Rethinking an earlier decision or behavior is one thing. Reliving the same experience over and over in your head for days, weeks, or even months, is something different.
What is Overthinking?
We can overthink and experience stress about past behaviors and events or future possibilities. When this way of thinking becomes too much to handle on your own, or it affects your self-confidence, eating habits, sleeping patterns, or relationships with others, try incorporating these effective coping mechanisms into your daily routine..
Here are 5 Effective Ways to Stop Overthinking
- Take Deep Breaths: Whether you decide to take a 15-minute walk outside or practice mindfulness meditation, or diaphragmatic breathing spending time in a comfortable setting, where you’re free to focus only on your breathing and the present moment, may help clear your mind and allow your brain to slow down.
- Keep a Daily Journal: Feeling overwhelmed? Another way to stop overthinking is to actively write down your thoughts on paper each day. This practice allows you to let go of your repetitive thoughts—rather than leaving them stored inside your head .
- Look for Patterns: In addition to keeping a daily journal, see if you can recognize negative thought patterns. The most common are :unrealistic expectations, “I have to make straight A’s”,should statements, “I should have done this sooner”,personalizing,”They don’t like me”,fortune telling “It’s not going to work out, why try?”and black or white thinking ,”nothing ever works out for me.”
- Brainstorm Solutions: Overthinking can make you more prone to symptoms of anxiety, such as panic attacks, nervousness, sweating, or fear. Rather than worrying about something you said, something you did, or something you may do in the future, consider ways to change your behaviors now. If you keep overthinking about something you said to a friend and now worry about their perception of you,consider whether your perception is even accurate. Could there be different ways of looking at the situation?.
- Talk About It: When you need to get “out of your head,” sometimes the best medicine is talking to a professional therapist about what you’re thinking. Verbalizing your thoughts into words can help you recognize irrational fears, as well as give you the opportunity to explore the issue on a deeper level with an experienced professional who can help guide you to discover more effective, long-term coping mechanisms to overcome overthinking.
Take Back Control of Your Thinking
Overthinking or second guessing your actions is all part of human nature. But rather than allow these constant worries to control your thoughts, consider trying one or all of these helpful tips to get back on track with your mental health and wellness.
If you’d like to talk to someone about dealing with overthinking or if you’re living with both overthinking and anxiety symptoms, request an appointment at The Calli Institute today to learn how we can help!