I watched a video recently that said that there were 3 types of thinking: “no thinking at all”, “some thinking” and “critical thinking”. Oh yeah, and then there was overthinking, as if they forgot to mention it.
Well, that last one type has been among my worst enemies for years on end. Overthinking has continuously impaired my mood, my creativity, even my decision-making. I tried to rationalize every decision I made, from picking my clothes in the morning to my career and relationship choices. Nothing but sound logic could do, I thought.
Then I remembered I could also feel things. To try to not think too much and still get an answer to my questions however. I called this “underthinking” – not as in “some thinking” or “no thinking at all”, but as in trusting my inner compass for a change, as in putting my inner wisdom above my limited reasoning powers.
I started doing what I felt like doing. To my surprise, my reasonable self didn’t disappear. I did not become a lazy self-indulgent couch potato. I didn’t stop advancing toward my goals, only the pressure to advance disappeared.
To my greater surprise still, it yielded more results even than critical thinking. First, because it incorporated it, and second because overthinking always felt like critical thinking to me, until I realized I’ve been depressed and for weeks.
Here are some little tricks I practice that help me underthink:
- The three seconds rule – I count to 3, make a decision and see where it takes me
- Noticing how I feel about questions, without trying to put it in words
- Some time every day to do things with no end in mind, just for themselves