Tips on how to kick the overthinking habit from Richard Paterson of Think Less and Grow Rich:
1. Become consciously aware. Most of our overthinking happens on autopilot. The first step to freeing yourself is to notice when you are doing it. When you catch yourself fretting about the future or agonizing over a simple decision, stop for a moment, take a breath and gently acknowledge, “OK. This is what is happening just now.” Bringing your thought patters into the light of awareness is an important first step.
2. Drop your resistance. The more you resist and fight the mind, the more overwhelming and all-consuming it becomes. Resistance creates more ammunition for the overthinking mind. If your patterns are there anyway, it is better to work with them than struggle against them. Step back and watch them objectively, with an attitude of non-judgemental acceptance. The less you resist, the more peace you will experience.
3. Question the mind. Take everything the mind tells you with a large grain of salt. Before you become enmeshed in an apocalyptic mind-movie where you get fired, lose your house and become destitute, all because you missed a deadline at work, acknowledge that you are probably painting an overly pessimistic picture. A great question that will put an end to 90% of your overthinking is, “Do I know for certain that this is true?” You’ll find the answer is almost always no. And you won’t overthink what you know to be untrue.