Overthinking. This is a big problem many of us have. But it is not a disease – only a habit. And one that we can consciously change. A lot of students often wish to know how to tackle this.
Thinking mostly happens when there is an absence of doing. As they say, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.
It would also perhaps help to acknowledge first, that no matter what we do in life, there will always be way too many things outside our control. Right from whether the cleaners come on time, or whether there’ll be a traffic jam on your way to work, or even how your own family members might react to an important development in your life – we just can never be sure of the outcome.
Hence overthinking won’t help, because the additional thinking has limited control on the situations around us.
However, thinking per se, is not bad, and is probably necessary. Planning, strategy, evaluating the options etc. all come from thinking. The challenge is preventing thinking from going overboard. One way to achieve this, is to replace extra thought with action. As Lord Krishna said in the Gita, the panacea for Kali Yuga is Karma Yoga.
Just like we schedule activities for ourselves, it helps to schedule maybe 30 or 45 minutes on a day for thinking / overthinking. During this interval, one can feel free to let their mind run riot.
But outside this time, no overthinking, only doing.