You may have heard the saying, "Look before you leap." Or "Haste makes waste." They are both wise aphorisms because we should never make decisions without thinking them through. However, we can end up thinking too much — overthinking! — and this can cripple us into inaction.
We can overthink just about anything. We find a small lump in the breast and go crazy with anxiety. Our child is not returning our calls, and we panic. We made a small mistake at work, and we worry we will be fired. We rehash conversations we had the day before, replay scenarios repeatedly, and generally indulge in destructive thought patterns. So, what is the cure
One, take a deep breath and examine your pattern of thoughts. If you are replaying past events or worrying about things you can't control, you are stressing yourself unnecessarily. Thinking is helpful only when it results in positive action.
Two, look for solutions. If the situation is something you have control over — for instance, a mistake you made at the workplace that *can* be fixed — then think about how you can solve the problem. Otherwise, divert your thoughts to something more productive.
Three, be objective. Look at the situation rationally. If your kid isn't returning calls, she might be in the middle of something she cannot break away from. If she is studying overseas, she might be tired and gone to sleep! So, change the channel and think about something else!
Four, don't speculate. The mind is a fascinating thing. It can conjure up extraordinary visions of doom and gloom. In reality, life is far more boring. So, don't worry about that lump in your breast until you have had it checked. It might be just a lump from a bite!
Five, trust in God. No solution is ever complete without getting God into the mix, but perhaps never more so than when our minds go into overdrive. Those who trust in God know that he has their backs and lead very peaceful lives because they drop their situations — especially those they can't control — into his lap. As Jesus said, "Do not worry about your life ..." (Luke 12:22).
May the Spirit be with you.