This article is influenced by the book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. Click here to purchase this book from Amazon. Or, listen to the audiobook for free from audible. Not enough time? Listen to the 15 minutes book summary for free in Blinkist.
You don’t have to live your life in your head. By over-analyzing every situation, you could become your own enemy.
It’s time to live in the moment. But the hard part is getting it done.
Luckily for you, I have a few tricks up my sleeve with the help of Dale Carnegie’s famous book – How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
These are my 6 best methods for stopping your overthinking.
How to Stop Overthinking Instantly (6 tricks)
1. People will taunt as it is their job to do it
We all know the famous saying, “No one kicks a dead dog.” Well, we can say that no one would bother to retaliate against someone who is already dead.
Let me explain here with some factual events!
In 1929, a 36 years old guy “Robert Maynard Hutchins,” who started his career as a waiter, woodcutter, and a salesman in a laundry shop, became the president of one of the top universities in the USA, caused an uproar in the Education community.
People from all around the U.S., senior professors, colleagues, peers, and even newspapers, criticized him.
Eventually, a friend asked his dad if he feels awkward hearing all the wrong words for his son.
His father amazingly replied, “NO, because no one kicks the dead dog”. These results substantiated this philosophy that people talk about successful people and don’t care about individuals who are worthless.
One more compelling story is of “Prince of Wales” (Edward 8th), who was continuously being bullied in the Naval Academy at the age of 14.
When the Naval officer called all the offenders and investigated the incident, they confessed their transgression. They believed that they would have to work under his supervision and for the Prince’s army when they are grown up. So by teasing him now, they will be able to claim that they used to kick the prince in their childhood.
This very narrative described the mentality that people who irritate or misbehave are suffering from an inferiority complex. Moreover, by creating such troublesome, they feel in relation to you and satisfy their complex.
2. Expectations will end up hurting you
Famous American writer Dale Carnegie writes in his book about his old friend who used to work very hard from day to night in a factory.
He mentioned that he married a widow and offered her and her children a place to live and treated her children like his own he even paid the fees of their college on his own so later on, her children can make a decent living.
He worked very hard to put food on their plate and to pay rent, but in these crucial years, her wife and his adopted sons never thanked him for his indescribable services because they all thought it was his duty to do this.
So the author asked who is the one to be blamed, the one who never thanked or his friend who expected gratitude in case of his services.
In knowing about the situation, Dale Carnegie also mentioned that he thinks that his friend is also the one who should be blamed because he expected appreciation and thanks in exchange for his services because it is in human nature to expect and to pay attention towards the negative aspect more than the positive aspect.
Imagine how your relative will feel when you pass away, even if you leave them $10 million because that is what Andrew Carnegie did for his relatives, since he was one of the richest men in the world.
If only he can return from the grave to see how his relatives react to his gift. They weren’t happy with the $10 million, but they were more angered by his $300million donation for the betterment of the country.
So that is why the author writes that we should never expect anything in return after doing something for them.
3. Limiting the time according to the task
Dale Carnegie stated in his book that he implemented a new way to prevent himself from overthinking. To keep his mind at ease, he had decided to only give a few minutes of his day to something that has caused him pain in the past, as implementing this strategy had saved a lot of his time.
Dale Carnegie writes that – one of my friend would always be late for lunch no matter how many times I called, and after this repeated occurrence, I established a policy that I will only wait 10 minutes for you before eating my lunch and leaving. By using this new strategy, I saved a lot of time and stopped my mind from overthinking.
This is a strategy even Tony Robbins, an entrepreneur and motivational speaker implemented in his life to keep himself from overthinking, saying – it’s not like I do not think about some things or feel stressed, but I limit my time to think. After 15 minutes in the state, I move on with my life. I engage my mind towards different tasks which can be anything that I like.
Here is one more interesting story about limiting the time. There was an oil dealer who got to know that in his company, some of his employees are stealing the oil from customers and selling them outside the company for their own profit. And he got to know about all this from a police officer.
The police officer told the owner that if he didn’t pay the bribe, his company would be closed and he will be a prisoner.
The oil dealer was overthinking this situation and got sick because he couldn’t see an alternative since he didn’t do anything wrong, as it was his employee who did the damage.
Now the solution he found is explained in the next point.
4. Three-question formula
After thinking a lot, the oil dealer implemented this three-question formula that changed his life.
First question: What will be the worst thing that can happen?
After thinking a bit about this question, he realized that the worst that could happen to him is that the government will seal his business but because it was not he who caused this fraud, but it was his employees, he will not be sentenced to jail.
Second question: What if something worse happens? How will things turn out after that?
Taking into account the second question, he realized that his business will not survive in the worst-case scenario, and he will need to find a job. Any company that recognizes his years of experience managing the oil company will be pleased to offer him a well-paying job.
Third question: Is there any way to improve the outcome after facing the worst scenario?
When he found the answer to the third question, he learned that if he appears in court; he has a good chance of preserving his goodwill and his business by paying a small fine.
After sorting all the answers, he chose the 3rd one, and he presented himself into the court on his own and stated all the situations he was going through in front of the judge.
As he came out before the judge, he discovered that the man who blackmailed him and demanded money as a bribe wasn’t even a policeman, but a fraudster.
After freeing himself from this situation, the oil dealer stated that this 3 question formula had saved his life, and he is using this formula now for every decision in his life.
So, if you fall in any bad situation like this, ask yourself these three questions and take action accordingly.
5. Stop living your life in the past
One of the students in class was always tensed and was thinking about some past event, such as his results or how he would cover up his schedule.
But one day, the math teacher who used to notice these movements by the classmates came to the class and asked them to go to the lab, and when they reached the lab, the teacher came along with a glass of milk.
The teacher threw the glass of milk in the sink and shouted, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.”
She told her students to keep paying attention towards the milk as it will teach them a lesson for life after the milk has spilled, it will not come back no matter what you do, so if something terrible has happened in your life, you should leave it in the past and move on.
This small experiment changed the life of the student. He stated that now he takes action rather than crying over the action, and because of that, it has improved my life.
6. Do things you love
There’s no question that it’s much easier to be happy when you love what you’re doing. And while this piece of advice is a bit cliche, it has solid scientific backing.
In fact, recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who are intrinsically motivated by their passions are more likely to experience greater well-being and less depression than those who are extrinsically motivated – meaning they’re primarily driven by things like money or external factors.
The six strategies above are simple and straightforward to implement in your life.
So rather than focusing on all the negative aspects you’re facing in life, try implementing things in your life that will encourage positivity and happiness.
Today, you have learned how to stop overthinking instantly with the help of the book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. And also, we have tried to let you know the different strategies you can follow to improve your life.
You can use these strategies to overcome any situation in your life and make better decisions for the rest of your life.
Do let us know if you think this content has touched and changed your life and has shown you how to lead a better life without overthinking the situations.