Most people are guilty of overthinking once in a while; some people just can’t seem to stop the constant flow of thoughts coming into their head. It can sometimes feel like an monologue is going on in their head which usually includes two destructive thought patterns—contemplating and worrying.
Contemplating can involve rehashing the past:
- I shouldn’t have spoken my mind in the meeting today.
- I should have made a different career choice. I would be much happier now if I had made a different decision.
- I should have taken action and followed my dreams, now I feel like it is too late.
Worrying usually involves negative predictions about the future:
- Why even bother following my passion. What will happen if I fail?
- This month is going to be a real struggle to pay the bills, I don’t know if I can hit my targets in work.
- I just have no idea what am I doing with my life. What is the point of even working harder in work? I have no goals, plans or even direction for my future.
People who overthink about life don’t just use words to contemplate their lives. Usually, they will conjure up negative images too. They may envision a negative situation happening in work or at home. By overthinking they are holding themselves back from taking positive action and being more productive.
How To Stop Overthinking
Putting an end to worrying and contemplating about the past and second-guessing the future, can be sometimes easier said than done. But with some practice, you can limit your negative thought patterns and stop overthinking:
1. Be Aware When You Are Thinking Too Much
Having more awareness is the first vital step in putting an end to overthinking. Start paying more attention to the way you think. If you notice yourself replaying events in your mind over and over again, or worrying about things out of your control, acknowledge that your thoughts are not being productive for you.
2. Challenge Your Thoughts
It can sometimes be easy to get carried away and feel swamped by negative thoughts. Learn to see and replace negative thinking before it overwhelms you.
3. Focus On Active Problem-Solving
Dwelling on your problems is neither helpful nor productive for you, but looking for possible solutions is. Ask yourself what action steps can you take to learn from a mistake or avoid any future problem. Change your mindset, Instead of asking why something happened, ask yourself what you can do about it to avoid it happening again in the future.
4. Take Time To Reflect
Going over problems in your head for long periods of time is not productive, but some brief time reflecting can be very helpful. Thinking about how you could do things differently in the future or recognizing potential pitfalls can be really helpful for you do better in the future. Include 10 – 20 minutes of “thinking time” into your daily schedule. Use a journal and write your thoughts on paper. During this “thinking time” time, let yourself worry and contemplate whatever it is that you you want. When the time is finished, move onto something more productive. If you notice yourself overthinking outside of your scheduled “thinking time”, remind yourself that you will think about it later.
5. Live In The Moment
It is impossible to worry about yesterday or think about tomorrow if you are totally living in the present. Commit yourself to become more aware of the here and now. Mindfulness can take practice, but over time, it will be a great help to you from overthinking.
6. Change Your Habits
Telling yourself to stop overthinking about something can sometimes highlight it even more. The more you try to avoid negative thinking from entering you brain, the more likely it is to penetrate your thoughts. Try to keep yourself busy with a more productive activity is a great way for you to stop overthinking. Read a book, exercise, have a conversation with a positive friend, or start working on a project that will distract your mind from any bombardment of overthinking and negative thoughts.
50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions
What are existential questions?
Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.
They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.
The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.
Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.
I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.
50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions
1. Are there limits to human creativity?
2. What makes something beautiful?
3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?
4. Who am I?
5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?
6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?
7. Are we given enough time?
8. Is privacy a right?
9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?
10. Are we alone in the universe?
11. What is love?
12. How would you define genius?
13. What do you think your purpose is?
14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?
15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?
16. Why do you think we are here?
17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?
18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?
19. What happens when I die?
20. What worries me the most about the future?
21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?
22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?
23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?
24. Does truth exist without evidence?
25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?
26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?
27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?
28. Is it more important to love or be loved?
29. What would make the world a better place?
30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?
31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?
32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?
33. What advice would you tell your younger self?
34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?
35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?
36. What is the most important goal every person should have?
37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?
38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?
39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?
40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?
41. Where do you think we go when we die?
42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?
43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?
44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?
45. Is one lifetime enough?
46. What matters most in my life?
47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?
48. What is the meaning of life?
49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?
50. What does it mean to live a good life?
I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.
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