Should have and could have: Can we stop overthinking?

As Tony Robbins says, “Let fear be a counselor and not a jailor”, we need to treat fear as an opportunity to learn something, a new experience or an emotion that could change our life forever. We all might have experienced sleepless nights when our brain keeps on working and just won’t turn off. When we must make a tough decision or even if we are a chronic thinker, we overthink our actions and assume decisions or outcomes. It is human nature to think about things while making decision or evaluating a situation, humans also have capacity to change their habit and behavior. A research suggested that it takes 21 days to form a habit, sometimes more but eventually we can form, change or alter our habits and lifestyle. While it is easy to remember to drink water after lunch to make it a habit, but some activities take almost 254 days to master and become a habit. Our brains are capable in a different way, but we all can make any activity a habit if we try.

Overthinking is defined as ‘’ “to think about something too much or for too long.” I am going to relate it to me because I am an over thinker. Yes, I am, no I am not going to lie about it. Yes, it can lead to depression, but we all can control if we would like to become a victim of stress and depression or not. I am a chronic thinker and not only I think about my action and evaluate the scenario, I often think about past activities and make judgement on if I should have and could have. It is our human nature to think if we should have done/not done, could have done/not done. We think about past and try to figure out different scenarios, especially positive ones if the activity had an unpleasant outcome. We often enjoy when we imagine a better outcome of an activity that had an unfavorable outcome in the past and also relate it with future activities, if similar. Overthinking should be controlled because when its too late, it is quite challenging to stop it, as per experts. I have nearly ruined some relations just because I over thought within myself and never disclosed anything to anyone. But I am happy to say that I found out ways to stop overthinking which I am going to share here. Now we have understood what overthinking is, I will provide some ways to stop overthinking which I have experienced myself.

First of all, we need to be open and speak out. Keeping things within yourself will not only make our brain work extra time but will also affect our social and personal life. Often sharing with someone else, we can lesson our mental burden. We often are scared to share because we fear judgement on part of the listener. I talked and shared my emotions, that is when I felt lighter. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is double. Problems are solved when shared. It is our human nature to want to share happiness and hide sorrow but if we get beyond that and start sharing our problems, we will become happier. Other thing we can do is let go off the past. Overthinkers often worry about past spending more time and energy on thinking about should have and could have. We might have over spoken on a party after getting drunk, but we cannot think about that forever and imagine if we should have never spoken or never had that extra glass of drink. The pPast will not haunt us if we do not worry about them. We need to learn from the past. To live a healthy life, we need to let go of the past.  

If we enjoy small things in life, we will never be unhappy. I wrote a blog ‘’Importance of small things in life’’ on 13 MAY 2020 which can be a very good read to value small things in life and live the moment. If we enjoy what life throws at us and live, we will never get stressed and depressed. Life is short and beautiful to get rid of. However, living in the moment does not mean we need to enjoy all activities and only think positive. If we control our emotions, we can turn negativeenergy into positive energy. We can make our fear our strength and welcome any challenge life throws at us. Another option is to spend energy on solution rather than overthinking. The only way to stop overthinking to find out what is causing the stress and take control of it. If it is related to school, talk to teachers or parents. If it is related to your relationship, talk to your friends. If it is about work, speak out and talk to boss or colleagues. If we focus on solutions rather than stressing on problems, life will be easier. If you think you need medical assistance, do not be late. As per professionals, depression cannot be medically cured, but the symptoms can be treated, and remission of the symptoms is possible. If we control overthinking, we will remarkably reduce the risk of depression.

Speak. Share. Sustain. Savor.

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3 replies

  1. Think! Thinking leads to consciously discovering the principles in life that lead to the formation of our values, which my be distorted. Thinking changes us at our core if we are honest and are willing to wait for the uncovering of an answer or more questions.

    Principles like truth, equality, justice, beauty, wholeness, love, and peace can be put in practice when we ask “why?” and think “it” through. The “hows” come as a result of thinking. The mature thinker learns how to think critically, manage dissonance, and to contemplate without judgement.

    People that practice thinking have a frame of reference that is inside/out. Their strength is within therefore they do not fear the ideas of others. People with an outside/in frame of refernce need the approval of others to feel strong and feel rejected when others do not agree with them. Practiced thinkers rely on their inner strength and are justified by following principles.

    Thank you for your post.

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