Overthinking is when you catch yourself can’t stop thinking of events of the past or worrying about what will be in the future. You also continually try to create plans and strategies to fix what you did and how to make everything perfect for what’s coming. Besides, you find fault in all your actions, and that’s making you tend to overthink.
“Don’t get too deep, it leads to overthinking, and overthinking leads to problems that don’t even exist in the first place.” ― Jayson Engay
Worrying makes you have complicated and not organized thoughts. And, to be able to solve everything all at once, you are in continuous agony and anxiety. There is no satisfaction because you believe you always make mistakes. Furthermore, the continuous fear of what’s going to happen makes you think again and again.
Sounds familiar? Do you believe you are an overthinker? Are you obsessed with blaming yourself for everything that happens? Do you often feel guilty whenever you think about what you said or did? If your answer is yes, let me introduce you to seven strategies on how to stop yourself from overthinking.
1. Talk To Yourself A Lot
When you need a friend to talk to, maybe you should consider yourself first. As you get closer to yourself, you build a strong relationship with your mind and thoughts. Make it a habit to control what you believe and think about because when you say it aloud, it becomes more of a fact than a thought.
Throughout the day, it’s normal to have hundreds of thoughts about different things that may confuse you all the time. Talking about them out loud helps you prioritize what’s more important to be considered first. This way, your thoughts will be less stressful.
“A man speaking sense to himself is no madder than a man speaking nonsense, not to himself.” ― Tom Stoppard
2. Identify What You Can And Can’t Control
Overthinking is only an internal emotion, and we can control our emotions to some extent. To overcome this emotion, you need to recognize what events of your life are controllable and focus on them. Train your mind to give actions to only what you can change and handle.
When you identify what you can control and what needs your attention, you can get rid of the uncontrollable. Ignore what’s beyond your ability. Remind yourself that God can control all that’s happening in your life. Surely, with more faith, you will surrender to His plans. This reminder will absolutely give you peace of mind. As a result, you will focus on thinking about what’s important more rationally.
“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!” – Steve Maraboli
3. Control Destructive Thoughts
Negative thoughts never stop running in the background of your mind while life is going on, especially when you are under stress. They are usually the main trigger of overthinking. So, living with them can destroy your self-confidence and your positivity.
It’s challenging and needs enough practice to break patterns of negative thoughts. However, with training, your brain can stop such thoughts once they are identified. Never doubt that controlling destructive thoughts will free you from thinking about what could go wrong.
“Your thoughts carry you wherever you want to go. Weak thoughts don’t have the energy to carry you far!” ― Israelmore Ayivor
4. Focus On Solving The Problem
When you are stuck in a problem along with overthinking, you imagine everything that may go wrong except for the solution that will save you. But when challenge yourself to do your best to overcome it and stay focused on what you can control, you will be able to solve it.
It’s normal to fear failure, yet it’s smart to suppress this fear with rational thinking. Try to get to know the boundaries and roots of your problem. You may have made mistakes and been the source of the trouble, but blaming yourself won’t change the reality. We all make mistakes because it’s human nature, therefore, let go of guilt and focus only on the solution.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling
5. Practice Mindfulness
Be mindful; focus on the place and time you are in at the moment with no judgments or any other calculations. It’s draining and stressful to keep thinking negatively of events that are very far from reality and that may just never happen.
Practicing mindfulness will help you concentrate and engage more with your world, discover meaningful things, and get rid of complicated thoughts. In this busy life, it’s a waste of time not to pay attention with all your senses to living the present, not the past or the future, appreciate what you feel and see, and uncover this life’s magic. Undoubtedly living with mindfulness will get you to accept yourself for what you are because you will fully understand your own reactions in various situations.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray
6. Engage With People
Engaging more with people outside the professional circle helps to escape formal relationships. This will lead you to new encounters with new life events and people with different characters that can change your mindset for the better.
When you build relationships with people, you learn about who they are and what they like. You also get to understand their values and motives, and what energizes them. Knowing that will enrich your skills in judging your interaction with people and situations in your own life. As a result, real-life experiences will invade your brain and chase away useless negative overthinking.
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” ― Bill Nye
7. Do Something Good To Someone
Most of our negative feelings ease when we help someone else. Doing something good to someone especially if he/she is a total stranger gives the soul this strange feeling of positivity and self-worth. Learn to offer help whenever you can and you will find a new taste in your life.
Whether a friend who needs comfort when having a hard time or a stranger who is fed up with an unchangeable situation and gets surprised to find their way out from someone they don’t know! It all adds up to you before them; It adds peace, positivity, comfort, love, and happiness to your mind and heart. Therefore, don’t miss any chance to be good to someone.
“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or her who is served.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley