How do I stop thinking so much
All my life I’ve been obsessed with practical things. Practical philosophy, practical knowledge, practical books, practical work, and practical advice.
That idea comes from Pragmatism, a philosophical tradition that started in the 19th century in America. Charles Sanders Peirce, who was a Harvard professor, is considered as the “father of Pragmatism.”
But it was William James, a trained physician turned philosopher, who really defined the philosophy.
That’s where it starts. Every time you start drifting off, become aware of it. Just observe your brain. Step outside yourself and just observe the crazy shit you’re thinking about.
Don’t judge. Don’t think you’re stupid. If you do that, you’re thinking again.
No, what you want to do is say this to yourself: “Ah that’s a cute thought. Now, let’s get back to reality.”
Whether they’re beating themselves up over a mistake they made yesterday, or they’re fretting about how they’re going to succeed tomorrow, over-thinkers are plagued by distressing thoughts. Their inability to get out of their own heads leaves them in a state of constant anguish.
While everyone over-thinks things once in a while, some people just can’t ever seem to quiet the constant barrage of thoughts. Their inner monologue includes two destructive thought patterns — ruminating and worrying.
Putting an end to rehashing, second-guessing, and catastrophic predictions is easier said than done. But with consistent practice, you can limit your negative thinking patterns.
Awareness is the first step in putting an end to overthinking. Start paying attention to the way you think. When you notice you’re re-playing events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive.
It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. So before you conclude that calling in sick is going to get you fired, or that forgetting one deadline is going to cause you to become homeless, acknowledge that your thoughts may be exaggeratedly negative. Learn to recognize and replace thinking errors, before they work you up into a complete frenzy.