How to stop overthinking?
Overthinking can be very destructive and it could drain your mind. Before we see how you can stop overthinking, let’s understand,
What is “a thought”? Can you define what a discrete “thought” is?
This question was motivated by a persistent brain myth:
You have an estimated 70,000 thoughts per day.
Where did this number come from? How do you tally up 70,000 thoughts? Why do some thoughts last 10 seconds, while others are finished in one-tenth of a second?
Over 24 hours, one thought per second would yield 86,400 thoughts. If “thoughts” are restricted to 16 waking hours, the number would be 57,600. But we’re almost certainly thinking while we’re dreaming (for about two hours every night), so that would be 64,800 seconds, with an ultimate result of one thought every 0.9257 seconds, on average.
This is an excerpt from neurocritic.blogspot.com
Reading this blog about thoughts made me think about thoughts like how we are always surrounded by supernumerary thoughts – some are useful, some insane, some are temporary while some permanent. The question is, is there any limit to these thoughts? Can we draw a line between thinking and overthinking?
Let’s try to find out.
What if I’m not able to score well in the exams? What if the plan doesn’t work? What if I lose my job? What if I don’t get a job at all? What if this pandemic never ends? What if my article doesn’t get enough likes? What if it doesn’t get published at all? Such thoughts keep creating unnecessary chaos in our minds.
This ‘what if’ doesn’t let us stay calm and composed which in return hinders our creativity and performance in whatever we are doing. It’s no different than throwing too many balls in the air.
Such unnecessary thoughts on certain things that might or might not happen – is called overthinking!
Yes, whenever you keep on thinking something again and again until you reach the worst part of the situation, you are overthinking.
There is a very fine line between thinking and overthinking and we don’t even notice when the line is crossed. Moreover, due to this very habit, we keep pushing ourselves into some unwanted, unpleasant, and uneasy ways of doing our daily errands.
Overthinking has so many adverse effects. It not only wastes our energy and time but also demolishes our efficiency and precision. Thinking too much leads to paralysis of our mind, thoughts, creativity, and ambitions.
Dean Smith has explained it beautifully “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times“
So what can be done to stop overthinking?
It’s easier said than done but the most effective solution to this problem is drawing a line between thinking and overthinking!
One who masters the art of doing this can control his thoughts and hence mind without fail. To say it in another way, don’t dig too deep in a single thought because it would lead you nowhere. No doubt one should take time before landing on some important decisions but lingering on a single point can create problems that don’t even exist in the first place.
Even the sharpest and genius minds often ruin their lives by overthinking while the morons win the race with eyes closed.
There is a phrase in Sanskrit which says- “Ati Sarvatra Varjayet” and also in Chinese, they say, Wùjíbìfǎn (excess of everything is bad) so is the case with thoughts, even I would not like to circumlocute this and keep it simple by saying that the devil is in the details.
Hence next time if you find yourself in a fix, don’t ponder over it too much. Talk to your friends, family, mentors, teachers, or well-wishers or the most important person who can help you i.e. you.
So stop overthinking and start quick thinking because the early bird gets the worm.
It isn’t wrong to deliberate, but when the moment comes just shoot for the stars with full energy and confidence. After all, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, hence do whatever you’re capable of and stop thinking about some better steps or some better results.
Javed Akhtar beautifully puts it in lines…
“Kyu darein zindagi mein kya hoga,
Kuch na hoga toh tazurbaa hoga”
, which loosely translate to – Why to fear about what will happen in life, if nothing, you will gain the experience from it.
Either it is your relation or profession, career, or decision – overthinking is just equal to barking up the wrong tree.
My advice to you is just to shed those extra pounds of thoughts and move ahead with a clutter-free mind. You’ll observe life has become much easier.
Loads of love