How can you tell if you are over thinking?
First, let’s define the concept of over thinking. Symptoms include: Having lots of “what ifs”, feeling emotionally torn by the subject of your thoughts, ruminating and dwelling on negative thoughts.
No one is immune to over thinking. Getting a handle on over thinking may be easier when we think about the times we have a tendency to over think.
Times we Over Think
When we are tired – Over thinking happens when we are tired, out of energy and running out of steam. When this happens, we tend to stray on tangents and become unfocused. When we are tired all we really need is to do is take a break. Coming back later and taking a look at a “strange” email or paragraph in a technical journal may be the most productive thing we can do.
When the material is very complex – Reading or researching difficult or complex topics can sometimes cause us to over think. The key here is to take a short break to free the mind.
When we have an emotional attachment to the outcome – When we have a deep attachment to the outcome of a situation or project may cause us to want to ruminate and make the “best” decisions. Realizing this from the start or onset can help you set boundaries with your thinking.
When we are at a certain point in our day – Are you a day over thinker or a night over thinker? Being aware is a step to reduce over thinking.
Once we can identify the over thinking times and our specific tendencies we are more likely to reduce our over thinking. This knowledge of ourselves will make us more productive.
The Pluses of Over thinking
According to an article last year in US Today, Israeli researchers have found that over thinking in later life may reduce the onset of dementia.
Stop Over Thinking
To reduce over thinking, be aware, set boundaries and time limits. Other techniques are focusing on other things or taking regular short breaks.