How To Stop Overthinking: The Biggest Waste of Time!

That’s the simple truth. And yet, overthinking is one of the biggest toxic patterns that people get stuck in.

I get it. I had OCD as a teenager and with pure willpower, I managed to heal the physical symptoms. But the overthinking patterns stayed with me for decades. Yes, decades. When you suddenly look back at how long we leave these behaviors unchecked, so many years go by.

Overthinking takes a lot of mental energy but produces nothing. We can spend days, weeks, or months thinking back and forth about a decision. This can cause huge paralysis analysis, which ends up becoming a comfort zone where many stop and never move forward. But if you have the energy, healing these behaviors sooner rather than later will take your life in a whole new, healthier direction.

The problem is that overthinking is such a subtle and subconscious behavior that often we don’t realize we’re doing it. If you suffer from anxiety, stress, procrastination, or overwhelm, look if the root cause starts with overthinking about all the possibilities. The answer is usually yes.

Of course, ‘thinking’ is necessary to process our decisions but overthinking is not. Many of the scenarios, options, and factors we weigh up are scenarios that aren’t real or don’t matter. This looks like future-tripping, maladaptive daydreaming, or past-dwelling; it either hasn’t happened yet or there’s nothing you can do about it.

Now, we’ve been taught that we make our best decisions using our mind. But the opposite is true: our bodies give us the most sincere, micro-reaction as to what we really want (if you’re following along with human design, this is your Strategy + Authority). But society says that is crazy. So, we dedicate ourselves to the battle of overthinking it all out.

But you’re here because you want to change that.

How Do I Stop Overthinking?

The hard truth is that most toxic and subconscious patterns can only be fixed with repetitive behavioral change, where negative behaviors must be rewired into positive behaviors. It is a habit now, so we need to approach it like a habit to heal it.

So, the first step is to start identifying your overthinking patterns. Below, we use a form of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to help us with that.

  1. The first step is to start identifying what are the main themes that you especially overthink about. For example, worrying about what other people think about you (see below for more examples), or self-doubting every move you make.
  2. The next step is to give it a name or identify and bring that behavior into focus every time you catch yourself doing it. This might be saying to yourself, wait a second, why do I think no-one loves me? Why do I think I am going to fail?
  3. Next, come up with your own affirmation to stop that behavior in the moment. For example, my friends are lucky to have me, or STFU (a quick, personal favorite of mine).

Overthinking Themes Using Human Design

Now if you’re following with human design, you can look at your chart where you might be prone to overthinking (if none of this makes sense, follow along with this workshop which explains where to find things in your chart):

  • Undefined Head: overthinking about all of your ideas, or trying to come up with answers or make sense of everything.
  • Undefined Ajna: trying to be certain about your perspective and opinions.
  • Undefined Ego/Heart: vacillating between thinking your work is great, then being plagued by self-doubt and low self-value that it is not good enough.
  • Undefined Spleen: overthinking about fears and every reason why it could go wrong or fail.
  • Undefined emotions: overthinking about other people’s emotional reactions, the things they said, inability to let go of fights, and worrying about how others will be impacted by your actions.
  • Undefined Root: overthinking about your to-do lists and tasks you have to do (to the point that it causes overwhelm and procrastination). Overthinking that you’re behind everyone’s timeline, or feeling restless that you need to do more in life.

In the coming weeks, we will dive more into quick tactics and healing processes for toxic patterns. But hopefully, this is enough to start your reflections for this week.

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