Stop Overthinking With These 3 Techniques That Actually Work To Quite Your Mind
How To Stop Overthinking?
How to Stop Overthinking has been one of the most searched questions on Google and one of the most striking problems that people seek therapy for.
There are many ways you can stop overthinking and live a happier life. However, self-compassion and consistency lay the foundation on which you can build habits to overcome overthinking.
What is Happiness?
When I buy my dream house, I will be happy.
When I get married to the love of my life, I will be happy.
When the weekend comes, I will be happy.
Happiness is often perceived as a goal. However, that perception is likely to make us feel anxious in our never-ending pursuit of reaching that goal. Happiness is an ongoing presence and a light that is present with us at all moments.
But what happens when you get stuck in negative thought loops and can’t see the light? What happens when you cannot stop overthinking about every little aspect of your life?
Overthinking Can Look Like..
Overthinking is a state of mind in which a person thinks too much about something. It’s like worrying on steroids; it has the same negative effects, except intensified 10 times more. Unfortunately, overthinking is as common as drinking coffee to stay awake and make it through the day.
Overthinking is when your mind is stuck in endless loops of negative thoughts that don’t lead you anywhere. It is like a spider’s web that lures you further and further inside.
Overthinking can get you tangled up in your own emotions and thoughts to an extent that you feel frozen in one place. This article will help you recognize the signs of overthinking, understand its consequences on your life and find ways to cope with it, and when to seek therapy so that you can start living again instead of merely existing from one day to another.
The Dangers of Overthinking
I could not stop overthinking and that almost ruined my relationship. The obsessive thoughts about what could go wrong in the relationship gripped me with such intense fear that I would end up acting in an irrational and impulsive way.
Long story short Overthinking gives an exaggerated picture of reality, and at times convinces us about things that are not even real!
- It can cause you to obsess over things
- Worry too much
- Stress out excessively
- Make it difficult to relax and enjoy the moment
- Increase feelings of inferiority and general dissatisfaction with life
Overthinking can get you stuck in a vicious cycle, and negatively impact your health as well. The constant worry activates your nervous system and prolonged exposure to stress can cause your body to break down.
But enough of what could go wrong. Let’s shift our focus to how we can stop overthinking and improve our overall well-being.
3 Steps to Stop Overthinking and Live a Happier Life
Here are 3 steps to stop overthinking and live a happier life: –
- Recognize the Thinking Traps You’re Falling Into
- Set Boundaries and Stay in the Present Moment
- Take Care of Yourself, Slowly but Steadily
Recognize the Thinking Traps You’re Falling Into
The first step to stop overthinking and living a happier life is to recognize the thinking traps you’re falling into and then replace them with healthier thoughts that work for you.
It is crazy how we realize that we are overthinking after a whole 15 minutes of already overthinking!! We try to snap out of the trance but sometimes it is just too late.
One of the most effective ways to stop overthinking is by recognizing thoughts are unhealthy and irrational.
Pay attention to your feelings when you are having certain thoughts.
Are these thoughts making you feel anxious and nervous?
Are they causing a lot of tension in your head?
If your answer to these questions is ‘YES’ then probably these patterns of thinking is unhealthy for you.
Once you have recognized these toxic thought patterns you can stop overthinking by replacing the unhealthy, negative thoughts with the more positive ones.
|I will never be able to move on||It will take some time but I feel I will get over this|
|I am a total failure||I am trying my best|
|I hate when my mother does this||Maybe I can try to understand what makes my mother act like this..|
The above statements are simply a few examples of how you can modify your thinking patterns. Recognizing the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones can make a remarkable change in your mindset and help you stop overthinking from its roots.
However, it is not always easy to indulge in self-introspection and self-awareness. Our biases and defense mechanisms can always come in the way of our real growth. Therefore I would strongly recommend working with a therapist preferably someone who has expertise in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy can be a huge help in recognizing and modifying your thought patterns.
Connect with a CBT Practitioner Today.
Set Boundaries and Stay in the Present Moment
This is a tricky one.
Setting boundaries can save you from overspending your mental and physical energy. In order to stop overthinking, setting boundaries is a much-needed practice in your life.
You can start by making a healthy decision for yourself and then stay persistent on that decision.
For instance, talking to my grandmother for long hours would usually put me in a bad mood because she has something negative to comment on my ways of living. Although I am aware of her habit it would still make me overthink all the things that I am doing wrong in my life. I love my grandmother so naturally; I did not want to completely cut her off from my life and so the next best option was to set boundaries with her.
How did I do this?
Firstly, communicate your feelings and your thoughts with the other person. It is important to keep an open mind and communicate with assertiveness and patience.
Secondly, if your efforts of communication do not work and the person insists on violating your boundaries then reduce the amount of time you are willing to give to that person. Continuing from the above example I cut short the conversation with my grandma when I begin to feel drained and tired.
The most amazing thing you can do for yourself to stop overthinking is by setting boundaries with yourself.
Many times, our minds can become our biggest enemy. Therefore, it is liberating to be kind to our minds and befriend them.
Limit the amount of time you give to emotions and thoughts that make you feel low. I understand that it is not possible to stop the flow of your thoughts altogether, but maybe we can try to reduce the intensity of it, right?
As soon as you recognize that you have been overthinking, take a deep breath, accept your thoughts and emotions and then let it go.
This can feel very difficult in the beginning. Your mind is very used to overanalyzing and overthinking every possible outcome. However, keep reminding yourself that this quality of thought adds nothing of value to your life.
Add sticky notes to serve as a reminder
One way to remind yourself that you need to stop overthinking is by sticking notes in places that you look at very often. Your laptop screen, mirror, the side of your bed, or your TV can be a good place where you stick these notes as a reminder.
These notes can have words or sentences like ‘It is okay, breathe’, or ‘You are Calm’
It is important to set in the belief that no habit can be changed overnight, however when you make a strong choice that you want to stop overthinking then your brain will gradually begin to register the new habits that are needed to stop overthinking.
This technique of setting boundaries with others and with yourself will help you to overcome overthinking and manage your thoughts irrespective of the difficulty you are facing.
If nothing is helping you then connecting with a Therapist Online can be a great way to learn how to set boundaries and manage your emotions better.
Take Care of Yourself, Slowly but Steadily
Once you’ve set boundaries with your thoughts and emotions, you can then start taking care of yourself, slowly but steadily.
Start with small things like..
- Going for a walk
- Drinking more water
- listening to your favorite music. –
- Making time for fun activities that you enjoy doing
- Spending time with loved ones.
Basically, the key is to start taking care of yourself and indulge in things that make you feel happy and good so that you can create a space of positivity in your life and stop overthinking.
Your Major Take-Aways
Overthinking can truly kill the peace and happiness in your life. We have all been there at some point in our lives, but we don’t have to stay there forever.
It is possible to stop overthinking by..
- Recognizing unhealthy ways of thinking and restructuring your thought patterns
- Setting well-defined boundaries with others and limiting the energy and time you give to things that drain you
- Indulging in activities and hobbies that create a space of purpose and positivity in your help
- Accept that certain things cannot be controlled in life and the best bet it to simply change our response to them.
These self-help tools are amazingly useful in helping you to stop overthinking. However, at times the waves of overthinking, sadness, and pain can hit us really hard. It can get difficult to get up again and try all over again.
In times like these, it is really useful to have someone who can create a safe space, help us make sense of our feelings, and guide us to a better and happier life. And therapy can genuinely do all of these things for you. There are many effective therapeutic techniques that helps to overcome overthinking.