Many of us are plagued with overthinking, which can lead to anxiety or tension around specific events, tasks, or people. Whether we overthink how we look to other people, or replay meetings in our head about how it could be better, or things that were left unsaid, overthinking can cause strain, self-doubt, and take up too much of our mental time. While it can be challenging to stop ourselves from overthinking, it is possible.
Here are a few self-improvement tips to decrease your stress and become more flexible and relaxed, especially in the workplace.
- Give others the benefit of the doubt. We've all been in situations that made us overthink a small detail, such as when someone forgets your name after meeting you, or you've been overlooked in a group meeting. While frustrating, it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt and realize that these small details are more likely accidents than on purpose. For example, the person who forgot your name could be really bad at names, or have met many people that day. Or, getting overlooked at a meeting could mean the moderator knows you and remembers your input, but forgot you both spoke privately and not in a group. Instead, be flexible about these situations before creating anxiety around them.
- Focus on positive changes. Give more mental and emotional space for positive aspects of a situation or person, especially if you start to feel angry or insecure about something. For example, maybe a coworker forgot to send you a part of a project, but instead made lots of headwork on another pressing task. Before you begin to overthink the first project, remember that your coworker still did something helpful, and acknowledge that positive work as well.
- Let gravity get things done. This is very true for group projects. For some of us, it can be very hard to let things flow without micromanaging everything. But if you put more trust and faith in people's actions, you'll find less to worry about and still achieve great results. You can then save your thinking and commentary after the project during a reflection and results meeting, which can be more productive and beneficial for your team.
- Take a breath before speaking. It's important to pause and reflect on what you're saying or writing, especially in tense situations. Your words matter, and when they come out with negative criticisms or attack other people, it reflects a poor attitude and personality. Instead, take a breath and calm down before writing with your emotions--this way, you'll be saying things that are more engaging that does minimal damage to yourself and others' feelings.
Overthinking can be cured by taking a mindful approach to stressful situations, and creative a postive, thoughtful outlook on it. For more information on this and related topics, visit the Self-Improvement and Career Advice sections of our blog.
- Improve Your Mental Health by Paying it Forward
- 3 Self-Improvement Tips to Survive Anything
- How to Boost Productivity by Tackling Your To-Do List Right
- Being Likable Should Top Your Career Self-Improvement Goals
- A Difficult Career May Lead to Stronger Mental Health
- Career Life Jacket: Staying Afloat at Work
- 3 Self-Improvement Ways to Increase Empathy