Do you replay a situation ample number of times in your mind, thinking about its positives and negatives, revaluating it several times to understand the what, why, how, when behind it?
The situation can be something which has happened with you in the past like maybe, yesterday you had a fight with your family member or it can even be something which is yet to take place like your exam result.
If your answer is yes, then it means you’re either performing problem solving or overthinking, in your mind. In order to understand the difference between the two you need to keenly observe yourself. You need to know, whether you are spending time preparing creative strategies to deal with your problem and developing effective solutions. Or is it just spending hours on analysing problems and distressing yourself.
In simpler words, if you are addicted to thinking then unquestionably you are overthinking your thoughts. These thoughts can be both about a negative and positive. Feeling sorry about yourself or blaming others for a particular situation are a part of negative thoughts and over planning or over analysing a problem are positive ones.
By overthinking we are overburdening our brain. And as a result, we reach the state of complete mystification. Followed by bad decision making.
However, you can reduce the habit of overthinking by following some methods. It starts from being self-aware and taking notes about what kind of thoughts you are entertaining specially when you begin to think beyond required, to deal with the problem. These thoughts positive or negative or even both. You need to recognize which type of situations you generally overthink about.
Once you have understood the type and frequency of thoughts. You are half way through. The next step needs you to try and clear your mind. You may try mindfulness meditation. It helps you to observe your wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved in the thoughts instead its just observing how the thoughts and the feelings move in a particular pattern. It will give you peace and help you clear you recurring thoughts. These days there are many applications with audios which helps clearing one’s headspace.
Last but not the least, the most significant step is to live in the present! Raise your awareness throughout the day by making a to-do list, follow a schedule. It will give you less time to indulge in long hours of meaningless thinking and help you to increase your productivity. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment and stop thinking about yesterday or tomorrow.