Overthinking? 8 Tips To Help Employees Deal With It

Overthinking 8 Tips To Help You Deal With It

How Can Overthinking Hinder Professional Development?

Research shows that 73% of people between the ages of 25 and 35 are overthinkers. Young professionals who find it hard to focus can also experience procrastination, as they keep thinking about the mistakes they have made in the past or might make in the future and refrain from taking action. Overthinking limits professionals’ decision-making abilities and slows down their productivity. It can also lead to mental and physical burnout since excessive stress causes fatigue, irritability, and inability to concentrate, among others. Hence, workers and learners must deal with overthinking and find ways to disengage from recurring thoughts.

8 Ways Professionals Can Deal With Overthinking Patterns

1. Mindfulness Exercises

Being mindful means that individuals recognize their feelings and accept them without passing judgment while focusing on the present and not dwelling on past mistakes or imagining possible future errors. At the same time, mindfulness helps regulate negative thoughts and stress and encourages us to focus on positive behavior, self-acceptance, and openness. Through meditation, people become fully aware of their mental state and disarm their negative emotions. Anyone who feels the burden of recurring negative thoughts can try this exercise: take a time-out and breathe slowly. Sit in a quiet place for 3–5 minutes, clear your mind, and concentrate on your breathing. Be aware of each inhale and exhale.

2. Positive Reframing

Positive reframing encourages you to think of an adverse situation in a positive light by identifying its advantages. Take someone who has lost their job as an example. They are probably worried that they will not be able to afford their current lifestyle for much longer and that it might be challenging to get a new job. However, a reframing mindset will help them pinpoint some positive aspects of this development and deal with overthinking. Maybe their job wasn’t as satisfactory as they thought and now they have a chance to find their true calling. There is something to learn from every hurdle, and considering not only the negatives but also the positives creates a balanced perception of any situation.

3. Finding Distractions

The moment something bad happens, overthinkers tend to get lost in a whirlwind of negative thoughts. At that moment, they must find something to distract themselves with. Reading a book, doing some cleaning, and watching a movie are great solutions. People who haven’t learned to cope with their stress and negative thoughts constructively might find it hard to take their minds off difficulties. So, if devoting 1–2 hours daily to such an activity isn’t feasible, they can at least set 30 minutes aside every two days to do something that helps them unwind and refocus. After giving themselves some time, they can go back to the stressor and face it with more confidence and clarity.

4. Considering A Career Change

One reason some may feel stressed is that they don’t feel confident enough to perform their job’s daily tasks. So, maybe it’s time to dig deep and check whether you are doing what you are truly passionate about. Reviewing your career path is never too late, and nobody should feel stuck at their workplace. Seeing everyone around you satisfied with their work while you struggle can mess with your confidence. Maybe it’s not your fault that you are not enjoying your job. You may need to re-evaluate your career choices and understand how you ended up in your current position—if it wasn’t based on your personal preferences, it’s understandable that your job might not bring you fulfillment.

5. Concentrating On The Big Picture

Those who deal with overthinking daily find it hard to appreciate their victories and instead dwell on tiny imperfections and mistakes. But ask yourself, “Will anyone remember this mistake in 10 years?” Furthermore, you may need to take a step back and refocus on your accomplishments. Jot down your successes and moments that made you feel proud of yourself. It doesn’t matter how small or big they were. Simply acknowledging them will uplift you and show you that you are capable of great things.

6. Embracing Fears And Uncertainty

Another stressful factor for many is lacking a sense of control, especially in work-related matters. Acknowledging your past mistakes and realizing that you can’t control every single aspect of your life will set you free. To deal with overthinking, you should embrace challenges and uncertainties instead of fighting them. You can’t predict the outcome but you can focus on every step along the way and do everything in your power to reach your goals. Accepting past mistakes and learning from them is crucial. Remember that every setback teaches resilience, which prepares you for the future.

7. Talking To Friends And Colleagues

Talking to friends about a work assignment that is troubling you or about the presentation you think went terribly can help you look at the situation differently. Maybe you are doing a lot better than you think, and your colleagues’ positive comments and affirmations help you gain a more sympathetic perspective toward yourself. If you are worried about their perception of you, simply ask them to express their opinions about you and your work. Additionally, social interactions can help you treat your overthinking. For instance, you can meet for coffee with friends, make a phone call to chat about non-work matters, or volunteer at a community or charity event.

8. Healthy Lifestyle Habits

A healthy lifestyle involves several things, starting with a nutrient-dense diet. Foods like vegetables, fruit, fatty fish, and turmeric are known to manage anxiety symptoms. Moreover, making sure you get 7–9 hours of sleep every night should be a priority, as your brain can tackle challenges more efficiently and innovatively when it’s well-rested. Physical activity should also be part of everyone’s weekly schedules. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can do anything from walks in the park to dancing, swimming, golfing, or yoga. Whatever the case, distracting your mind and getting your body moving can help you unwind and refocus.


Overthinkers tend to dwell on negative thoughts and are more likely to experience high levels of anxiety and even depression. This can have severe consequences on anyone’s personal and professional life, and that’s why you need to act as soon as you experience it. Organizations must also be understanding towards their employees and offer them any support they need to overcome their self-doubt. After all, when a company encourages its workforce’s mental health and stability, it ensures higher productivity and greater confidence in decision-making.

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