Self Over­think ev­ery­thing?

Kick the habit with these three tried-and-tested ther­apy tech­niques.

Glamour (South Africa) - - All About You -

Ham­ster-wheel think­ing hits us all. The good news? Re­search has found that over­thinkers are more cre­ative, with stronger imag­i­na­tions. But when you’re stuck in a loop, it’s ex­haust­ing and un­help­ful. And “over­think­ing doesn’t equate to in­sight or de­liver so­lu­tions,” says Dr Alice Boyes. Time to switch up your mind­set. head,” ad­vises life coach Annabel Gled­den. “What you write doesn’t have to make sense – just get your thoughts out, from the in­sane to the se­ri­ous.”

This method is pop­u­lar with busi­ness ex­ecs and pro­duc­tiv­ity ex­perts for de­clut­ter­ing the mind at the start of the day. “Re­search has shown the ef­fec­tive­ness of ex­ter­nal­is­ing thoughts through jour­nal­ing,” says Annabel. “This stops per­sis­tent thoughts tak­ing hold by pro­cess­ing them phys­i­cally. Try it for three days to no­tice a dif­fer­ence.”

The ‘Two eas­i­est actions’ method

“Of­ten, we over­think be­cause we want a ‘per­fect’ so­lu­tion,” says Dr Boyes. “But while we con­tem­plate the ‘best’ thing to do, we do noth­ing, and the is­sue grows big­ger in our heads, which leads to an­other level of angst be­cause we’re not do­ing any­thing.”

To snap out of it, think of the two eas­i­est actions that will make a dif­fer­ence to your dilemma, and that you can ex­e­cute by the end of the day. Then do them. So if you’re ag­o­nis­ing over a work pre­sen­ta­tion, book the meet­ing room and make a ti­tle slide. “It won’t solve the is­sue, but you’ve got out of your head and done some­thing. Ac­tion breeds more ac­tion,” she adds.

stop over­analysing

“Over­thinkers over­load them­selves with in­for­ma­tion for de­ci­sions that don’t re­quire it,” says Annabel. “Prac­tise mak­ing small spur-of-the-mo­ment choices, like just show­ing up for sup­per in­stead of check­ing the menu on­line.”

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