How to stop thinking about problems and start thinking about solutions? Or How to overcome the overthinking problem.
Most of the time, when we are facing some type of problem, the first thing that we tend to do is focus on how negative that situation is. For example, let say we are driving to the office and the tire gets a puncture. Now instead of thinking about how to fix it we start thinking on I will be late to the office, the manager will cut my salary, the manager will feel bad and will not promote me, Worst would be that I will get fired from the job.
This is a basic problem for many people. Instead of thinking about how to solve it, they start thinking about what this problem will lead to. We generally overthink a problem. Because of this, we continue to repeat the same patterns, doing the same things that do not really work, until we live in a feeling of negativity.
First thing first, worries, doubts, and anxieties are a natural part of life. It’s common to fret about stuff like an unpaid bill or an upcoming job interview and a first date. But “healthy” worry becomes extreme when it’s tenacious and uncontrollable. You start to worry every day about the “what ifs” and the worst-case situations. It gets so bad that you can’t get these troubling thoughts out of your mind to the point that it conflicts with your daily life.
It is very common among people to overthink, as everyone over-thinks things once in a blue moon, the problem comes when some people just can’t ever appear to stop the endless torrent of thoughts. Their inner talk includes two negative thought designs — ruminating and pessimistic.
Overthinking is one of the freebies that come with negative thoughts. overthinking can prove to be a bigger problem than having negative thoughts. It is scary when your mind is constantly in overdrive but down are some very practical ways to find solutions to your habit of overthinking things.
So what should we do? well, the first thing we all do when adversity appears is don’t focus on the negatives and all of the problems in our lives, we should take some time out to remember that Failure and adversity are only present in our lives to help, not to hurt us. It’s very essential to never lose sight of this truth.
There are many problems inherent to our lives, and we are expected to find the solutions for the same problems by our experiences and past learnings but we are not expected to be overwhelmed by the pressure and frustration caused by the problem. We should not be afraid of getting into the turmoil of any sort while we are facing challenges, we should rather believe in the saying of several intellectually refined philosophers who have said that every riddle in this world has a solution to it and similarly every problem has a solution to it.
Taking into consideration all the problems we have faced in the past and we have braved the circumstances and have survived the greatest of the storms, we shall keep in mind the thought that we can beat the coming problem also. Pondering over the problem and issues that we face daily is not something that we should avoid, on the contrary, we should think about the complications but the overthinking that comes as a partner to thinking is very harmful to the peace of mind that we can attain after so many efforts.
Thinking repeatedly about our problems will bring anxiety and pressure about our failures and inabilities to deal with certain problems (although you have faced problems earlier too). The game around feeling so low that one can start doubting his/her ability is that the emotional quotient is being tested rather than our IQ. This article is all about conveying to you the idea that thinking too much about a problem can be harmful and how can one avoid it, let’s dive in!
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I have faced this problem in the past and I thought that it would be a good topic to look into in detail.
Down are some steps that will teach you to change your perspective.
How to stop thinking about problems and start thinking about solutions:
- How to stop thinking about problems? – See this as an opportunity for growth: “All the problems are an opportunity to learn and earn.” To switch problems into a benefit and grow through the hard times, you must learn to see this as an opportunity for growth. This will help you to start concentrating on ways to actually fix the situation instead of searching for ways to blame the situation. You will grow from it.
You see all the great leaders are trying to solve some problems. The start of any business is an idea that solves some bigger problems of life. Those who are able to solve that problem build big businesses. All great leaders have taken a problem as an opportunity which they can solve and grow.
- How to stop thinking about problems? – Let go of worries and focus: Despite how serious your problem may be, the solution is there if you work long and hard enough. To find a solution you need to relax your mind and focus. Many times when we think a lot about the problem we get worried and get stressed. We must learn how to remain tension free. This will help you to handle the tension because of the overthinking problem.
- How to stop thinking about problems? – Practice to stop thinking about the problem: Whenever we get any problem we have to tell ourselves to stop thinking of all the problems which will lead to and start thinking about the solution. This is how we develop a positive attitude. You can learn this by reading: how to develop positive thinking. We must stop our thought process in the problem direction for some time and then start thinking in the direction of the solution.
- How to stop thinking about problems? – Think of as many solutions as you can think: Many times we just think of one or two solutions to our problem and stop our thinking process. Instead, we must not evaluate the solution and we must just note down all the possible solutions. Then again not every solution will work for your problem but one will have patience. When you will start to think of more ways to overcome the problems then you will definitely grow from the situation at hand.
- How to stop thinking about problems? – Replace what doesn’t work: After you have studied your problem, write down the various possible solutions. Then go through each of them one by one. Even if it’s overwhelming, don’t give up and keep going. If one way doesn’t work then use another. All that matters is that you always keep trying. To keep trying we must have never die attitude. If you want to develop never die attitude then you can read this article: How to develop never die attitude.
- Use an alternative method in order to achieve the required results: The more ideas and methods you will use, your chances of getting out of the problem will increase. Thinking more about the solution will help to set your mind on more problem-solving mode rather than the opposite one. While you are focusing on the problem then your mind will simply set on the problem. The solution to this dilemma is what everyone needs to know, train your mind. Because no one needs or wants to be reminded of the problem.
- Write down your worries and concerns. If a troubling thought or problem comes into your mind throughout the day, make a short note of it and then proceed about with your day. Tell yourself that you will have time to think about it after a while, so there is no need to fret about it right away. Plus, writing down your thoughts on a pad or even on your phone or computer—is extremely harder to work than just thinking them, so your problems are more likely to misplace their power.
- Study your “worry list” only during a specific period. If the feelings that you wrote down are yet annoying you, then let yourself just worry about them. But don’t go overboard and worry only for a small amount of time. As you consider your worries in this way, you will frequently find that it’s more natural to develop a more stable outlook towards life and situations. But even after all this, your worries don’t seem relevant anymore, all you have to do is simply cut your worry period precisely and then enjoy the rest of your day normally.
- It’s very easy to get transported away with negative thoughts. So before you decide that calling in a fake sick day is going to get you fired or will ruin your health, or even that forgetting about one deadline is going to make you homeless or fail, take time to acknowledge that your thoughts are being amplified to be more negative. Master to recognize and replace these thinking flaws, before they pull you up into complete insanity.
- At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if overthinking will help you. We all know that lodging on your difficulties isn’t helpful anytime, but what helps is looking for solutions and being prepared. You have to ask yourself what actions you can choose to learn from a slip in a way to dodge a future dilemma. Rather than asking yourself why did this happen to me? start to ask yourself what can I do to get myself out of this situation?
- One thing you have to learn is to tell yourself to stop thinking, as this is something that can backfire. The more that you will try to avoid any kind of bad or negative thought from entering your brain, it will just be more likely to keep rising up every second. One way to stop that from happening is by engaging yourself with some kind of activity. It is by far the best way to change or distract yourself, and it will also help you to make those happy chemicals.
Everyone says that exercise is the best way to make your mind healthy, it is because it is true. I know it seems very hard to start doing any kind of physical activity, but once you have fought the laziness to begin, once you start, your mind will thank you. After engaging your body, start with your mind. Make conversation on a totally different subject rather than talking about the bad, make some kind of a project that will divert your mind from the attack of negative ideas.
- DISTRACT YOURSELF
Whenever we feel that our mind is drifting towards the overthinking zone, we should look around us to find an engagement so that we are distracted from the same. When we engage ourselves in an occupying task or other activity, we will see that our mind no longer is hooked to a single point and we can enjoy ourselves as well as utilize the time we would have otherwise wasted by overthinking about the problem.
We can either distract ourselves from one of our hobbies or daily chores or even our professional tasks, any of these three will serve our sole purpose of distracting ourselves to other activities. We may think that there are not many co-curricular activities that we can pursue and thus utilize our spare time but when we try to find some sport or hobby in which we are already interested we come to know how often can we resort to allocating some time to them.
Scientists say that our mind can be easily tricked into believing that everything is good and we are doing great in our lives but it is easier to convince our mind that we are living in a hell that we may have created on our own. They say engaging ourselves in extracurricular activities and pursuing some of our hobbies can help us overcome the habit of overthinking and ultimately sulking alone. One can tackle the problem of overthinking by focusing more on what positive steps we can take to address the same problem.
- ACTION IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR
We all have heard the saying that actions speak louder than words and it can be proved that the saying can stand the tests of the modern era. While we speak about several topics and present our opinion on them either publicly or behind closed doors, we should remember that maybe our actions can address the problems better than if we just keep speaking on them. Similar is the situation with thinking about our problems.
If we are hooked upon thinking and thinking repeatedly about the elephant in the room, the elephant will stress its presence more and more. What is needed is a plan and strategy to safely evacuate the elephant out of the room. What we need to do is think about a suitable and appropriate solution for our problem and stop thinking after we chart out a plan. If we keep thinking about the problem and keep trying to chart out a plan, it won’t work to our advantage rather it will kill our precious time and make us feel helpless.
Consider an example of a professional cricket match. The captains of both teams need to construct effective plans for a comfortable win in the match. The captains are expected to deliberate on the upcoming match, analyze the data, review their strengths, and review their weaknesses. If they keep themselves stuck in the thinking phase and are not able to complete the plan, will they be able to perform in the match in the desired manner?
- USE YOUR EXPERIENCES
Since our childhood, we start accumulating knowledge through experiences that turn out to be either good or bad but have equal significance in the lessons they hold. An electrician when faces a certain problem on his job, resorts to his learnings and past experiences to solve the riddle he faces. If he doesn’t choose the path of using his experience for solving the problems he faces, there is a high chance that he will end up investing far more time than he has available to him and will see the performance dropping on the scale of effectiveness and efficiency also.
The same is the case is with us, if we hesitate in employing our past experiences to the task, we will face far more hurdles and obstacles than what the original problem offers us. For a young individual, who may not have that much experience associated with his/her professional job, it is expected that he/she consults the experienced individuals in the surroundings and invite certain suggestions for the situation that has risen.
It is not being said that past learnings and results can solely guide the future dynamics of a particular situation, but they aid the person to a significant degree thus making the humongous problem seem manageable for the time being. Our history is full of people who have succeeded in overcoming a lot of problems because they have used their past performances as their guide. They have not only focused on the result but also have reviewed their whole performance procedure time and time again. You may be surprised to notice that many of our daily tasks are based intensively on our experiences.
- IMPATIENCE IS A DEVIL
Many of us find it hard to be patient under testing conditions and somewhere we grow anxious when a particular result takes more than the time expected by us. Impatience also plays a significant role in derailing a well-thought action plan and reducing it to a mere piece of paper. The same can be applied under the topic of discussion, sometimes we see a problem and we want to get the solution of the same in no time.
We want quick and easy solutions for them and it is nearly impossible to find ready and quick solutions to every problem we face. A problem may take even months to be solved and another one may be solved in hours or even in minutes, the duration depends on a variety of factors one of which is the feasibility of the available solutions. We need to be patient to achieve equanimity which is undoubtedly one of the most crucial weapons to fight lengthy and cumbersome problems.
Think of the problem or the whole situation as a marathon, no matter how hard you try to run, you will have to complete the whole distance of the running circuit. It is not fruitful to use up all your energy and power in the initial phase of the marathon, these are words that can be applied similarly to the topic under discussion. The problem will run its due course in any case no matter how hard you put your intellectual faculties to the task of brushing it aside. Give the situation some time to evolve and open up more tentacles, maybe then we know where we need to attack and how do we need to attack.
In the end, it is crucial to remember that tackling the problem of thinking too much over your problems is more important rather than facing the problem itself and therefore one must take suitable steps to keep it under check. It is believed that the mind is the generator of all the thoughts that we have, so we need to heal the mind first and then move on to the other parts of the problem.
Our mind is so powerful it can take us to the depths where no one can imagine themselves to be (that was how we got one of the most precious inventions of mankind) and diving into that depth is positive if we are working towards a good result and fruitfully but when it seems like we are burdening our psyche with excessive thinking of the problems we are being faced with, it is a signal that we need to push the brakes and take a deep breath!
In the end, If we keep our focus on solutions then we will get more solutions and if we keep our focus on problems we will get more problems. By being aware of this trick and constantly reminding ourselves of the list of solutions you just created, it will help you to focus on solutions and not the problems.
To develop a good attitude in yourself, you can read one famous book by John Maxwell “winning with people” you can buy that book at Winning with people. This book will help you a lot to stop worrying and start doing.
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