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10 Simple Ways To Stop Overthinking

10 Simple Ways To Stop Overthinking

Analysis paralysis.

It’s when you do a whole lot of thinking … but you never take action.

Let’s look at New Year’s Eve resolutions as an example. Every year, millions of people say they’re going to make big changes in their lives. And yet only 12 percent of folks stick to their resolution.

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Why?

It’s not that they don’t want to change. But when you don’t set a plan in place for getting off your butt and taking the steps necessary to making your goal happen, then failure is often the result.

Here are 10 easy ways to stop overthinking and start doing.

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Set short time limits for decisions.

One of the easiest ways to stop overthinking is to give yourself “decision making deadlines.” It’s okay to take some time to think through tough decisions. But most decisions shouldn’t require a lot of your time. Here’s what I do: set a reminder on my phone when I need to make a decision quickly and am spending too much time thinking about it.

Become a person of action.

The first step is often the hardest. But it’s the most important. If you want to change something in your life, you need to take action now. It sounds simple but most of us just don’t do it. Want to lose weight? What have you done today to make that happen? Want to quit your job and work for yourself? What action have you taken today to achieve that goal? Take baby steps … starting this moment.

Let go.

One of the most important lessons to help you stop overthinking is this: you can’t control everything. There will always be circumstances beyond your control. So embrace your fears, and face them head-on. Don’t be afraid to stumble. Because you’ll learn valuable life lessons with each failure that will only serve to help you grow.

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Write down your action plan and track your progress every day.

This is by far the most effective strategy I’ve used to stop overthinking and become a man of action. It’s very simple too. Pick up a cheap daily planner (or find one online). At the beginning of each week, write down the things you want to accomplish that week. Then, every day record what actions you’re taking to get there. Every day one of the first things I do is list out the things I’m going to do to achieve my goals. And when I check those things off my list, I know I’m closer than I was the day before.

Burn some calories.

Exercise is an amazingly therapeutic way to free your mind of negative thoughts and help you keep a healthier body and a healthier mind. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore either. Find an activity you love to do, then start doing it every day … even if it’s for five minutes. Once exercise becomes a habit that’s part of your every day life, you’ll notice that you start to become a better decision maker (and you’ll look and feel better too).

Meditate.

Meditation is a scientifically backed method to help you relax and free your mind. Even taking a few minutes every day and focusing on just breathing slowly and deeply can have a profound impact on your life. It’s one of the best ways to help you put things into perspective and stop overthinking.

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Read something inspiring.

Sometimes too much reading can be counter-intuitive. But reading inspiring words (like you’ll find on Lifehack) can help you develop a more positive, motivated mindset. Don’t just read and do nothing though. The key is to take that positive energy and turn it into some type of action that gets you closer to where you want to be.

Do something spontaneous.

Spontaneity is a fantastic way to break you out of a funk and help clear your head. Many of us don’t think we have a lot of opportunities to be spontaneous because of work and family constraints. However, being spontaneous can be something as simple as trying a new food; going to a new class at the gym; or watching a new TV show. The point is, you want to place yourself out of your comfort zone so you can experience different ways of thinking … which can in turn prevent overthinking.

Talk to a mentor.

A lot of times when you’re stuck, an outsider’s opinion can help you overcome your tendency to overthink and overanalyze. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to someone you respect and tell them about your challenges. You’ll find that most people are happy to help, and appreciate the fact that you respect them enough to ask them for help.

Make a commitment.

Dr. Robert Cialdini says in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

    , “Once a stand is taken, there’s a natural tendency to behave in ways that are stubbornly consistent with the stand.” Commitment is a psychological principle that is one of the best ways to help you stop overthinking. It’s this simple: state out loud what you commit to doing, and frame it as something specific you will do. For example, “I commit to losing 10 pounds and getting in the best shape of my life.” Then go and tell everyone you know, which will keep you more motivated and accountable to taking action.

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    Scott Christ

    Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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    Last Updated on November 4, 2020

    15 Simple Ways To Make Self Improvement That Will Change Your Life

    15 Simple Ways To Make Self Improvement That Will Change Your Life

    Self-improvement doesn’t have to be big mind-blowing changes; it can actually be simple steps to improve upon what you already have to get you where you want to be.  However, what you will need is consistency, determination and wiliness to try some things that will stretch and challenge you.

    Rather than setting your sights way off into the future, which leaves you feeling like you’ll never make it, you can start following these simple and effective self-improvement steps today.  So if you want to make an immediate impact on your life and are willing to take action, then keep reading— you’ll going to love these!

    1. Be willing to work hard.

    As with anything in life, if you want something, you’ve got to work hard to get it.  This doesn’t mean you burn the candle at both ends, leaving you exhausted and leaving your personal life in ruins.  It merely means that when you want something badly enough, you’ll put in the time to get there.  Action is what’s important here and the more ‘inspired’ the action is, the better the results in the end.

    2. Make sure you have friends who you can talk to.

    Sharing the load is important as with any self-improvement. If you can communicate with others and get feedback on how you are doing then that’s great.  We all need ‘cheerleaders’ in our corner to keep us going when times get hard, but you also need to have people who will tell you how it is even when you don’t want to hear it.  So make sure you have a good support network around you, especially those people whose opinions you respect.

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    3. Adapt to your circumstances rather than over-thinking them.

    Sometimes, we can hit a hard period. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or your partner has left you.  Instead of over analyzing the situation, learn to adapt to your circumstances and accept them as they are.  It’s not about making your circumstances into some kind of a drama; remember, what you focus on expands which means you’ll get more of it.  You then don’t become your problems and you’ll feel a lot less burdened by them.

    4. Ensure that you use your time wisely.

    Time is of the essence, some might say; whilst others will say that time is an illusion.  One thing we do know is that you have one life on this planet, so how you use that time is of the utmost importance.  So how can you use your time wisely? Only you know how to do that, but look at how you currently spend your days: do you sit working all day, get home, eat and then sit slumped in front of the TV for the rest of the evening?  Your time on this earth is precious, so isn’t it time to make use of the time you have left? Try something new, go for a walk, learn a new language or meditate but make sure it’s something you absolutely love.

    5. Always be consistent.

    A wonderful way to self-improvement is to make changes to how you do things.  For example, with your friends, are you always the unreliable one who bows out of an arrangement just before it happens? Or are you someone who starts a new exercise routine and then stops doing it 3 weeks into it?  Whatever it is and whatever you do, always be consistent. When you make a commitment, stick to it. It will improve your life immeasurably you’ll feel more confident and happier with yourself, especially because you’ll know that whatever you tackle, you’ll be able to consistently do it!

    6. Go and find your happy place.

    No, I’m not saying “place” as in popping to your local bar or restaurant and gorging yourself on your favorite drinks or food. What I’m saying is to find out what you love to do, what makes you happy and go there.  Your happy place is a place where you find peace, where you lose yourself and feel contented.  Meditation is a great way to find your happy place; it brings you back to you and ensures that you are always living in the present moment.

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    7. Make sure you embrace all your emotions.

    In life you are going to find that it throws you some difficult challenges, sometimes it will bring out your fears and lead you into uncertainty, and other times it will be joyful.  It’s important to embrace all emotions that come up in your life, embrace them wholeheartedly and understand why they are there and then let them go.  Try not to dismiss or resist them because remember “what you resist, persists,” so embrace them each and every time.

    8. Always be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

    The idea of stepping out of your comfort zone for some people can leave you paralyzed with fear; however for any changing in your life, your comfort zone will always have to be stepped out of.  It doesn’t have to be something big, like doing a sky-dive or something just as crazy. However, it’s worthwhile to change something that you’d once have feared, like going to the cinema on your own or eating at a sushi restaurant when the thought of trying raw fish which would normally mean you running for the hills.

    So try something new—it doesn’t have to be wacky, but it has to challenge you!

    9. Be on hand to help others.

    Whether it’s helping a stranger on the street or a family member or a friend helping someone else either in their time of need, lending a helping hand is a wonderful and simple self-improvement to make.  Giving to others is not only beneficial to those you are helping but also to yourself; it can give you a sense of purpose, of contribution and also takes your mind of your own troubles and worries.

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    10. Live in the present moment.

    A wonderful self-improvement tool is to live in the present moment, to live in the now.  It is within this moment that you’ll appreciate all that you have and see the beauty in the simplest of things.  Being mindful of your current circumstances and bringing your mind back to where it belongs will bring about a happier way of life instead of constant worry or stressing about the past or future—both of which do not exist. Only the present moment exists. When you get used to living that way, you’ll never want to go back!

    11. Learn something new.

    There is nothing so liberating as learning something new; it can lift both your confidence and self-esteem and give you a great reason to meet new people.  If you continually top up your brain activity by learning something new all the time, you’ll feel on top of your game and want to share the knowledge you have learned. There is nothing quite so empowering as learning a new tool in life that can either improve your circle of friends or raise confidence levels—or both!

    Reading is also a great way to help you learn something new:

    12. Exercise daily.

    This seems an obvious one, but exercise is so important not only to your health but also to your spirit.  We all know that after exercise, the world can feel a brighter and more positive place, so why don’t we do it more often?  Exercise isn’t about getting the perfect body or losing weight; it’s more about feeling good inside and out!  With a healthy body comes a healthy mind—so start something today. Even if it’s just a daily walk, it’s better than staying on that couch, again.

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    13. Go to new places, travel a bit.

    I’m not saying go fly off to some far away distant forgotten land—although you can if you so wish. It’s more about going to new places and experiencing life outside of your own back yard.  Too many of us stay in one place too often. We only see the same people, the same streets and do the same things each and every day.  If you want to improve your life, get out there and see the world and what it can offer.  You can start by going to a town or city you’ve never been to in your own country and checking out the architecture, the landscapes and the people.  Anything new is good, so get out there!

    14. Listen to uplifting music and dance.

    If there’s one thing that can really improve your life and get you excited about it, it’s listening to great uplifting music and dancing.  When was the last time you really let go?  Let it all hang loose and got into a piece of music and let yourself go?  Dancing, like exercise, makes you feel great. It releases all kinds of emotions and can make you feel unbelievably good.  Self-improvement isn’t all about the serious stuff; it can be something as simple as finding new music, music that inspires you and makes you dance and have fun!

    15. Get up earlier than normal.

    This is the last one, and it’s last because it’s one of those self-improvement tips that we all know is a good thing, yet we seem to avoid it at all costs!  If you think about it, the earliest part of the day is when your brain is most active because it’s been turned off for the last 7 hours or so.  So don’t you think it’s best to get all those things above done in the morning?  Things like exercise, meditation and dancing, which can all be done in the first part of the day.  Take it from me: this early morning stuff can really get your day started with a bang!

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    Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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