Thinking is part of everyday life. Most of the time we don’t pay much attention to it, we just do it. But what happens when we think too much? How do we know when we are thinking too much?
Well a clue is; If you are thinking the same thing over and over again (rumination) or if questions are persistently rolling around in your mind and you are not coming up with any answers or if you repeatedly put yourself down and concentrate on your failings and mistakes, you are thinking too much.
Research has proven that thinking in these ways can lead to depression and bring on anxiety. “Why me?”, “Why do I have problems other people don’t have?”, “Why do I feel so bad?”, “Why am I always ill?”, “Why can’t I get better?” “I am a terrible person”, “I hate myself”. These are all prime examples. Rumination is known to worsen moods and promotes negative thinking.
So why do we do it? Well in most cases it has become a habit.
What can we do about it? Well the habit needs to be broken.
You need to change the way you think. Instead of letting these thoughts free to wander around, write them down on paper. Look at the problem in black and white and see if there is an answer. Write away. This is a way of getting the thoughts out of your head. If the thoughts come back, pick up the paper again. You have already analysed the thoughts, what is the point of doing it again?
The next time that your brain seems to be on overtime, say out loud ‘STOP’ and change what you are doing. Focus on the positive things in your life, your family or friends, your home or your garden. Anything that makes you feels good.
Another tool is to concentrate on the here and now. Worrying about what might happen in the future usually turns out to be a complete waste of time and the past cannot be altered, just learnt from. So look at today and what you can do to make this minute the best you can.
Stop thinking and start doing! Where has thinking too much got you in the past? Does it achieve anything? Does it make you feel good? No is the answer. Take steps to change the way you think and start taking control. If there are things you don’t like in life, make changes. If you can’t change them change the way you think about them.