Over Thinking and Self Sabotage. How to Stop Thinking Too Much.
Why People Over Think
Overthinking or over thinking is when you think too much. You think as much as you need to and then you keep thinking. People do it so they can make better decisions. They want the best possible outcome. However it does not help you make better decisions. Over thinking is not useful. It is bad for you like overeating is. People that think too much are more likely to sabotage themselves.
There is a time to think and a time to act. Opportunities come and go. Time will not stand still for you. Thinking delays action. If you don't act soon enough because you were thinking then you were thinking too much. People often miss out on opportunities because they did not act quickly enough. It is one of the ways people sabotage themselves. Sometimes even thinking for a few seconds is too much. It is important to realize how much time you have to think.
If you find that you are not acting quickly enough then practice thinking less and acting sooner. One way to improve your timing is to stop going over the same thoughts again and again like you are trapped in a loop. Practice going over your options and quickly making a decision. Another way is to do most of the thinking ahead of time. Decide what you are going to do in different situations before they happen.
It is very easy to distract yourself. One second you are thinking about what you are trying to accomplish and the next you are thinking about something else. When people are distracted they are setting themselves up to fail. They can't even accomplish simple tasks like walking. If tasks are harder than they should be because you are multitasking then you are thinking too much.
One of the easiest things you can do is to get in line and move forward as the people ahead of you leave . A person in front of me at the store could not even do that properly. He did not move forward and the cashier could not get his attention. People often complicate things. Keep things simple. Think about about one thing at a time. You are sabotaging yourself and possibly risking your life if you divide your attention.
Stress & Negative Thinking
Thinking too much can stress you out and cause all kinds of problems. Stress is bad for you both physically and mentally. Not only could it cause you to make more mistakes but you could make yourself sick. Some people keep thinking about bad things that happened in the past and the bad things that could happen in the future. Over thinking leads to negative thinking.
People worry about a lot of different things when it is not helpful. They are just sabotaging themselves. Practice letting go and focusing on the moment. Don't spend a lot of time thinking about the past and the future and don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out what other people think of you. Focus more on what you are doing.
Do your thoughts keep you awake? Thinking too much stops people from getting a good night's sleep. They keep themselves awake with their mental chatter. It is a very common problem. Getting a good night's sleep is very important if you want to feel good and think clearly. An easy way to sleep better is to reduce the number of thoughts and stick to one topic.
I often think of a relaxing beach when I go to bed. It helps me fall asleep quickly and it improves the quality of my sleep. As a result I do not require very much sleep and I wake up without an alarm clock feeling refreshed and energized. One thing I noticed about people that have trouble sleeping is that most of them do it to themselves. They make bad choices.
Just Do It
When you practice something you get better at it and it requires less thought. The action becomes more automatic like tying your shoes, typing, swinging a bat or jumping rope. You think less and the action becomes smother and more efficient. If you put more thought into it then the task becomes more difficult. The movement becomes shakier and less efficient.
You are more likely to make mistakes when you think about it. That is why athletes often try not to think. Thinking puts them off their game. There is a time to think and a time to act. It is not a good time to think when you are swinging a golf club or a baseball bat. People develop procedural memory. They can do actions without thinking about the specifics.
If you don't need to think about what you are doing then it is usually best not to. When a person responds in a specific way to something without thinking about their options first it is referred to as a reaction. Some reactions are natural like protecting your stomach. Other reactions are trained using repetition. Thinking about things as you are doing them is slow. People can react faster and get better results.
To get good at something people will do it over and over again until they they no longer need to think about it. Stop thinking about things you don't need to think about. Don't think about what your muscles are supposed to do. Just do it. Relax and use your muscle memory. One of the best ways to practice is to swing at a small ball and try to get it to land where you want it to land.
Have you noticed that overthinking makes you happier and more successful? Probably not. It is more likely to do the opposite. Over thinking leads to negative thoughts and negative consequences. It wastes time and prevents you from doing your best. When you think too much you are less likely to succeed. You can be happier, more relaxed and more successful by thinking about things just enough.
Over-thinking: A person wants to lose weight quickly. So they do some research to find the best exercise to lose weight. One question leads to another and another. They end up learning a lot but they are still not sure what the very best exercise is. So they go over their possible options again and again. Eventually they lose their motivation and give up or they actually try one of the exercise.
Thinking just enough: I wanted to lose fat quickly. So I did some research and came up with a small list of exercises that burned a lot of calories. Then I tried the exercises as a workout routine. The next day I was slimmer, and the next day, etc. In a few weeks I had a nice flat stomach. I did not waste a lot of time wondering, worrying or doing more research than I needed to.
© 2014 Michael H