Thinking is involuntary. Trying to stop yourself from thinking too much is just like trying to stop a train moving at the speed of a bullet with bare hands. Unless you’re superman, it’s impossible to do it.
However, what if I tell you that there’s a way to turn the impossible into achievable? That you can be a superman, and control your thoughts to a certain extent?
Well, good news, because I’m writing this blog just to tell you that, exactly.
I used to overthink a lot. 80% of my problems were just made up scenarios that had like 1% chance of ever happening. What if that happens? What if that doesn’t happen? What if.. what if.. my days would start with what if and end with what if. You know when you’re in a queue at an airport and wonder what if they find a knife on you, even when you have never kept a knife in your pocket? Yes, that.
This kept me anxious and worried all the time. I would double check the lock on my door, and still worry on my way to work if I kept my door unlocked. So what did I do? I knew it cannot go on like this. That’s when I started to fight it.
By experimenting a lot, I found a hack that worked for me.
The hack was, to complete all those WHAT IF scenarios with a positive end.
For example, if I was worried about leaving my door unlocked, I tried to make myself think, what can possibly go wrong? My flat might get robbed. Alright, how many flats are there in my apartment, 30. Who else knows I have kept the door unlocked? No one. So, in case, even if a robber comes to the apartment building, what are the odds that he’ll get to my flat? 1/30. So I think I’m good.
I kept on doing this for good, until it became a habit. And gradually, my anxiety started to decrease on its own. I still get anxious, a lot. But my brain knows how to respond to those anxious thoughts. I have trained my brain so much that it has become a reflex.
That’s what I do. It might work for you, and it might not. But it sure as hell is worth a shot, isn’t it? I mean, if your brain is making stories, just give those stories a positive end. How hard can it be?
It was just an experiment which worked for me. You, like me, can also experiment different techniques to find out what works for you. And once you do, you just have to make it a habit. Easier said than done, I know. But if I can do it, so can you.
Its worth a shot!