’s behavior. You don’t get it. You are always trying to please the people you like, but they still find ways to betray you. This pushes you into the vicious circle of overthinking.
- It can be associated to work or life in general. You always have expectations to meet and tasks to complete.
From all these reasons that lead to overthinking, you may assume it’s a natural state of mind. It’s not! Overthinking is the opposite of efficient decision making. As Robert Herjavec, the author of The Will to Win: Leading, Completing, Succeeding said, “thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
Exactly! When you think too much, you justify procrastination and you prevent yourself from taking action. Now do you understand why it’s important to change that habit?
Practical Tips: How to Stop Overthinking
The moment you overcome the habit of overthinking, you’ll realize that life is much more enjoyable when you know how to keep your brain healthy and sharp. Here are 12 methods that help you practice:
1. Understand: Thinking Must Lead to Actions
This is a simple realization that many men fail to come down to. Thinking is a natural process that has a purpose: taking actions. The first and most important thing for you to do is to start doing something about the problems that push you into this mind pattern.
If you are constantly wondering what you’re supposed to do and you cannot choose between all scenarios circling in your head, then you’ve already considered all options. Now, you must translate all that thinking into actions. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s necessary. You have no other choice but to make a choice! That sounds like a paradox, but it’s one of the most important productivity mind hacks to learn.
2. Give Yourself a Deadline
Deadlines are stressful, aren’t they? However, they also have a positive side: they compress the process of overthinking into a shorter period of time. Are you still waiting for the perfect moment to ask that woman out? Give yourself a deadline: “I’ll ask her tomorrow and that’s it.”
Have you been wondering whether or not to look for a new job? If you don’t like the current position, then you have to make a change. It’s the perfect moment for a deadline: “I’ll research the market this week, I’ll prepare a resume by Monday and I’ll start applying for jobs from Monday on.”
3. Find Your Center
It sounds like something you would hear in yoga class, doesn’t it? Don’t worry; we’re not here to teach you a yoga lesson. However, we will emphasize the need for focus. If you don’t like meditation, then a boxing session will do.
The important thing is to find an energy outlet that will release your mind from tension, so you’ll start thinking more clearly.
4. Speak Up
Do you have a friend you can trust? Can your partner help you make a decision? What’s the first person you go to when you face trouble? Well, talk to that person. You can both brainstorm and draw some conclusions.
It’s always good to see how an unbiased party understands your problem. When you get a neutral opinion that’s not driven by passion or habitual mind patterns, you’ll be much closer to the decision.
5. If Your Mind Is Cloudy, Stop Thinking!
When you think too much, your mind gets tired. It’s just like a muscle that gets overworked and needs some regenerating before you can safely use it again. When you notice that your mind is not sharp and clear, stop straining it already!
Change the “activity” of overthinking with something that relaxes you. Read, exercise, cook, get out, watch an episode of Suits, or do anything else that shifts your mind from negative to positive thinking.
6. Get Physical!
Of course we’re talking about exercise! When you get focused on effective workouts, you don’t have much time or energy to devote to overthinking. We realize that you don’t have the will to get out of that chair when you’re dealing with serious problems. However, you need to make an effort. As soon as you start working out, the tension will go away.
7. Open Up to Opportunities
Opportunities lead to decisions, and decisions lead to overthinking. Does that mean you should lock yourself inside your own little world? Should you just turn to news, social media, and magazines? Of course not!
Getting yourself distracted from the real world is the worst solution to the problem, since it leads to subconscious stress buildup. Instead of dealing with your problems, you are suppressing them.
Stop that excessive distraction from the outer world and put yourself out there. You’ll notice that the more opportunities you run into and the more choices you make, the easier the process of decision making will be. It’s all about the practice.
8. Skepticism? Okay. Too Much Skepticism? Not Okay!
A healthy dose of doubt is always beneficial. You can’t believe everything you hear, right? However, too much skepticism drives you to overthinking. If you don’t believe that a woman is as great as she appears to be on first impression and you keep waiting to see the flaws you know she has, you won’t enjoy the relationship.
Mind your inner filters. If you notice you doubt everything and everyone, there’s a problem. It’s hard to get rid of this habit, but you have to make an effort: don’t let it take over your life.
9. Forgiving Is Cool. Learn How to Do It!
You need to stop blaming people for your own misfortunes. If someone made a mistake, you should try to understand where it came from. Instead of being mad for days or weeks, you need to forgive and carry on with your life.
That attitude will make you a much cooler man, but it will also prevent you from overthinking.
10. Breathe In. Feel Your Presence!
Ooops, here’s another yoga-style tip: learn how to live in the present. Thinking about the choices you’ve made won’t make the mistakes go away. Thinking about all reactions that would come from potential actions won’t lead you to a stress-free future.
Analyzing your past is good only if it helps you make a decision. If you keep analyzing it, you’re doing it all wrong. Guess when thinking about the future is okay! You’re right: only when it helps you make a decision. If it drives you in a circle with no end, you need to get back to the present moment.
Be realistic: you can’t live in the past, and you can’t plan the future with 100% accuracy. Don’t miss the present by being stuck in such thoughts.
11. Talk Less = Think Less
People who talk less look like they think too much before saying something. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re an overthinker, you should try limiting that habit through your speech. Try to talk less and always get straight to the point.
Your mind will follow, and you’ll slowly train it to do the same thing: cut the pointless talk both outside and inside.
12. Keep a Journal
“What? A journal? What kind of man keeps a journal?” Wait; what’s with all that judgment? What’s not manly about keeping a journal? In fact, journaling is a very effective method for clearing your thoughts.
Try this: whenever you are too deep into your thoughts, write them down. You’ll notice that this practice will increase your thinking capacity. You will give shape to your thoughts and you’ll write them down in clear sentences. Journaling is great because it helps you keep track of your transformation.
When you read through your writings, you’ll realize you’re no longer the same man who struggled with the same thoughts over and over again. You’ve grown.
Look: you need to learn how to be less addictive to thinking. Your mind is a beautiful thing, but it can become your greatest enemy when it gets overactive. Do your best to make the thinking process as productive and effective as possible. Pointless self-talk doesn’t do you any good. Try the methods listed above and tell us what you think (yup, pun intended).
9 Enticing Ways to Improve Your Mindfulness
If your answer to these two questions is yes, then you need to integrate mindfulness to your everyday thoughts. This is not only for the sake of freeing yourself from stress but also to be able to make sure that you are living your life in a way that you really deserve.
Mindfulness is the state of being in the moment and it is something connected to your ability to focus on what is important in the present. Many people cannot concentrate on what is supposed to be done in the moment because they are thinking of the worries of the future. This is one thing that will not only affect your level of productivity but can also make you feel more pressured. If you want to free yourself from this kind of situation, you need to be mindful of all your actions.
Why practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness has many benefits both for your personal and professional life. Imagine if you are always mindful of your actions while you are at work. You will become more productive, you will be able to focus on what is important, and you will not miss the fun of working. These are the things that will make your day happier, more satisfactory as well as enhance your sexual and life energy.
In your personal life, being mindful will help you become healthier and it is the way for you to attain peace and happiness. If you are mindful of your actions and your thoughts from the start of the day until you go to sleep, you will not miss the most important events and simple things that will bring happiness and satisfaction to your soul.
The next question that you need to answer is how to practice and improve mindfulness. Here are the 9 enticing ways to improve mindfulness:
- Practice Meditation by Setting Alarm for a Few Minutes
There are different ways how you can improve mindfulness and one of the most important is meditation for mindfulness. Unlike other types of meditation, you do not really have to join a group and use tools for this. All you need to do is to be in a quiet room or in a place where there are no distractions.
Give your mind few minutes of rest. You can set your alarm for few minutes for you to be able to measure the time for your meditation. Just close your eyes and think of peaceful thoughts. Free your mind from all the worries of everyday life and just let it float in a peaceful zone. You can do this during your free time or you can also start with this upon waking up. If you are experiencing stress at work, you can end your day with this simple meditation.
- Exercise Helps You Mentally
There are a lot of evidences linking exercise to mental health. This is one thing that very busy people are missing. You have to know that in order for your brain to produce happy hormones, you need to exercise. If you are physically active, you are not only reaching a better condition for your body. You are also working on your mental health.
When you exercise, you are also freeing yourself and your mind from the bondage of stress and pressure. It gives you the release that you need. This is the reason why people who exercise sleep more peacefully during the nights.
- Do Something Creative by Asking the Help of Your Friends or Colleagues
There are two things that you are focusing on if you are going to consider this tip. Firstly, creative activities are the best ways on how you can exercise your brain. Aside from this, it can also give you the rest you need from the usual everyday work. If you are going to consider a hobby that will boost your creativity, you are also giving yourself time out from whatever is giving you stress in your regular life. If you want to paint, play music, or explore other forms of art, you are certainly improving your mindfulness.
The next thing that you need to do is to look for a group that enjoys the same hobby that makes you happy. You can ask your friends or your workmates to engage in the same activity and do it with you. This way, you are also making it more enjoyable.
- Get Enough Sleepy by Setting Your Sleep Time Routines
Having a sleep routine is another way on how you can become more mindful. Imagine the days when you are sleep deprived. You are cranky, stressed and irritated. This is because of the fact that the body and the brain cannot function well due to lack of rest. Always remember that the body and the brain do not store unlimited energy. With that said, you have to consider enough rest. To be able to do that, create a sleep routine and make sure that you are not going to deviate from it.
- Lower Your Stress by Reducing Your Frustration
Frustrations are caused by the worries you have for the future and the thoughts of failure from the past. This is one of the major stressors that can make you feel pressured and unhappy. If you want to be more mindful, you need to make sure that you are lowering your tendency to become more frustrated. To be able to do this, you have to set goals that are attainable and you need to forgive yourself whenever you fail. Always remember that failure is not permanent and you can always work on yourself.
- Eat Healthy
The food that you eat will determine the condition of your body. If you are physically healthy, you will certainly be able to free yourself from major worries. A person who eats natural and healthy food is more likely to have better productivity. Eating healthy does not only mean choosing the food properly. It also means that you have to make sure that you are eating your food at the proper time. For instance, you need to eat full breakfast before going to work. This way, you will be more productive and you will avoid eating junk food.
- Develop Concentration by Focusing on Your Breaths
There is one way on how you can free yourself from stress easily. Taking deep breaths and concentrating on your breathing is another activity that promotes mindfulness. Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed with the things that are happening around, you should consider this simple routine. Breathe and focus on that. It will certainly make you feel better. Do this for few minutes every day and you will see the positive effect on yourself and your mindset. This is also something that you should be doing before making a decision. This way, you will be able to focus more on the issue at hand.
- Set Your Priorities by Choosing Mindfulness Over Other Things
Knowing your priorities before starting the day will give you a better mindset. This is one that that will not only guarantee productivity but also peace of mind. Before you start you day, you should identify the activities that are very important. Knowing what to do first and determining your priorities is the key to productivity. Set priorities, give boundaries if needed and treat yourself at the end of the day for the job well done.
- Control Your Thoughts by Keeping Yourself Engaged
It is very true that stress is something that we cannot avoid because there are a lot of things that worries us every day. However, it is also true that you can always control the things inside your mind. Controlling your thoughts means being able to free your mind from the things that may bother you and still think of the way on how you can solve problems. It is something that you should do whenever you are facing a problem. Overthinking will not give you the right answer. Being able to meditate and free your mind from negativities whenever you have to will surely provide you with peace.
Mindfulness is not only for adults. This is something that is beneficial for everyone. Whatever your age is, being able to control your thoughts before they make you do things that are dangerous is something that you need to consider regularly. There are a lot of people who are experiencing unnecessary stress because of bad decisions.
If you are mindful of your actions and your thoughts, you will be able to avoid putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. Problems are part of life and you will certainly experience them. However, the way you deal with them and the way you solve issues is another thing. Being able to control your thoughts will provide you better chances to solve problems.