How to Avoid Overthinking


Lisa Alioto

16 July 2020 28 comments

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?



  • Enterprise
  • ,
  • Lifestyle
  • ,
  • Trending
  • #con's
  • ,
  • #gut reaction
  • ,
  • #gut-feeling
  • ,
  • #overthinking
  • ,
  • #pro's

28 thoughts on “How to Avoid Overthinking

  1. I think I’ve used all three points that you mentioned. For me it usually depends on the situation. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      You are welcome Kimberley – I’m glad to hear that you’ve found success with all those options!

  2. 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!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Whatever works, works!! It sounds like your srategies are working well for you! 🙂

  3. 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!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      You are welcome Denise – I’m glad you have found strategies that work for you!

  4. Thank you for the helpful tips, short and insightful

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thank you Michael – I’m glad you found them helpful!

  5. Great post! The best way to not overthink is to stay busy and focused on yourself. 🙂

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Yes – those are two great points Amanda!

  6. I rely so much on my gut feeling. It helps me the most!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      The gut never lies 🙂

  7. Jojo Reyes Jr says:

    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. Lisa Alioto

      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.

  8. 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.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Congratulations on your new car – and taking charge of the decision-making process, without overthinking it!

  9. 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!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      That sounds like a great process Victoria! Sounds like a no regrets outcome! 🙂

  10. Jimmy Clare says:

    I overthink everything thanks for sharing this

    1. Lisa Alioto

      You’re welcome Jimmy. I hope this helps to the extent you want it to.

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

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I do too – more often for sure!

  12. 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 ✨

    1. Lisa Alioto

      You’re welcome Nancy! Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Overthinking can kill productivity! Great post.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thank you Duncan!

  14. I have definitely used some of these points. I’m such an overthinker myself.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I tend to overthink on the big things myself too Esteralla!

Comments are closed.

Join the community

Whether you want to grow your skills, get picked up by an employer who needs your specific knowledge, earn more qualifications for your CV, or some combination of the three, the My Need to Live community is here to support you.

Join the platform

Looking for support

The My Need to Live Support Directory is a resource created by us to help 16 – 24 year olds find the help, support, organisation or practitioner you need to help them with their wellbeing when they need it.

Support directory

Latest News

Pin It on Pinterest