Personally, I am a planner. I jot down every single detail of how to do a thing mentally, and I actually make huge conversation trees just to check the effect my statements might have on the outcome of a situation. I live in a world filled with hypothetical situations because I impose them upon myself. Therefore,when I obsess a lot over things that won't happen, I usually begin addressing the problem by acknowledging that given the type of person I am, I will surely think about hypothetical situations.
It was difficult for me initially to cope up with this sort of a realization. Often, thinking about a presumed confrontation would give me something that I believe was an anxiety attack (but was never formally verified to be so). I talked to a counsellor in my institute, and she helped me realize that all of this was pretty normal for people like me. She showed me that there was no reason for me to fight it, but that I could think of such situations and not fret about it too much.
Of course, implementing this was difficult. I started out by focussing on things that were priorities in my life. Having my mind off certain issues would help me deal with the problem. Around this time, I started talking to other people about my fears, and started realizing that in some part or the other, everyone makes up hypothetical situations. Over time, this declined to a state where I could control it.
Now, I can choose whether or not to overthink a particular situation. And when I do overthink by choice, which is frequent, I do so much more objectively.
I know that everyone is different but for me it helped to be able to recognize which of my thoughts were the anxious ones. I think in black, white and grey, so then I was able to associate the different thoughts with different shades in my head, so that I could recognize them more easily. Any that were anxious, I told myself that they were not mine and didn't belong to be so they became background noise.
Did you find this post helpful?
November 3rd, 2015 1:56am
By reading books, entretaining yourself with hobbies, knowing that those situations are not real and by paying attention to other details in life
You don't, its normal for a creative mind to think this way and in many situations this can be a great benefit to you. Look for a career in risk analysis, project management or similar. This skill will give you a great edge in this area. And this is the best way to deal with certain personality quirks: turn them to your advantage! Speaking from experience this trait can be a bit of a pain in emotional / relationship / romantic interest areas, my own solution is to act before I think too much. If there is a person I like to talk to them as soon as possible and figure out if they are interested or not. Whatever the answer, my mind does not get time to make up situations this way and I don't waste time on people who are not interested.
Know about the inevitable and reality. Thinking on the "what if" stance isn't a bad thing, but it can really work you up about things. Nothing wrong with thinking about all your options, but after a point, it gets to become less of a what if and more of likely happening. Just keep your mind on the open minded side but don't be stuck on one thing.
In my experience you start focusing on what you have in front of you right now. Mourn it, do whatever you have to, but accept it for what it is. Then decide what you want, what outcomes do you want, and how do you want to feel? You focus on that. It sounds a lot easier than it is, because it means being conscious of your negative thinking patterns and combatting it with a positive alternative "No matter what 'could' happen, you're going to work toward manifesting your desired life - and nothing can deter you from that"
I generally use what I call the "over-rationalization" tecnique. Whenever I catch myself thinking about hypothetical situations, I make a list of them, from the most possible to the least. Then I give each of them a percentage, by asking myself "How many possibilities are there that this is actually how it will go?". The percentages are usually very low, for obvious reasons. It may seem a bit extreme, but it really helps grounding me, and it has saved me from a couple panic attacks in the past!
If hypothetical situations are regularly distracting you, use your senses to ground yourself in the present. Make yourself aware of NOW by identifying things in your immediate surroundings: five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Like any kind of mindfulness, it's about training your brain. Each time your mind starts to wander into stressful hypothetical situations, force it back into the present with this exercise.
A good friend of mine tells me constantly, "that's story" meaning that it is a hypothetical situation, it is not currently happening. I started repeating that to myself when I noticed I was thinking about something past or future, and it helped me to put down the story, and recognize the moment for what it is. It's a constant learning process, but every little bit helps!
To stop thinking about hypothetical situations you need to be active on what and why you are thinking that way. It helps to recognize when you are thinking anxiously, to when you are thinking carefully. They are very different.
Did you find this post helpful?
April 11th, 2016 3:54pm
Get your mind busy... Practice a sport that should help... Get your mind busy... Practice a sport that should help...
Take deen breaths calm down look at the current place you are in and think about now by just staying focused on now if it's hard then try for focusing for a little while and then broden your attention span.
Did you find this post helpful?
December 5th, 2017 7:15pm
you have to realize the difference between reality and thoughts about what if... you have to let things happen. Focusing on the what if can tear you apart so some things to do to help could be making a pro and con list and find out what things you could do to proactive about the situation
1) By shifting your thoughts to real ones. Yes you'll get frequently diverted cause you're trying to focus. Initially its difficult but after practice you'll get better. (And be harsh on yourself)
2) indulge yourself in physical activities more. Like do hands on stuff then just reading them. Get more practical than theoretical.
3) try to focus on your breath!!!
Overthinking means the heart is closed. The more open we become to the situation, the thinking slows down. Why? Because hypothetical thinking is just emphasized by how much we aren't allowing ourselves to welcome whatever is here now, whether we like or not.
We were and never will be able to control thoughts because we never decided to put them there in the first place. They're just projections that pop up spontaneously, and work like an extension of our feelings. Whatever we're not addressing, the thoughts usually amplify that part to let you know how much you've been avoiding dealing with certain things.