How to Stop Overthinking

Abhinav Chandra
Age of Awareness
Published in
5 min readAug 12, 2021

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The age of Instagram Facebook and Snapchat stories It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone has a better life than you but in fact, most people in this world are just as lost as you and I when we overthink we speculate that we are somehow worse than others like everyone else has a figured out and we are the ones getting it wrong this is completely false you are not alone and feeling alone in a Stanford University study, it was discovered that most people think others have a better social life than ours. Think about that everyone is worried that everyone else is social lives are more excited people are posting pictures of when they are really happy. They are modifying those pictures to be better looking even if they are not modifying the pictures there at least selecting the pictures for the best lighting the best angle. So, if you look at everyone on Instagram you might think the man they are all these happy beautiful people and I’m not that good-looking and I am not happy. So I must suck you know and that is gonna be feeling sad so when in fact those people you think are super happy actually not that happy and social media is just one source of the problem the central issue is the mental fabrication of problems that don’t have to exist.

Seneca a Roman philosopher beautifully stated we suffer more in imagination than in reality in other words we constantly overthink our thinking is obsessing over insignificant details. It is the inability to dissociate from negative thoughts we overthink is give too much significance to unimportant things pondering over what already happened or role playing what is yet to happen often playing up a worst-case future scenario not only is it a waste of mental energy but this mindset is a cause of a lot of insecurity and psychological stress that can be difficult to break this mental cycle of overthinking but there are some key principles that can help us transcend it there are three in particular which I would like to discuss the first stoicism the popular vernacular stoicism is described as the ability to persevere through hard times without shown weakness this is an oversimplification of a school philosophy there is over two thousand years old in a way of thinking that has guided millions of people from world leaders to world-class athletes stoicism and his true meaning boils down to a set in that there are some things that we can control and other events that are simply out of our control when we overthink we tend to beat ourselves up about the flaws we cringe at our mistakes and we don’t let ourselves be human the only matter of concern to a wise and philosophic. Individual is the things completely under my friend control you can not control the movements of the Sun and the planets you can not control whether a leaky ship sinks or makes it to port you can not control the weather you can not control other people you can not control the society around you there is only one thing and one thing only that you are in control of and that is you my friend will my friend intentions my friend self what are the things that is out of our control are the thoughts and actions of others and obsessing over these topics is one of the hallmarks of overthinking.

We know human behavior is incredibly complex in fact most people can explain why they have certain tendencies and personality traits therefore obsessing over what someone did or might do is a wasted effort there is no use wondering or worrying about what tomorrow will bring since tomorrow is not under my friend control do what’s right today and let tomorrow take care of itself. The stoic philosopher is the man, who has liberated himself from fear the second principle is to embrace the power of vulnerability admit in my friend shortcomings is not a form of weakness that vulnerability is not weakness in fact, I would argue that It is our greatest measure of courage when we went out and asked people what is vulnerability?, we heard things like vulnerability is the first date after my friend divorce vulnerability is starting my friend own company vulnerability is taking responsibility for something that went wrong at work vulnerability is sitting with my friend's wife who has stage three breast cancer and making plans for our young kids you also allow us to be honest with ourselves; it enables us to have greater internal peace Gandhi once said happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony if there is a great internal peace that has achieved when we could be genuine with ourselves we can be both in our openness and breathe a bit easier the third principle obsess over something you are naturally drawn to something productive but something you are incredibly passionate about there is less you temporarily forget about problems as the mind can only juggle so much at a given time It is so much easier to switch my friend thoughts did not stop them all together so when negative thoughts kick in instead of trying to quiet them delve into something else something that takes my friend mind in a different direction, if you were told you had only 24 hours left to live how would you spend that time like me not stuck in my friend head thinking of negative thoughts there just simply wouldn’t be enough time for that yet this is the position/thinkers like my friend self find ourselves in at some point almost every day and this is why I write this article as a reminder to my friend self and hopefully others to break the spell of over thing.

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