Overthinking anything causes doubt, fear, and lack of confidence. Overthinking usually happens just when you’re about to try something new or when you’re having doubts about something or someone. It can also happen when you step out of your comfort zone.
Most of us at one point in time have found ourselves lost in our thoughts, so how do you stop overthinking? How do you stop your brain from opening 50 tabs at a go?
Here are a few strategies you can try out when you feel like you just can’t silence your brain:
Write it down
Every time you start overthinking or worrying about anything, write it down. Take time and analyze your thoughts and your feelings. Writing them down or typing them takes the burden off your brain and allows you to start processing the thoughts one by one. This will help in bringing clarity to your thought process and will improve the problem-solving process.
You can also write down previous times you did overthink something and what the outcome was. Looking at this track record will keep your thoughts at bay and will remind you that you have nothing to worry about. Because most of the time we usually overthink things that eventually turn out to be okay. With time you will stop overthinking.
Set a certain amount of time to worry
If you’re an over-thinker, you know how irritating it is when someone tells you ‘just stop overthinking’ as if we have not tried that before. So start small, set a certain time of day where you give yourself time to overthink. This may sound like self-destruction but it’s not. You’re just allowing your brain and subconscious to let it all out. Because if you do not set a time when you can start overthinking, your thoughts will overtake you at any point during the day and this reduces your productivity and may just ruin your day overall. So to avoid your thoughts overwhelming you, set a certain amount of time in your day to worry.
Acknowledge your thoughts
While distraction may be a good way to stop overthinking, you will need to address your thoughts. You will need to address any issues and worries that you have. Otherwise, you will keep overthinking and we all know how overwhelming and exhausting it can be. If you’re afraid of something, acknowledge that fear, write it down and figure out a way of dealing with the fear. If you don’t acknowledge your thoughts and feelings your subconscious will always be lingering toward it and you will find yourself constantly overthinking.
Learn your triggers
Track your overthinking process, figure out when you overthink, what you’re overthinking about, and what causes the thoughts in the first place. This will help in identifying your problem and will allow you to deal with it. Try and change your habits if you notice a certain trend. Once you identify your triggers, acknowledge them and deal with them head-on.
Sometimes you just can’t shut down your brain and you need an instant fix, physical activity will really help. Working out will utilize the stress hormones with the physical activity you’re engaged in. After exercising you will feel calmer and your racing thoughts will reduce drastically. Working out increases the production of endorphins making you feel happier and more present in your day. Research also states that 30 – 45 minutes of exercise will help in balancing your brain hormones.
Don’t strive for perfection
The key to happiness is letting go of the idea that perfection exists. We’re not saying that you should be sloppy, we’re just saying that it’s okay to not have your s**t figured out. Stop waiting for the perfect time, the perfect circumstances, the perfect tools, and stop trying to be the perfect person. Give yourself some leeway. Always remember “Progress not Perfection”. You really don’t have to be perfect or do everything perfectly. No one’s perfect.
Try affirmations and meditation
Try out activities that calm your mind like meditation, aromatherapy, affirmations, and listening to soothing music. Grounding yourself will help you appreciate the present. Try practicing Mindful meditation, it helps focus on simple things like the sense of touch, and smell. Mindfulness can help relieve stress and drastically improve mental health. You can also try morning affirmations that will help in filling your day with positivity and living life in the present.
Talk to someone
Sometimes your thinking can spiral out of control and you just need to talk it out. Make sure you talk to someone supportive like your partner, sibling, parent, friend, mentor, or therapist.
It may be easier hearing it from someone else, that everything is going to be okay. And it is also very helpful hearing someone else’s perspective.
Take a step back
Create some distance between you and your thoughts, and ask yourself how are these thoughts helping me? Accept the fact that no one knows about the future and there’s nothing you can do about it. Ask yourself if what you’re thinking about will matter in 5 years. Just asking this question will help reduce overthinking
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Start your day with intent
If you’re constantly worried about the future make sure you plan ahead. If you spend the present moment worrying about the future, you are robbing yourself of your time now. Starting your day with intent will put things into perspective for you. You should come to the realization that overthinking does not help you change anything. However, acting does, having a plan does. Try to always act within your locus of control, and work on the things you can control now to avoid worrying about the future.
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