There are 10k to 100k average searches per month for “how to stop overthinking?” as you can see in the screenshot of Google keyword planner.
That simply means a lot of people struggle to tackle their habit of overthinking.
The power of thoughts is huge. We may not agree but it’s true that our thoughts become reality.
Overthinking is normal in human life but according to this study, if it is continued for a long time can lead to mental health problems. It is really exhausting.
Overthinking makes even a little thing scarier. We keep on thinking a single thing repeatedly and worsen the situation. It stops you from enjoying your day to day life and makes you less productive over time.
Tony Robbins says, “Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.”
This is why every successful person knows the power of thoughts and also how to use this power to achieve goals.
What is Overthinking?
Overthinking is defined as thinking about something again and again for a long period of time. In simple words, thinking something too much.
It is good to think before taking any crucial decision, but when you can’t get it out of your mind, it becomes a problem.
Overthinking comes in the life of everyone at some point due to various reasons. But, it’s up to you how you handle it.
How it comes to your life?
It comes with anxiety and depression. And, this anxiety and depression come with Ruminating and Worrying.
- I shouldn’t have asked the question in the class today. Everyone looked at me like I was stupid.
- My parents always suggested me not to go for medical studies. And they were right, I am not doing well.
- I would have gone for studies, not for a job. Maybe, I would have got a better job.
- I will not be able to speak properly in the official presentation.
- My parents will not be proud of me because of my poor results in the examination.
- My promotion will be halted because of my poor performance in the last month.
How to stop overthinking?
Here are 12 ways to stop overthinking:
- Let go of the Past:
“Let go of the past” is the prime thing in the list of how to stop overthinking. But, why?
Let’s discuss this.
Overthinkers keep on thinking about their past. More precisely, they keep on thinking about their past mistakes.
But, thinking again and again about the same thing will never take us anywhere. Instead, it holds us back to give our best in our present.
We all know we cannot do anything about our past. The only thing we can do is to take a lesson from those mistakes and not to repeat them again. Simple!
Remember, nobody is perfect. Everybody has some flaws. So, don’t let your past mistakes take control of your present moments.
- Live in the Present:
Living in the present means to enjoy the moment you are in now. Don’t get lost in the thoughts of your past and future. This can spoil your present also.
Say, for example, you are at a party with your friends. But, you are thinking about your office work instead of enjoying the party.
Do thinking about office work now can complete your work? No, absolutely not. Instead, you can enjoy your party now, and take a leave from your friends a little bit early.
These small breaks work as a short break in your hectic schedule. And, these breaks eventually increase your productivity and your overall outcomes.
So, try to live in the moment, it will help a lot.
- Think from a Wider Perspective:
When you are unable to come to a solution, think from a wider perspective. Like,
Will it really matter in the next 3 months or 3 weeks?
Because there are some problems which only last for a day or a week. They don’t even have an effect on your upcoming weeks or months. So, why think about them so deeply and waste your time.
Also, you can change your way of thinking to be more productive. Like, instead of thinking “why do I overthink”, think about something in your life which really needs a solution.
So, try to change and widen your perspective about situations. This will help you to stop overthinking.
- You cannot control everything:
Admit that you cannot control everything in your life.
There are situations about which you can’t do anything. Anyhow, you have to face them. It’s up to you how you face them.
So, thinking about them is just a waste of time. Just face them; this time will also pass away.
- Master your Emotions:
Mastering your emotions doesn’t mean to bury your negative emotions rather it means to find the main cause of those emotions.
Why you are feeling low, anxious, or full of emotions?
Try to find the reason for this feeling. It can be your job stress, career growth, some personal problem, or anything else.
When you will have the main cause in your hands, you will be able to stop those emotions and the problem of thinking about them.
- Be solution-oriented:
One of the major mistakes of overthinkers is that instead of finding a solution to the problem, they keep focusing on the problem.
Once you know the problem then why keep on thinking about it? Instead, try to think about what you can do about it? What can be the solution? Be solution-oriented, you will win the half battle at that point only.
- Take a deep breathe:
Yes, it works. When you are unable to think properly or feel like burnout, sit alone for 5 minutes.
Relax your body. Inhale and exhale deeply. Observe the movement in your body. It will refresh your brain and you can again work with full potential.
- Divert your mind:
People who know how to stop overthinking have their list of things to divert their minds. You have to make your own list as everyone has his own liking. It is indulging you in some other tasks like:
- reading books
- playing some sort of games
- small bike ride(mine favorite)
This will work as an exercise for your brain and boost your joy mood. Try to make a list of your distraction and do them often.
Meditation helps you in improving your focus capabilities. It teaches you to be in the present moment by releasing the thoughts that get accumulated in your head by not reacting to them.
A recent study has offered evidence that intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention.
- Write it down:
Writing down your problems and thoughts on a piece of paper or on a notepad on your mobile phone will help you in stopping overthinking.
This washes away the unimportant thoughts in your mind. When your emotions came out, your mind relaxes and you also feel refreshed which leads you to think or work properly.
- Face your Fears:
One of the main reasons for overthinking is the fear inside you. It can be of anything. When you try to run from your fears instead of facing them, you start thinking about them.
Try to confront the fears that worry you. Yes, it will not happen overnight. But, continuous practicing will put you on track and you will be able to beat that. Just face your fear boldly; everything will be fine in some time.
Overthinkers need to be action-oriented to learn how to stop overthinking. Because there are times when you need to act instead of thinking.
But, you already have thought so much that you don’t even take any action in the fear of doing wrong.
So, take action, maybe you will go out of the situation without those not-required thoughts.
How dangerous it is?
Overthinking not only stops you from being more productive but also deteriorates your wellbeing.
According to research, keep thinking about your mistakes, flaws, and shortcomings makes you prone to mental health problems.
Studies also confirm that Rumination is a well-established risk factor for the onset of major depression and anxiety symptomatology in both adolescents and adults.
Overthinking also affects your sleep quality and reduces your sleep hours.
So, if you are also an over-thinker, you need to learn ways how to stop overthinking.
Overcoming overthinking is not easy. But, once you learn how to stop overthinking, you will feel relaxed, happier, and more rested.
Also, you will be more productive and stay motivated in your life.