How to Stop OverthinkingMar 13, 2023
Do you ever find yourself overthinking things? If you're like most people, the answer is probably yes. Overthinking can be unhealthy, often leading to negative thoughts and anxiety. It can be tough to stop overthinking, but it's worth it if you want to live a healthier and happier life. This blog post will discuss tips for stopping overthinking and living your best life.
Don't ruin your mental health by overthinking.
Everything should be balanced, including how we think about things. Whenever we want to achieve something vital, such as a goal, we should give careful thought to it, so we can have higher chances of making it a reality and take the proper actions and decisions to prevent failure. It is not only our goals we should think about; we can also do the same for other things, such as what to eat, where to buy something, when to take a break, etc. The flip side of thinking about various things is that we can go overboard and spend too much time thinking without taking action. Overthinking can create different scenarios in your head, most of which can be only imaginary. You can waste your time overthinking and may stress yourself unnecessarily. You may experience excessive worry about something, and destructive thought patterns can form in your head whenever you overthink.
If you want to feel more liberated and lighten the load in your head, there are ways to stop overthinking, so you can focus on what matters and lift the unnecessary burden you may be putting on yourself. The following are some things you can do to stop overly intrusive thoughts from running through your mind.
1. Spend more time in the present
When overthinking, many things that can fly in your head involve things about the past and future. For example, maybe you can't get over your past mistakes or keep worrying about what can happen in the future, especially in worst-case scenarios. Constant worrying about such things can give you an anxiety disorder, and your daily life can be ruined. While it's normal to think about such things occasionally, your energy and time can be better spent focusing on the present moment and thinking about what you can do now to address the racing thoughts in your head. Getting into the present moment more can help you deal with overthinking by concentrating only on what's happening now and where you can do something to solve what's worrying you.
2. Be aware that you are overthinking
Overthinking can be a habit that can cause various mental health problems or a sign that you have a mental disorder that's causing it. The problem is that you may not recognize you like to overthink things. It could have become a standard practice for you, and habits can be challenging to break. For somebody to stop overthinking, they must realize they are doing it and maybe doing bad things to their mental health. Only then can one start implementing coping strategies and ways to stop overthinking.
3. Work on solving problems instead of excessive thinking
It's okay to think about things, so we can make the most effective decisions and actions to make our endeavors successful. However, if you spend all your time thinking without making any steps to progress, you will spend long periods only imagining scenarios in your head. It's better to try things and see which actions will work, so you can implement improvements the next time you have to make another step. Of course, big goals and decisions will need more time of extra thought due to the significant impacts they can bring to your life, but you can start small, so you don't need to spend much time thinking. By taking action and making progress, you are gradually clearing bit by bit what makes you worry and overthink.
4. Try not to be a perfectionist and focus on what you can control
One reason somebody may like to overthink is that perhaps they are a perfectionist. They want things to be of the highest quality and produce the ideal state. In association with perfectionism, one may like things to happen according to how they want, basically wanting to control many things. However, life works the other way around; if you always expect things to be perfect, you will only frustrate yourself. This is because many things are beyond our control, and circumstances may be affected by others' actions, which we may not completely control. Of course, it doesn't hurt to envision an ideal outcome, but we must be flexible enough to adjust when things change. Working on things you can control and settling for a less perfect outcome can help lessen overthinking.
5. Do something else to distract yourself
If the spiraling thoughts in your head keep bothering you, you can try breaking away from them by doing something else that can distract you. Perhaps you can do your hobby or passion if overthinking happens while you are in your free time. If it occurs during work, focus more on what you are doing, so you can stop dwelling on something that may not be urgent but continues to bug you. Better yet, work on something that can lessen what you are overthinking. You will have less to worry about if the matter gets solved or partially addressed. You can do something more productive rather than overthinking things.
6. Think about the bigger picture of things
It may not sound good to counter overthinking by thinking about another thing. Still, if you think about the bigger picture, you can stop overthinking about scenarios and images in your head. Instead, look at the things you are overthinking and identify their relevance to the grander scheme. Are they going to play any part in achieving your goals and improving your well-being? If not, it will be better to stop thinking about them, especially if you only make up imaginary scenarios that may not necessarily happen. If you are going to overthink, worry about those with a high likelihood of happening based on the current circumstances and future projections based on facts and statistics, but don't spend all your time thinking.
It's all in your head.
Overthinking is a personal affair you can control if you become aware of it and realize what it's doing to you. If you overthink, you may create problems and give yourself unnecessary stress and worries. If something is bothering you, it can help to talk about it with others who may offer a different perspective or help you address what's worrying you. If things become too much, seeking the help of a mental health professional can also work. However, you may want to fix something yourself before it reaches the point when you start acquiring mental health conditions that can be problematic. Try not to take everything by yourself and always ask for help when overwhelmed by something. Many of the things we overthink can be cleared if we ask for support from others. The answers and actions we can't provide ourselves may be provided by others, which can ease many of your worries.