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How to Stop Overthinking: 10 Simple Ways To Implement

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30-Second-Summary
  • Overthinking is a common habit for many of us, especially when our brain is idle or when we are stressed out or anxious.
  • When the habit of overthinking becomes chronic, it can damage our mental and physical health.
  • Overthinking and worrying about the past and future can decrease our confidence and decision-making skills.
  • It can also give rise to negative thoughts that may cause depression.
  • To prevent overthinking, you can try tips like focusing on the present, indulging in distracting activities, meditating, writing down solutions to your problems, and practicing self-love.
  • With these tips and therapy, you can overcome the habit of overthinking and restore your mental peace.

Introduction

Overthinking is a mental trap that we all succumb to from time to time. It is usually a downward spiral that floods our brain with worries, thoughts, and regrets about scenarios that we cannot control.

It is often caused by depression or anxiety disorder and worsens these conditions with stressful thoughts. Therefore, one needs to master the tricks to break free from the vicious cycle of overthinking.

People tend to overthink the past and the future. Overthinking the past brings up regrets, sadness, or embarrassment about what is already done and dusted.

On the other hand, overthinking the future can make it difficult to make decisions for your personal or professional life. This habit can also damage your confidence and self-esteem.

So, if you are a chronic overthinker who is wondering how to stop overthinking, try the tried and tested techniques to get rid of this habit.

10 Simple Tips On How To Stop Overthinking

1. Avoid Regretting The Past

Avoid Regretting The Past
Be it your decisions or actions, what has happened in the past can seldom be reversed. So, it is better to accept it and move on. Reliving bad moments or regretting past decisions only causes stress that further destroys your present. So, consciously set aside negative thoughts, anxiety, and regrets about the past. If these thoughts come into your mind, brush them aside by focusing on some activity instead.

Once you stop falling prey to these thoughts, you will be able to prioritize your present instead of blaming everything on the past. It is one of the most effective tips on how to stop overthinking. Try it and you might see an improvement in your mental health.

2. Focus On Solutions

Instead of thinking of all the possible scenarios where things may go wrong, think of solutions for these scenarios. Stop worrying about everything that can go south and instead jot down how you can resolve these situations. Once you train your brain to become solution-oriented, overthinking and anxiety will be replaced by confidence and readiness to take on challenges. So, the next time your brain is clouded with worrisome thoughts, quickly divert your mind to think of the solutions instead.

3. Pay Attention To The Present

It is natural for our thoughts to drift towards the past or the future. To get rid of overthinking, you need to pull back your attention towards the present. We are often so focused on past or future issues that we do not appreciate our present surroundings. To do so, think about where you are at the moment, look at everything around you, and focus on how your day is going.

Chances are that your present is not that bad at all and you are not enjoying it because of overthinking. So, get rid of negative thoughts and anxiety and start living the present moments to the fullest.

4. Choose Healthy Distractions

Choose Healthy Distractions
An idle brain is the easiest prey for overthinking. One of the best tips on how to stop overthinking is to choose healthy distractions. This could be anything that you enjoy doing, such as reading, listening to music, or outdoor activity. Simply stepping out for a walk amidst sunshine and nature can be extremely therapeutic too.

To get rid of overthinking, make sure to pick hobbies or activities that are engaging and help to calm your mind. Avoid stressful activities like browsing social media or watching a horror movie, as they can further aggravate negative thoughts.

5. Face Your Fears

Our fears often appear bigger in our heads than they are in reality. This is why when you think about facing your fears, your mind may be filled with negative thoughts and anxiety. However, if you face your fear in small doses in real life, you may realize that it isn’t as challenging as you thought it would be. So, it is sometimes a good idea to expose yourself to these fears instead of avoiding them. It may help you stop overthinking scary situations.

6. Change The Narrative In Your Head

According to studies[1], rumination often leads to depression and even suicidal thoughts. However, having a more positive and hopeful outlook prevents such dire consequences of overthinking. Changing the narrative inside your head can be a step in the positive direction. Instead of believing that you are an overthinker, believe that you have clear thoughts and decision-making skills. Instead of believing that your life is out of control, believe that you are formulating solutions to get things back on track. Place your faith in positive thinking and it can do wonders.

7. Redirect Attention To Things You Can Control

Next career move
It is but human to keep thinking about things that are out of your control. But this only leads to overthinking and anxiety instead of any positive outcomes. A healthier way to deal with such thoughts is to divert your attention to the things that you can control. For example, you can’t change the fact that you got fired from your last job, but you can control your next career move by proactively applying to relevant jobs around you.

When you start focusing on the aspects of your life that you can control, you wouldn’t have to worry about how to stop overthinking. Your brain will automatically start leaning towards positive thoughts and away from anxiety.

8. Meditate

Meditation is another excellent way to get rid of overthinking that works for many people. It essentially encourages you to empty your brain of any thoughts, thereby stopping overthinking altogether. This might be hard for you at first, but if you take classes or perform guided meditation, you should soon be able to master this technique.

Not only does meditation get rid of negative thoughts, anxiety, and stress, but it also relaxes the mind and body. It is an excellent habit if you have a hectic or stressful lifestyle.

9. Practice Self Love

Gift yourself
Practicing self-love is another excellent way to avoid overthinking and anxiety. Overthinking often consumes us with self-doubt, lowering our confidence and self-esteem. But you must overcome this by listing down your achievements and wins, no matter how big or small. While overthinking might bring all your shortcomings to the forefront of your brain, do not forget that you have many successes to account for as well. Reward yourself accordingly.

Instead of looking at your failures, list everything you have succeeded at. Indulge in relaxing activities or gift yourself a small present to celebrate these wins. With this positive attitude, you can get rid of overthinking forever.

10. Opt For Therapy

If you have tried the various tips on how to stop overthinking but still can’t get rid of the habit, you may want to consult a therapist. They can guide and assist you in overcoming the habit and dealing with its consequences. If the root cause of your overthinking is anxiety or depression, a therapist can help you deal with these conditions as well.

Studies[2] suggest cognitive behavior therapy is effective against anxiety, which is a common root cause of overthinking. You can consult an expert regarding the same to improve your mental health.

Conclusion

Overthinking is often a consequence of depression, anxiety or stress, and can aggravate these conditions further. While we all fall prey to this habit occasionally, chronic overthinking is detrimental to our well-being.

It gives rise to negative thoughts and anxiety, lowers our self-esteem and decision-making skills, and impacts our physiological health in various ways. Therefore, if you tend to overthink quite often, you need to follow certain tips to avoid this habit.

The best way to avoid overthinking and anxiety is to focus on solutions and the things you can control. Furthermore, try to enjoy the present and your wins instead of worrying about the past or future.

Lastly, indulge in activities that you enjoy to distract your brain and avoid negative thoughts. If you still suffer from overthinking, do not hesitate to seek help from a therapist.

With this proactive approach and a positive mindset, you can avoid the ill effects of overthinking. So, take charge of your mental health today!

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