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Hey friends. Today I want to share some tips and ideas on ways to stop overthinking everything. Because let’s face it, many of us do this.
After a very busy day, you finally have some time for yourself. But then – boom – you start wondering whether you sent the appreciative emails a little bit late, or whether you did enough to get the job done, or whether your clients will suddenly change their minds about giving you the contract.
Does this sound like you? It’s called worrying and overthinking!
These habits have always been part of humans. However, when left unchecked, they can go a long way to undermine your general well being. Thoughts are very powerful – your thinking has a strong tendency to become your reality!
So, are you thinking right or are you just overthinking? When you overthink, you just can’t help but create a mountain out of a little molehill. You end up exaggerating things that really shouldn’t matter into something very scary.
According to a recent study, dwelling on one thought or similar lines of thoughts (over a long period of time) can increase the threat of developing certain mental health conditions.
With that said, this article will provide a guide on what exactly to do to stop overthinking everything.
Why do people overthink?
In order for you to withstand the problem posed by overthinking and eliminate that habit of worrying unnecessarily, you have to understand why you are overthinking. If not, in the long run, overthinking can throw you into anxiety and even depression.
In other words, once you understand why people overthink, you’ll start to understand why people suffer anxiety and depression. And these serious mental health issues must be dealt with if you want to live a more positive life.
Some causes of overthinking are:
- Low self-esteem
- When you are about making a tough decision in life
- Too many insecurities
- When you have suffered a traumatic experience in the past.
But, the good news is that these causes of overthinking can be wiped off if you develop a shift of mindset. The question now is; how do you change your mindset?
By the end of this article, you will realize how to shift your mindset from negative to positive. Let’s dive right in!
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Ways To Stop Overthinking
1. Be In Charge Of Your Story
For sure, we all have stories to tell ourselves. But the most important thing is; the kind of stories you tell yourself. Are your stories limiting you? Or are they propelling you to move forward?
The kind of stories you tell yourself can impact every facet of your life! For instance, over-thinkers might tell themselves stories like;
- I naturally worry a lot.
- I am a critical thinker, so I must keep thinking.
- This is who I am – I just can’t stop thinking about anything and everything.
- I’m naturally more anxious than most people…
Gosh! These are stories that limit you from going forward. These stories simply hold you back! And there is no way you can change from telling such stories if you don’t even bother to ask yourself; why do I overthink?
To eliminate those limiting stories of yours, you must first identify them. It’s only when you’ve pinpointed those limiting beliefs that you can easily capture yourself whenever you start telling those negative stories. Then you can start displacing them with more positive ones – such as;
- I’m in command of my emotions.
- I can do better than overthinking this.
- I’m smart enough to resolve this once and for all.
Now, when you start controlling your thoughts in this manner, then you can equally control your life.
2. Let Go Of Those Past Experiences
Like I said earlier, one of the causes of overthinking is past experiences in your life that were either traumatic or very negative!
Past traumatic experiences can create a strong fear in you that will always throw you off balance once you come across similar situations in the future. Hence, you might start overthinking by asking yourself too many “what ifs”.
One of the best ways to stop overthinking is by understanding that the past is in the past. You can’t possibly go back and undo what has already happened. The only thing that can be changed is your present viewpoint and the meaning you attach to such past memories. You just have to let go.
Don’t allow your past mistakes to limit you from doing something positive now and in the future. Moreover, don’t allow those traumatic experiences to control your emotions. Those sad memories can only be wiped off if you forgive your offenders and move on with your life.
Once you can let go, then you can easily change your stories for good. Of course, there are lots of possibilities to explore. Work on forgetting the negative memories and focus on these possibilities and prospects.
3. Live In The Moment
Another effective way to stop overthinking is by living in the moment. But then, most people can’t just flip a switch and automatically start living in the moment… Or is it possible? Nahh.
Living in the moment mustn’t necessarily be spontaneous. It’s always going to be a gradual process. If you are the type of person who is so futuristic – like, you always get worried about what tomorrow holds even to the extent that you don’t realize the present – then you have to be in control of your mind.
Identify those overthinking traits before they dominate your mind. Take a deep breath and concentrate on Now. All it takes is a little bit of consciousness and meditation.
What can you observe around you? Is there anything you should actually be grateful for?
Dragging yourself from worrying so much about the future to focusing on the present will make you appreciate every little good you experience in your life. You will simply be happier as you savor the good things around you. And consequently, you will have no reason to overthink.
If you can reduce the way you worry about the future and start focusing on now, your life will be more balanced. After all, you can’t jump into the future.
Always remember this; the future you are thinking of actually starts Now.
4. Handle One Task At A Time – Take Regular Breaks Too
When your life becomes so busy and so many things are happening at the same time, it will be more difficult for you to concentrate. At that point, overthinking takes over!
If you must stop overthinking, then you must learn how to single-task. When you focus on one task at a time, you will be more productive. Because you’ll be able to channel your mental energy towards a single course. This way, you will be able to finish whatever you started.
There won’t be any need to overthink because you are only concentrating on what matters most. Every other frivolous activity can wait. Moreover, single-tasking will allow you to rest at intervals even on a busy day. Your life will be less hectic and you will be in perfect control of situations that spring up.
I’m sure you can relate to how it feels when you only have one job to do versus how it feels when you have multiple tasks on your to-do list. You will definitely be more worried when your to-do list is way too long.
5. Become More Of An Action Person
The reason why your life may be full of worries and overthinking is because of procrastination. One thing with people who procrastinate is that they often pile up things to do. And at the end of the day, when they revisit their to-do list, it has probably gotten longer than the Mississippi River!
One of the best ways to stop overthinking is to avoid procrastination and become more of an action person. In order to become action-oriented, you have to set deadlines. Setting deadlines will give you an extra boost to push harder in order to get things done before a specific time.
As a result, instead of overthinking, you will be busy with “Doing”. When you set deadlines, you will understand that time doesn’t wait for anybody. You will go extra hard in order to beat the time limit.
And if you adopt the principle of setting deadlines, you can only look back and see how much you’ve changed from an overthinking person (who procrastinated a lot) to an active person (who easily gets things done)!
Sure, it is not easy to activate this sort of change… However, if you can simply take the first step when posed with a difficult task, then you can achieve a lot over time.
6. Understand That You Cannot Control Everything
Hey! Listen. The hard fact is; Nobody can do it all! There are things you just can’t change.
There are people who don’t buy the idea of; do your best and leave the rest. They just try to do anything and everything. They worry, they think, they ponder, and imagine how they can possibly change some situations that are obviously not in their position to change.
In the end, after lots of futile attempts, they get frustrated. Well, that’s because they are overthinking. The best way to stop overthinking is by understanding the fact that there are situations that are neither your fault nor in your position to change.
For instance, can you Always ensure the safety of your loved ones? Can you always keep them away from accidents or death? Unfortunately, no. So why then do you overthink and worry over their safety?
You can’t always walk around with your loved ones to ensure they are secure. You can’t always protect them. All you can do is your best and then you must leave the rest.
You can’t possibly do everything. So don’t overthink it.
7. Eliminate Fears From Your Life
A wise man once said that the greatest enemy of man is his worst fears. And I totally agree with that notion. A “Fear” is like a trap that holds you captive from living a fulfilled life.
When you are afraid, taking a step forward will be the last thing you’ll ever think of. You’ll absolutely be stuck in a place where you are seemingly comfortable.
Now, how do you deal with your fears? The answer is; face it! Yes, it can be quite difficult and very scary to face those things you dread the most. But start by thinking of the worst that can happen even if your greatest fears should occur.
When you figure out the worst thing that could happen if your greatest fear should become a reality, then you can start taking proactive measures to innovate the solutions to those unwanted circumstances.
However, it might interest you to know that often, your greatest fears are vague. Because even if they eventually happen, the consequences won’t be as much as the worries those fears had initially caused you.
Allowing fears to dominate your mind will make you miserable. All you will end up doing is worrying and overthinking. Nothing more. Fear will only cause you to live in perpetual captivity and utter stagnation.
It can take just a few minutes to eliminate some fears from your life – you just have to face them.
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The importance of implementing ways to stop overthinking cannot be overemphasized. Because it is only when you stop overthinking that you can break free from the shackles of stagnation and push forward.
But remember, it all starts from shifting your mindset from negative to positive. Some tips that will help you activate a shift of mindset include:
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Read self-help books
- Listen to motivational podcasts
- Watch movies that drive your mindset towards positivity
- Tell yourself you can
- Be more optimistic
- Always examine yourself and your thoughts, and eliminate any sort of negative thinking
- And believe in yourself a little more.
If you can practice some of these techniques, you will be more positive in life… And overthinking will not be a hindrance anymore.