How to Avoid Overthinking

Life is constantly throwing new challenges at us.   They can often require deep thought and much contemplation.  But how much is too much thought?  What are some strategies to avoid overthinking a problem?

Life can throw at us some real whoppers.   Challenges that top any challenge we have been given to date.  They can often require deep thought and much contemplation.  But how much is too much thought?  What are some strategies to avoid overthinking a problem?

Pros and Cons List

In situations like this, many of us find ourselves making a pro’s and con’s list.  What’s the benefit’s of making a decision verses the costs of doing so?

Why does this work?  First, oftentimes seeing something on paper can be comforting.  Literally seeing your thought analysis can help you realize the problem has been thoroughly reviewed and thought through.

Second, it helps you objectify the problem a bit more.  To take a step back from it and look at it from a more objective, big picture way.  In short, it can give you a new perspective to view the situation and make a decision.  I can tell you many a decision has been made through this strategy!

Gut Feeling

Others find that after thinking through a problem that going with their gut reaction works really well for them.  For me, I’m generally not a gut reaction decision-maker but I certainly have moved a bit more in this direction for the smaller decisions in life.  And to be honest, my gut has never steered me wrong.  Still, for big decisions, the pro’s and con’s list still wins out for me.

Get a Consensus

Many people like to pull in their “tribe” on problems and get their viewpoints on an important decision.  This can be a great way to go.  Often a friend will think of an outcome or aspect to your problem that may not come to you.   This collaborative approach can be quite comprehensive and really be conducive to reaching a consensus rather quickly.   Plus, there’s a certain comfort in knowing that you are not alone in a decision.

How do you Avoid Overthinking?

What’s your strategy when it comes to decision-making? How do you avoid overthinking a problem?  Do you handle problems differently depending on the potential impact of the decision?



28 thoughts on “How to Avoid Overthinking

  1. Hey Lisa, I like to list out the pros and cons of a decision as well. Oddly enough, whenever I try to ask for advice from my friends, I tend to settle with the opposite of whatever they recommend. Guess I’m a rebel in that sense haha! Thanks for sharing these tips! Have a great day!

  2. Great post! I am usually a gut reaction person but also do the pro and con lists. Both of these strategies have worked for me in resolving a problem. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Many people overthink of things they have no control of. We all need to take it easy and take anything one day at a time with prayers and supplications, according to Bible.

    1. Very good point – quite often we get caught up thinking about things that we have no choice over and our thinking about it merely causes stress.

  4. I think I’m getting better at not overthinking and being more spontaneous, especially when the decision I have to make is small. I think it’s about keeping a rational perspective and not making too much out of things.

    I recently bought a new car and refused to make the deal right then and there, despite being pressured by the salesman. On the drive home, I sorted out my thoughts and a few hours later, called up the salesman and told him what I wanted to do. It kept my second guessing to a minimum and made me feel like I gave myself enough time to think it over without wrestling with it for too long.

  5. To avoid overthinking, I like to think about things in a matter-of-fact manner. I tend to let my emotions get in the way of too many things. So, I like to think of it is a list of facts & from there, figure out which “fact” leaves me feeling the most bothered! From there, I work on that part!

  6. I always overthink and research stuff, it wastes so much of my time, I just need to stick with my gut!

  7. Overthinking is something that we all can’t help but do. Our gut feelings are definitely valid! I try to go with it as much as I can, but also doubt it from time to time. Thanks for sharing these ideas on how to avoid it!

    Nancy ✨

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