Updated: Dec 9, 2021
What if they do not like my presentation?
What if he or she leaves me?
Why did he say that in front of everyone? Why did he had to do that?
Why is my aptitude for this subject not good?
What can I say to them to make a good argument?
How do I reverse the situation?
Could I have done better?
These are just some of the million questions that we over-thinkers face on a daily basis. Some might say on a minute to minute basis!
Does not matter if you are a man or a woman, extrovert or an introvert, emotionally resilient or sensitive, the claws or over thinking can keep to choked up till you want to scream your pain out.
I have been there. In the endless turmoil of repeating old events in my mind, re-enacting situations in my mind, being anxious about things that maybe never took place. I am afraid many of you can relate!
But coming back to the point, what can you possibly do to free your mind from these thoughts which should take a back seat and instead should let you get some real work done. Here are some tips that I found helpful.
1. Keep a thought diary
Note down all the dysfunctional, repetitive thoughts that enter your mind and reflect on them. Weigh their credibility and try to label them appropriately as wanted or unwanted, so next time any thought comes to your mind, you instantly know that it has to be discarded. So you might try to distract yourself when this happens.
2. Five by five rule
Would this thought or worry be significant after the next five years or even months? If no, then why give more than 5 minutes pondering over this thing!
3. Focus on the solution rather than the problem.
Instead of cribbing about the problem that you have faced in the past or maybe imagining a problem that you might face in the future try to focus on the intervention that can be done to avoid bad consequences due to the problem that you feel threatened with. Prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best.
4. Don't stress about getting rid of unwanted thoughts.
This increases the overall stress that you face while having these thoughts. Let them float around you and ignore them, distract yourself, reflect on them but never feel guilt or stress about them. Human mind is a complex machinery and you are not perfect, nobody is. So it is okay to feel that you are not in control sometimes. It is not necessary to always be!
5. Cultivate a hobby
Directing your extra mental and physical energy towards something which gives gives you happiness is a double boost to you! This keeps you busy and gives you a good feeling about your day and yourself.
6. In a healthy body resides a healthy mind.
To fight the habit of over thinking, taking unnecessary stress over hypothetical scenarios, you need a strong mind and a calm and healthy body. For this ensure that you do minimum 10 minutes of meditation, half an hour of physical activity and a balanced diet every day.
7. Talk to a friend
Sometimes we find it difficult to self assess our thoughts, and talking to a friend, recieving a healthy amount of empathy may just calm down your body and soul. Just keep in mind that the person that you share your problem with is a genuine friend with a positive outlook towards things.
8. Accept that Life is unpredictable.
No matter how much we plan life, train ourselves, guide others, love someone; our relationships, our career our own personality is subject to fate after a point. No matter how much we plan and implement, we can not possibly predict every thing in our life and that creates a possibility of varied outcomes. Hence, we should also know how to sit back and enjoy the show!