It’s an extremely common human trait, but thinking on an issue too much can often do more harm than good. Whether it’s in my personal or professional life, I do it too, sometimes dwelling on a problem until it becomes an obsession, which also tends to hinder more than it helps. At one point or another during these head-against-the-wall, hands-to-the-heavens brainstorming sessions we’re hoping will be the last, I ask myself: what can I do to avoid this kind of thing in the future?
Overthinking comes with business ownership; after all, AIS Solutions wouldn’t be here if I didn’t give a lot of careful thought to what I was doing along the way. But there’s a difference between cautiously analyzing the pros, cons and risks of something and letting it fester in my mind when I’m well past the point of logical resolution.
WorkAwesome.com, a “resource for people who love what they do, and want to become awesome at it” and a website whose work we’ve featured here before, recently put up an article from Sarah Stevenson entitled 5 Easy Tips to Help Those Who Think Too Much. It has a pretty diverse range of ideas and offers reasoning on how each one can help refresh and refocus the mind, and Sarah starts with an example from her own life, explaining how these tactics helped her find her passion and realize what she wanted in order to find true fulfillment. Here’s what she had to say about how she was able to stop overthinking:
“Not wanting to spend my life lost in the woods, I learned a secret: sometimes the answers to your conundrums are below the surface of the conscious working brain and surprisingly the answer is to stop “trying” so hard to fix it.
Equipped with this knowledge, I allowed the trees to fall away — and clarity returned. Soon after I learned these tactics I ditched the stressful job and started teaching yoga, meditation and life affirming workshops to help others quiet their minds and live healthier, successful lives. I’m happier and more fulfilled than at any other time in my life and I can’t wait to share a path for you to get there too.”
Intriguing, isn’t it? Simply by shutting it all off and ceasing her constant efforts to find some sense in all the noise, Sarah was able to gain a new perspective, clear her head and realize that putting her mind in overdrive wasn’t doing anything more than increasing her stress, which already sounds like it was relatively high. That does no good – but stepping back, taking a break and getting a clear look at things sure did.
Here’s one of the tips she shares to avoid overthinking:
3. Take a Walk
Sometimes, we can physically feel the fuzziness infiltrating our mind. We become overwhelmed and suddenly can’t get anything done. This is your mind warning you that it’s time for a break.
Get out in the fresh air and get some physical stimulation by taking a walk, going for a bike ride or a quick swim to wash away all your thoughts. You’ll notice it gives you a new zesty inspiration to jump back into life.
What’s great about these tips – this one especially – is how simple they are. But simple, of course, is not something that I find comes when I’m already taking a problem and making it more complicated than I need to, so I don’t often consider something like this as a potential solution to overexerting myself mentally. Sarah keeps it short and sweet, but she gets her point across and speaks it clearly: sometimes I end up so focused on a problem that productivity is made impossible from all the buzzing in my head. A quick bout of physical activity, even something as quick as a walk around the block, can help with reinvigoration and offer the boost I need to work my way through what seemed impossible just moments ago.
Everybody tends to think on things too hard sometimes. As Sarah discusses here, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ways to clear the mind and get to that next step. If you’re looking for ways to cut through the clutter and stop dwelling on an issue for longer than necessary, give this article a read and see if these tips can help!
What do you think? Do you find this article helpful? Have you tried any of these tactics successfully before? Do you have any of your own tips for avoiding overthinking? Your thoughts and input are always welcome, so let us know!