Are you often overcome with distressing thoughts? There are many triggers that may cause overthinking. This experience usually leaves you feeling various emotions — but you’re most likely to endure stress and worry. It’s possible for overthinking to cloud your judgment, too. As a result, it’s critical to learn how to stop.
There are a few reasons for overthinking. You may overanalyze situations on a case-by-case basis, so it’s less frequent. That happens to almost everyone. However, if your mind seems to fret over minuscule issues consistently, you could have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This mental health condition’s symptoms often include worrying, nervousness and irritability at excessive rates.
This habit can lead to detrimental effects on your self-image, health and more. As a result, you should take steps to combat overthinking. Here are seven ways to keep your excessive thoughts at bay.
1. Try to Solve Problems
It’s smart to navigate situations with “problem-solving” as your first instinct. It’s OK to stress for a moment, but you shouldn’t stay in those feelings. It’s much more productive if you move into problem-solving mode after you come across an issue. How can you fix your situation? In some cases, it’s impossible to change anything. That’s when you need to step back and learn acceptance.
A stressor like an unsolved concern may lead to an anxiety attack if you don’t figure out how to cope. If you have control over your scenario, it’s always better to find a way to mend what’s wrong rather than think about it without doing anything.
2. Make Time for Reflection
Here’s a quick exercise that you can implement into your daily routine. Take 15 minutes to dwell and overreact as much as you wish. You’ll want to make a note about each situation, event or person that you’re overthinking. Write until your timer sounds. Then, you can toss your paper into a trashcan. It’s a symbolic way to push your negative feelings away so they don’t become overwhelming.
3. Stay Busy With Other Tasks
It always helps to stay busy. If you concentrate on other tasks, you won’t have time to let your mind shift into overthinking. An unoccupied mind will always travel to thoughts and feelings both good and bad. Therefore, it’s beneficial to read a book, listen to music and try other distracting activities to take your mind elsewhere.
4. Relinquish Control Over External Issues
It’s never productive to worry about situations you can’t control. You only have power over your individual thoughts and actions. It’s necessary to recognize that you’re one person. You can’t fix everything. That’s a fact that everyone has to realize. It’s much easier to process your emotions once you relinquish your control. As a result, you can learn how to make your situation better if possible.
It’s important to identify potential fears and doubts so you can wholly relinquish control. Once you pinpoint those feelings, you can feel less afraid of the future.
5. Forget About Perfection
There’s nothing wrong with ambition, but you shouldn’t expect to be perfect. This desire will always leave you unsatisfied. It’s unrealistic to be flawless throughout life, even if you work hard. Like everyone, you’ll make mistakes. You have to eventually accept that reality if you want to thrive. You’ll find that it’s far better to do your work well than waste time with mental burdens like perfectionism.
You need to be self-aware to recognize when you’ve tried too hard. It’s essential to squash your perfectionism as soon as it raises its head.
6. Remember to Maintain Perspective
You need to be honest with yourself: Will your current predicament make a difference in five years? If not, you need to stop overthinking. The saying that you shouldn’t “make mountains out of molehills” remains true. The human mind likes to exaggerate. A specific issue may seem far more important or significant than it’ll be once it actually transpires. You have to keep your situation in perspective.
It’s not always easy to let go of a situation, especially if you’ve dwelled on it for a long time. However, if the outcome won’t make a huge difference, there’s no point in being worried or anxious about it. Direct your thoughts toward more meaningful subjects.
7. Actively Practice Mindfulness
A mindful state helps you focus on what’s going on in a singular moment. This practice allows you to focus less on what the future holds. As a result, you can truly be present in each daily moment. You can use a few tactics to achieve mindfulness, like concentrated breathing and meditating. When you feel like you’re overthinking, it can be beneficial to shift into a mindful state.
It may take practice to train your mind not to wander, but you’ll get there. Any progress you make toward this goal will distract you from overthinking.
Use These Suggestions to Manage Overthinking
It’s never fun when you’re overthinking. You feel stressed, concerned, anxious — and totally overwhelmed. Fortunately, you can control how you react to various situations. These tips will keep you grounded as you navigate life. The next time you notice you’re overthinking, you’ll have tools to restructure your mind.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.