Generally, we should think before we speak or act but sometimes we think so much that we fail to speak or act at all (paralysis by analysis) and allow that thinking to breed anxiety. This article will offer some advice to help you know when it is time to stop thinking and move on.
- Know when thinking becomes thinking too much. Thinking is something we need to do to survive, so it is hard sometimes to judge when we are doing too much of it (not unlike eating!). A good rule of thumb: you know you are thinking too much when you start thinking the same thoughts over and over again (ruminating).
- Meditate. If you feel like you don’t know how to stop thinking, you need to learn what it’s like to “let go” of your thoughts, so that it’s something you can do deliberately. Imagine that thinking is like breathing; you do it all the time, without even realizing it. But if you need to, you can hold your breath. Meditating will help you learn how to release your thoughts.
- Put your thoughts down on paper. Thinking is a mental tool that is ideally used to analyze your options objectively. So on a piece of paper or on a computer, define a problem, write down your options, and list the pros and cons for each option. Seeing your thoughts in front of you like that will also help you stop cycling through them in your head. Once you can’t think of anything more to write, your mind has done its job, and it’s time to stop thinking. Next:
- Follow Your Intuition. If two or more options seem equally appealing, thinking more will not make things clearer. This is where you listen to something deeper.
- Ask for advice. You may have exhausted your own thinking power, but someone else might be able to offer a different perspective that makes the decision clearer.
- Act. At this point, you’ve used your mind, you’ve listened to your gut, and you’ve gotten a second opinion. Now you must be bold. Odds are, if you think too much, it’s because your fears get the best of you, and you don’t want to mess up. But there comes a point where you have to “fish or cut bait”!
- Live in the Moment. Once you’ve resolved the thinking process, and taken action, focus your awareness on the here and now. Your mind will be tempted to pore over your decision, making you doubt yourself and worry, but what’s done is done. Stop Worrying and Start Living.
- Whenever you feel overwhelmed with thoughts, take a moment to relax and analyze before paralyze.
- Be neutral, and use the brain to communicate information effectively. The mind and action processor will work effectively when hormonal change and adrenaline flow are minimal.
- How to Stop Hesitating
- How to Follow Your Intuition
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
- How to Be Bold
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