People wish to stop overthinking, but the world makes it almost difficult. Emotions are powerful, and your ideas can become your reality. What you will face in your life is whatever you keep in your mind on a daily basis. This is something that the most successful individuals in the world know. The only thing that is different between them and everybody else is that they have understood how to use the power of thoughts to help them succeed.
This is terrific news for those who would like to learn how to stop overthinking. You were not born an overthinker— all people have behaviour patterns. These trends evolve depending on life experiences. They can also be unlearned just as habits are learned.
The key is to identify what causes you to overthink and then take practical steps to improve your attitude. Nonetheless, this can be better said than done.
What is Overthinking?
The typical definition of overthinking is to worry too much or for too long over something.” While it’s perfectly natural to think things through when coming to a decision or assessing a situation, it becomes overthinking when you can’t stay out of your mind. It occurs to all of us at certain points in our lives, and we all encounter events that cause us to worry or stress. However, it seems some individuals can’t toggle off their worries.
They think about the future and make devastating assumptions about unexpected occurrences that have not yet occurred. They even ruminate about the past, beating themselves up about should have” and could have.” They worry about what others will feel about them or allow their minds to accumulate negative self-talk.
Overthinking a complicated decision that you have to make can trigger problems as well. You’re afraid to take the wrong action, so you don’t take any action at all. Replaying all the possibilities in your head can result in numbness by thought. But it’s much easier to make the wrong decision than to make no choice.
If you’re a chronic overthinker or have to make a hard choice, you’ve likely endured sleepless nights where your brain won’t turn off. Overthinking can increase depressive symptoms, raise your stress levels, and impair your judgment.
Common behaviours of an overthinker
- There is a running commentary in your brain, questioning and taking apart what you said and did yesterday, scared that you look bad and worried about a horrible future that could be waiting for you.
- Browsing through your options, scared you’ve made the wrong one, or procrastinating over the next.
- Examining what your friend or colleague meant by the throwaway remark or that sideways look
- Agonising over what to upload on social media, and you get worried when other individuals are having a better time than you or receiving more likes.
- Reading and re-reading texts to find out the message’s real meaning.
- ‘What ifs’ and ‘shoulds’ govern your thinking as if an anonymous jury were sitting in judgment on your life and considering if it’s wanting.
- They don’t rest well because all the ruminating and thinking keeps them up at night.
- They tend to feel remorse for their supposed inadequacies and beating themselves up.
- You sometimes drink too much alcohol in an attempt to calm the frustration of your overthinking brain.
- You’re too busy working out, unable to be honest with yourself because of what other people need, want, and think.
Why do I overthink?
It would help if you addressed the question, “Why do I overthink?” before you can understand how to stop overthinking. Sometimes, overthinking is a side effect of depression or anxiety. If this is the case, you may have to tackle your anxiety or depression to alleviate overthinking.
You can find that you’ll have to make a difficult life decision or come to terms with your insecurities when overthinking materialises. If overthinking is not a sign of a deeper emotional problem, shifting thoughts and mindsets will also resolve it.
How to stop overthinking
A lot of people are asking, “Why am I overthinking?” and they never come up with a reply. But stress and worry are feelings, and your emotions can be controlled. “Let fear be a counsellor and not a jailor,” as Tony Robbins says. It’s time to face your fears so you can overcome them. Check out these seven strategies to stop overthinking everything for good:
Manage the story
We are all sharing tales of ourselves. The question is, is your story inspiring or dragging you down? The tales we tell ourselves about who we have an impact on every aspect of our lives. Overthinkers can say, “I’ve always been a worrier,” or I’m just more insecure than everyone else, naturally.” These are narratives that hold you back and can be particularly difficult to alter if you’ve never questioned yourself, “Why do I overthink?”
It would be best if you recognised them to transcend your restricting convictions. You can stop yourself when you begin to tell yourself these negative stories and substitute them with happier ones, such as “I’m in charge of my feelings.” You’ll transform your perspective once you change your narrative.
Don’t dwell in the past
Overthinkers always live in the past, wasting energy on what ifs” and should-haves.” Those who know how to stop overthinking understand that the past is just that. It can’t be modified. The only thing that you can alter is the importance that you give to it.
Letting go of the past implies that you don’t allow your failures to control your future choices, and you don’t let your feelings be influenced by negative things that have been done to you. You forgive others, and you let your frustration go away. It’s one of the most crucial ways the story can be improved.
Live in the present
Living in the present is vital to understand how to stop overthinking. Many individuals can’t flip the switch and live in the moment, or can they? You can take control of your thoughts and avoid negative feelings in your paths. Recognise overthinking and take a couple of minutes to reboot before it gets out of control.
Breathe and concentrate on the moment: what do you hear and see? For what are you thankful? Regular routines will help you rewire your brain to stay in the present, such as meditation and priming. You will soon notice it comes naturally.
Take control of your emotions
Living in the moment does not mean that negative feelings should be forgotten. You need to understand and recognise their real causes in order to master your emotions. Dig deeper when you are feeling nervous.
It is also about overcoming your bigger fears, such as not being in control of your life or not advancing in a way you would like to be. Become conscious of the root causes of your overthinking, and before it continues, you can begin making progress to stop it.
Concentrate on the solutions
As Tony says, “Identify your issues, but provide solutions with your power and energy.” You have recognised the real reasons for your anxiety and stress, but your job is not done. Only taking care of your life is a great way to know how to stop overthinking for good. Reconsider your career path if your overthinking is triggered by stress at work.
Take a decision today to get back on track if you feel like life is out of your grasp. These are tough calls, and it takes guts. Remember, nobody controls your life but you. Don’t want to be exceptional in your life?
Understand the difference between intuition and apprehension
Overthinkers can have difficulty distinguishing between the fear of making a mistake and the deep sense that something is wrong, which contributes to overthinking to the extent that they make no-decision.
Knowing whether your action is driven by fear or intuition will help you get out of your mind and take the next steps required. You can decode whether fear or intuition are in play by connecting with your mind and body, understanding what it would be like to decide along with how to move forward best.
Ask yourself the right questions
Asking the wrong questions, like Why am I overthinking?” Again and again, will not allow you to recognise what is going on in your thoughts or life. They can make more overthinking easier. Focus on constructive solution-oriented problems instead of those that cause rumination.
Rather than thinking, “Why are all my relationships turning sour?” Ask, “What kind of energy do I project that draws negative partners?” “You can minimise overthinking and better your life when you ask questions that encourage you to make adjustments to your actions and move forward healthily.
Ring-fence your thinking time
You don’t have to quit thinking totally. But rather than allowing your thoughts to disperse throughout your day, diarise for some time while you think, focus and reflect actively.
Write down your thoughts
Write down your thought in a journal rather than keeping them in your mind, or create a ‘thoughts jar’ where you can share your thoughts. You won’t need to hang onto them that way.
Talk to a therapist
If overthinking is affecting your life, and because of your feelings, if you think you might be spiralling into a depressive or anxious territory, then talking to a therapist will help you make sense of your environment. Therapy will help develop your self-identity and establish stronger foundations to encourage you to live life now instead of overthinking a troubling future.
The instant you learn how to stop overthinking and stay in the moment, you will be happier, more relaxed, and have a better impact on those around you. Always bear in mind that life is happening for you, not for you. Even your negative emotions can contribute to positive results if you perceive them as a gift that has been provided to help you develop.