Do you feel tortured by your thoughts and spend time overthinking constantly? I spent some time here on the best techniques you can use to quite overthinking:
The more you overthink, the less you get work done and create room for a spiral of negative thoughts.
In reality, overthinking is NOT a hobby. It’s rather exhausting and steals time and energy away from you
Infact, wrong way to start anything is to wait until you have it all figured out, keep asking for permission, think short-term, quit with any challenge and keep overthinking.
Stopping overthinking would improve your mood, sleep, results and take your closer to your goals.
9 steps to quit overthinking
Create a list of things that you are overthinking about and categorize them by how important they are.
Then, for each category, brainstorm a few possible solutions.
It is through brainstorming that you can focus on problem-solving. My friend on Twitter Legacy Builder explains it best here:
2. Focus on problem-solving
Dwelling on problems isn’t helpful, but looking for solutions is.
Challenge yourself to find 5 solutions when presented with a problem
Focus on what you can control:
– Your Attitude
– Your Effort
This simple technique will get you back on track
— Legacy Builder (@LegacyBuilder__) October 24, 2022
Another way of brainstorming is to writing about “why” you’re overthinking and giving yourself advice like you would you were giving advice to a friend or your younger self.
Remember, overthinking can be the biggest cause of unhappiness. The idea is to become best friends with our inner dialogue.
2) Practice Mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness and meditation would help you to become more present in the moment and better able to control your thoughts.
This can help you stop overthinking when you’re alone especially when you have a hard time staying out of your head.
And also when you’re overthinking every little thing including the smallest things like how to get out of bed.
Mindfulness can also help you realize when you’re using things e.g. social media as a form of distraction instead of getting to work.
Understand the difference between productive and unproductive worrying, and only allow the former into your mind space.
Keep a journal and write down your thoughts so you can see them objectively.
Make a conscious effort to become aware of your thoughts and redirect your focus when you find yourself overthinking.
Replace overthinking with journaling.
I write my thoughts daily on NotePd, some are listed private and others can be assessed by everyone and even get promoted as blog posts.
4) Do something active
Don’t let overthinking be a part of your daily mood.
Make effort to do something active everyday. It’s a temporary fix for the harsher mental breaking points. I take the longest walk when I overthink as I combine walks with brainstorming ideas. Break a sweat, redirect your focus on physicality.
Getting active can also involve engaging in hobbies which you enjoy such as:
- Working out.
- Reading a book or story
- Listening to music or a podcast.
5) Take action
Act your way into thinking’ i.e.: action instead of Rumination.
Rather than a random fear that something is not going to work – how about starting it first?
Stop overthinking instead of taking action, you’re only creating problems that aren’t there.
Things will get easier once you get started, and you will find your own flow.
Doing everything you can to keep going when you meet challenges by asking smart questions and seeing how far you can generate results from action.
Everything you want potentially in the future are created in the action of now not ruminating over the past.
Your stress comes from overthinking,
Your overthinking comes from inaction.
— Wealth Inc 💰 (@WealthInc247) October 20, 2022
6) Brainstorm with others
Talk to someone else about what is causing you to worry or feel stressed – sometimes just talking it out can help it feel less overwhelming.
Get ideas from others smarter or with more experience than you when you’re not sure because your overthinking can ruin a lot of things for you.
Stress, depression, anxiety, overthinking and sadness can all go together.
But one thing that counters all at once is Breathing. Make time for breathing deep and properly no matter how stressed you feel. Breathe through it & think of the bigger picture.
Sometimes we don’t realize that change is constant… flexibility really helps prevent senility and life stresses that add up to what can become a breakdown.
Breathe… let change happen.
8) Stretch your mind
Consider learning something of interest that’s new to you. Just refrain from dwelling and entertaining repetitious mental loops and negative thoughts.
Critical thinking teaches us to try to break that cycle and consciously try to see beyond the negative, search for positives, for understanding.
Change your perspective and look at things from a different angle.
We are by nature more critical of ourselves than we are of others. Our inner critic is just waiting to pounce upon our every slip, mistake or misstep.
The events are not really the problem, though, it’s our interpretation of them, through the lens of our subconscious programming.
That interpretation creates a painful experience for you to have to manage.
9) Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep is a significant factor that increases overthinking.
And when it’s not controlled poor sleep turns into irregular sleeping habits, skipping meals or overeating, feeling more stressed, overthinking, feeling tired and drained.
Aim to sleep 7 – 9 hours a day to prevent and decrease overthinking and burnout.
Good sleep starts with what you put in your body:
- Minimizing alcohol, soda and junk food
- Regulating circadian rhythm through proper light exposure during the day and less blue light at night.
10) Bonus point: Let Go
Let go of perfection in outcomes, learn to accept that you cannot control everything and let go of the need to be perfect.
Let go of un-forgiveness in your relationships.
I know of a friend that was hurt physically and all he thinks is Revenge. But with the unique category of the case – revenge is the longest and most unproductive activity of his time.
To crush overthinking, pray and leave it in God’s hands.
“Life is hard & it rarely gets easier.
Don’t make it harder on yourself by always living inside your head. Stop overthinking, judging, analyzing every little thing.
Get out of your head & lean into the moments that matter. Trust your instincts & everything else falls into place!” – Coach Jon Beck.
In conclusion, what do you do when you can’t stop overthinking? It’s key to live in the moment by intentionally bringing focus to everything you do with an accepting nature and finding joy in the simple pleasures.
Be mindful of the kinds of words you use and the story you tell yourself. Never say “nothing can be done about XYZ.” There are always new ways to flip a difficult situation if you are patient enough and solution-oriented.
Its possible to get your life back to the good old days of minimal worries, stress, anxiety, toxic relationships and no overthinking.
Lastly if you feel overwhelmed and want to stop overthinking through physical activity – go out, take a breath, or work out. It helps your brain breathe and think more clearly.