7 Ways to Stop Overthinking Everything in Your Life
How often do you catch yourself dwelling on your past or chewing over your problems and dilemmas? Many of us spend most of our waking hours thinking, analyzing, and worrying about issues at work, health concerns, or relationship problems. When we spend too much time thinking about upsetting topics, we often end up stressed out, anxious, and emotionally drained.
What is Overthinking?
In order to learn how to stop overthinking, you first need to understand what overthinking is. Once you know how to recognize overthinking, you will feel empowered to quit this pattern and improve your mental health.
Overthinking is often described as a tendency to dwell on something excessively. It involves ruminations that go round and round, never bringing the solutions.
While it is natural to spend your waking hours scrutinizing your dilemmas, problems, and decisions, pondering about something for too long can lead to various symptoms, often causing chronic anxiety and depression.
Why Do We Overthink?
We overthink and ruminate because overthinking provides a false sense of control and security. It is in human nature to want to have control over our lives. However, countless things in life are beyond our control, which often triggers feelings of helplessness, apprehension, and fear.
When you spend too much time brooding over your dilemmas and problems, you may become even more confused and anxious. Also, overthinking can lead to various emotional, mental, and physical symptoms such as troubles concentrating, energy loss, sleep and appetite problems, mood oscillations, and other concerns, sometimes leading to anxiety and depression.
Destructive Thought Patterns
Overthinking involves destructive thought patterns such as ruminations and persistent worry. While ruminating represents dwelling on the past, excessive worry involves catastrophic predictions.
Ruminating involves ongoing and repetitive thoughts about your past experiences and problems. We all tend to overthink things in stressful situations, so brief ruminations are natural. But if you always dwell on your dilemmas obsessively, it is essential to recognize and stop those ruminating thoughts.
People tend to engage in reflective rumination to scrutinize problems and gain insight about possible solutions. However, you can also obsessively think about your flaws and mistakes, (this tendency is known as brooding ruminating).
So, there is a big difference between ruminations about problems that can be solved and those about things you cannot control. Ruminations may become a problem if they are persistent or interfere with your ability to go about your daily life. They are typically present in anxiety and depression.
Constant worry is the signature of anxiety disorders. People who suffer from anxiety are often overwhelmed with uneasiness and continuous worry. This can be exhausting, and it often increases feelings of anxiety and fear.
7 Ways to Stop Overthinking
There are things you can do to stop rumination and change your mindset. Here are seven things you can do to stop overthinking.
1. Learn Mindfulness Skills
The ability to be fully present in the existing moment can help you detect your ruminations and worrying thoughts without judgment. Mindfulness meditation can reduce stress, promote relaxation, increase optimism, relieve anxiety symptoms, and much more. By staying present in the moment, you can observe your negative thoughts and let go of them without allowing ruminations to take over your mood.
2. Banish Perfectionism
There is nothing wrong with setting goals and having aspirations in life. However, there is a significant difference between healthy striving and perfectionism.
Perfectionism often stems from insecurity and fear. Perfectionism is unhealthy and unproductive because it usually doesn’t lead to problem-solving and higher achievements. Perfectionists tend to set unrealistic goals and often have unworkable ambitions.
They are often unforgiving of themselves and overly self-critical. If you are a perfectionist, you may experience a persistent self-critical voice telling you that you are not good enough.
Perfectionism usually leads to anxiety, depression, and addiction. Perfectionists are overly critical of themselves and others, always focusing on mistakes instead of accomplishments. The ability to distinguish between realistic and unrealistic goals and adjust your standards can help you let go of unhelpful ruminations and overcome perfectionism.
3. Evaluate the True Scope of the Situation
Excessive ruminations can take a toll on your mood, health, and relationships. try to mindfully identify your ruminations and inspect what triggered them. Take a step back and examine the evidence of your negative thoughts.
Assessing the true scope of the situation can help you break the cycle of ruminations by focusing on problem-solving instead of dwelling on your challenges.
4. Trust Your Intuition
Listening to your gut can offer new, creative solutions, helping you see things from a different perspective. We tend to rationalize and ignore our intuition when faced with problems. However, turning to your intuition can lead to a better understanding of yourself, boost your optimism, and reduce stress and anxiety caused by overthinking.
5. Make Regular Time for Self-Reflection
It is easy to get lost in your negative thoughts. So, practice mindfulness and acknowledge when your thoughts become overly pessimistic. Reflect on emotions triggered by such thoughts and think about how you can react differently.
Incorporate regular reflection time into your daily routine, allowing your mind to wonder. But when the reflection time is over, move on to other activities.
6. Let the Past Go
Dwelling on the past can become such a habit that you even don’t recognize doing it. However, mulling over past events and experiences cannot change what happened. It can only trigger anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.
So, each time you are replaying the scenes from the past in your mind, acknowledge that this is not productive. Practice self-compassion and make peace with your past mistakes, as this can help you become mentally stronger.
7. Learn to Notice When You Are Overthinking
Pay attention to your thoughts. Journaling can be an excellent way to keep track of your ruminations and identify what triggers them. Mindfulness can improve the awareness of your unproductive way of thinking, helping you switch your mindset and stop overthinking. Do you want to learn how coaching can assist the mindset shifts in order to slow down overthinking in order to move into a place of clarity? Book a call here (www.chatwithkamini.com)