The last time you talked to your grandpa before he passed away. The work presentation you did last month. The argument you had with your colleague. The holiday you plan to go on next summer. All these things have one thing in common: you can overthink way too much about them.
Many people tend to analyze and overthink things, which many times may lead down a dark path. Overthinking is not so bad because it can help you to dissect certain moments from the past and improve. It can also assist in analyzing future decisions. However, overthinking can make it difficult for people to make decisions, focus on other crucial things, and move forward in their lives. Overthinking can also increase your risk of mental health problems. Nonetheless, there are ways that you can stop overthinking.
The following are some incredible ways you can stop overthinking.
1. Notice when you are overthinking
Awareness is the first step to combating overthinking. You need to learn to be aware of it when it is happening. Any time you find yourself feeling stressed, anxious, or doubting yourself, take a step back and look at how you are responding to the situation.
2. Stop thinking negatively
In most cases, overthinking is caused by a single emotion which is fear. When you start focusing on the negative things that may happen, you can easily become paralyzed. Next time you sense that you are heading in that direction, just stop. Visualize some of the positive things that might happen and keep the thoughts present and upfront.
3. Work on self-confidence
Overthinking can be as a result of uncertainty. It can be because of being uncertain about the things that are out of your control, or it can come from being unsure of yourself. When you are confident about yourself, it becomes easier to stop overthinking on past conversations. Moreover, having a lot of confidence in yourself can make you courageous and help you move forward.
4. Schedule a time for reflection
Dwelling too much on your problems isn’t going to help in any way, but brief reflection can be a bit helpful. Thinking about how you can do things differently or recognizing some drawbacks to a plan can help you improve on yourself. You could incorporate your 30 minutes in daily routine for “thinking time”. During this time, you can worry, ruminate, reflect, or do whatever thing you want. But if you find yourself overthinking things outside this period, remind yourself that you will think about them later.
5. Change your routine
It is impossible to tell yourself to stop thinking about something. The more you try to avoid the thought from getting into your brain, the more likely it is to keep coming back. Make yourself busy with any activity that will distract you from overthinking. Exercise, dance, meditate, do knitting or drawing, learn an instrument, and painting. You can also engage in a conversation on an entirely different subject. All these will distract your mind from having negative thoughts.
By Eric Silver
who has been helping a close family member learn to cope with depression for nearly twenty years. Over the years, he has developed a passion for mental health awareness where he researched and written extensively within the mental health area, specifically in regard to bi-polar, stress, depression and anxiety issues.