Stop Thinking Too Much

Thinking is a good thing and to be clear, it is something that I highly recommend. You have a brain so use it! But there is such a thing as “thinking too much” which sometimes can be more detrimental than not thinking at all.

I cannot tell you how many times and how many people used to tell me, “Andy, you think too much!” And to be honest I never really thought it was a problem but it was. In a weird way I was not “happy” unless my mind had some problem (usually self-created or at least imagined) to “work on.” I thought that using my brain and thinking was a good thing so I really did not understand what they meant.

Looking back, I can tell you with 100% certainty that they were all right. I spent excessive amounts of time thinking too much and not enough time… well, NOT thinking too much.

Why?

Well for starters, I was very insecure about everything. I worried more about making mistakes, looking bad, appearing foolish, or being embarrassed so much that my thinking was geared to prevent any of that from ever happening. What was the cost? I don’t want to quantify it but I know that I probably missed out on many great opportunities, adventures, and missed out on a lot of the “fun stuff” in life.

When we think too much it puts us into a more passive role in life rather than an active one where we confidently make decisions and act based on what we decide. Thinking too much can cement us to where we stand making any forward (or even backward) movement in life impossible. Have you ever heard of “paralysis by analysis?” It is the result of over thinking something or a situation to the point that we are utterly stuck and unable to do anything whether we need to or not. That is what thinking too much can do to you.

As if thinking too much and that miring us down in indecision and inaction is not bad enough there is an even worse byproduct of thinking too much to consider. When we are thinking too much, typically what we are thinking about are “problems,” and if the mind doesn’t have a real problem to churn over it will create new ones just to keep busy and to have something to do.

In other words, thinking too much can become a bad habit where we are always focused on problems regardless of if they are real or not, and when we run out of those problems… we just create more.

The solution to thinking too much is easy. Just stop it. It might take some practice but when you find yourself constantly mulling over the same thing, and realize you are just spinning your wheels, stop it. Think about other things… or even better just start doing something, anything, to get you out of that cycle of thinking too much. Realize that thinking too much (aka worrying) never solves anything and work to let it go.

Using your brain… it’s a good thing. Really. Thinking too much… isn’t. Don’t allow over thinking or “paralysis by analysis” prevent you from moving forward in life. If you are still committed to the process of thinking too much then at least switch your focus to the things that you want and the things that you want to have happen instead of thinking too much and worrying about the opposite or the bad things that are probably never going to happen in the first place.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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