Self Overthink everything?
Kick the habit with these three tried-and-tested therapy techniques.
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.
“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.”