How many times have you gone to bed feeling like the world is on your shoulders? How often do you find yourself thinking about how to fix a problem that isn’t even there? The truth is, overthinking can be a serious issue and can lead to depression for some people. In this blog post, we will talk about how to stop overthinking and relax and how it may be affecting your life.
We will discuss 25 coping strategies that help a person look away and stop incessant worrying that will benefit you with a more positive lifestyle, improving your mental health instead of constantly pressuring yourself.
What is overthinking
Another word for overthinking is overanalyzing, which is sometimes unnecessary for your mental health.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema referred to the following as ruminating, a method that an individual coping with a negative mood that includes self-focused attention and repetitive and passive focus on one’s negative feelings.
It is a process where one processes repetitive thoughts about an issue or problem even when there is no significant value or point for the concern. It can be due to many reasons, such as lack of self-confidence, low moods, and anxiety issues, among others.
The problem with overthinking is that it leads to false issues in our heads without any basis, making it difficult to get rid of them.
Overthinking can be especially harmful, but it also leads to limiting beliefs which are the leading cause of depression, anxiety and stress.
The worst part about overthinking is that the constant worrying affects your daily life, health and productivity and does not help you with problem-solving.
The 5 indicators that you are overthinking
It is not difficult to see if a person is overthinking as research shows that they will always display specific characteristics such as
Being paranoid and think excessively
One will constantly feel anxious about things that are not even there, especially when nobody cares or is looking at you (low self-esteem). The brain will start second-guessing and start to develop excessively.
The need to seek answers
Constantly second-guessing about what to do for specific events and even situations that may never happen (self-doubt) Looking at different possibilities to try and find an explanation that makes sense to you.
Over planning and you think with negative and is unrealistic
Overplanning everything is like a step-by-step process in your head, trying to predict every possible outcome of an event. The individual will try to plan everything constantly in a negative or unrealistic perspective, always thinking of what will go wrong before it does.
You cannot sleep well
It is usually challenging to sleep when you overthink as your mind keeps going through different scenarios and thoughts. You will feel that you are lack energy all the time, which will lead you to have an unfocused attention span.
You constantly dwell on what happened previously
You have destructive thought patterns and constantly think about the past and what you did wrong or even correct when it is all water under the bridge.
Why would you overthink?
The reason why a person starts overthinking may vary from one person to another. It can be related to mental health problems, but we can roughly categorize the reasons for this behavior into three categories:
Lack of confidence and low self-esteem
People with these issues tend to be overly critical about everything they do, and they spend time thinking if what they did was right or wrong.
People tend to confuse this for shyness, but it is also a reason behind many cases where they constantly want reassurance from others, which may be part of the situation and stress them.
Anxiety is the feeling of fear before something terrible happens, even if it’s not logical for one reason or another. It creates a situation where the person feels stuck and may deter them from taking action or acting on the necessary.
Why does one need to stop overthinking?
Overthinking leads to mental health declines and does one more harm than actual good.https://inside5am.com/23-tips-how-to-be-a-better-husband/
Past overthinkers who walked out of their problems will tell you that it is better to live in the present and acknowledge what’s happening right now rather than keep dwelling and overthinking the unnecessary.
The benefits will help the person stop thinking negatively and help them be more productive and spend time making better decisions.
When you stop overthinking, it becomes easier for you to relax as your mind is no longer running wild with different thoughts on things that may never happen or scenarios that could have been prevented; it will help you feel more at ease and free.
When you stop stressing too much about things that may never happen or are not even there, it reduces your stress levels and gives you more energy.
Increase your productivity
When you overthink everything, it affects your productivity as it becomes tough for you to focus and concentrate on anything you do.
Improve your relationships
You also become less critical of yourselves which leads to better communication with others and building stronger relationships.
How to stop overthinking and relax in 25 ways
There are many ways on how to stop overthinking and relax in different situations; here are 25 coping strategies that can help you be more productive.
Identify and pay attention to your negative triggers
The best way to start is by identifying what triggers your negative thinking. What makes you feel insecure, unsure, or anxious? Once you know these things, it will be easier for you to keep yourself from going down that road when they come up again in the future.
It’s also crucial for one to pay attention to their thoughts and recognize when you are overthinking.
There is a difference between recognizing the situation and thinking about it to find an answer. (Which is what we want) Constantly going back in your head with different thoughts that make no sense or something like “what if” scenarios only create more confusion. Recognizing this behavior helps you anticipate and prepare yourself.
Step back and question yourself
Once you are aware that you are overthinking, step back and look at how you respond to the situation. You will realize that your response is not logical as it only leaves adverse effects behind.
The good news is that you can stop yourself and think about how you responded to the situation.
Think about your concerns and question yourself,
- Is it true that the situation will end up badly?
- Will there be negative consequences if things don’t go as planned?
If they are not true, then ask yourself again, “Why do I think like this?” When we start asking ourselves these questions, we often can’t find a reason why, and that’s when it becomes easier to stop the negative thoughts.
Remember, you don’t need to overthink everything; if there are no significant consequences, just let it go!
Overthinking is such a habit
One of the helpful things for me was when I started thinking, “No, it will be ok,” instead of beating myself up with excuses like “I should have done this or that.” You are telling yourself something more positive, which eventually can develop into a habit.
When you tell yourself no, it will be not; as a habit, it becomes easier not to overthink and create more room for better thoughts contributing to making better decisions!
Live in the present moment and stop looking at your past
When you stay in the present moment and stop looking at your past, a lot of times, you realize that there are things we cannot change or anything we could have done differently. That realization right there helps us move on and learn from our mistakes without any guilt attached!
Manage your emotions, stay in control
Learn to manage your emotions and stay in control. Managing our own emotions makes it easier to evaluate situations objectively and bring down excessive stress levels.
Accept that there are things that are beyond your control
There will always be a thing that is beyond your control. Accept it and move on!
Do not think of all the “what ifs” or worst-case scenarios because you can’t predict what will happen next, so why stress yourself out?
Acceptance, there will always be a thing that is beyond your control. It is a way of life, and we need to accept it.
Stay positive and look at the bigger picture
We have all heard this one before but do we truly understand it?
Mentally strong people will tell you it is easy, but It is much easier said than done, mainly when you are stressed out, and your mental space is constantly consumed by negative thoughts, it can be challenging to focus.
Focus on finding solutions
Turn your thoughts around and focus only on coming up with problem-solving solutions.
Being anxious and stressed out is not going to make things better, instead, try looking at the situation from a different perspective and come up with possible solutions on how we can do it differently next time around.
Understand what fear and intuition is
We need to learn that fear and intuition are two very different things.
Fear paralyzes our brains from taking necessary actions, while intuition helps us move forward and act on our decisions.
Learn to ask the right questions
Asking the right questions is crucial; when we learn to ask ourselves these important questions, it is a form of healthy self-reflection that helps us analyze better what we need to do on the job and helps us be more productive.
For example, instead of asking yourself, “why did I mess up?” you should have more self-awareness for your mistakes and use them as an opportunity to learn something new.
Face your fears head-on
Overthinkers tend to worry about a lot of things for many reasons due to their own life experiences.
Excessive worrying will only make you start overthinking, which is not helpful. Learn to face your fears head-on so you can find problem-solving solutions and ways to stop them from affecting your life.
Write down your thoughts and evaluate them
Writing down your thoughts and allow yourself some space away from the problem so that the brain can calmly evaluate them and see if they are logical or your concerns are necessary. It is beneficial and will allow you to take better control of your thought processing.
Live in the current moment
When we learn to live in the current moment and be mindful, it helps us to decrease overthinking and focus on what is essential, which are our thoughts and actions.
Step away for a few hours and look for distractions
Once triggered, step away from the situation and seek distractions if the negative energy strikes your head repeatedly.
It will give you a fresh perspective on things, allowing it to help your body relax and manage the trigger better.
Fear never helped us solve problems
Fear is a powerful emotion, and it makes us do things we wouldn’t normally do. But remember, it will never help you solve problems; in fact, overthinking is often triggered by the feeling of anxiety about something that hasn’t even happened yet!
Take a deep breath
Whenever you find yourself overthinking or worrying about something, take a deep breath and ask yourself whether the problem is real right now. Your brain tends to panic about an uncertain future, so making a list of potentially harmful things you see will help you address them one by one until they don’t bother you as much.
Stop comparing yourself to others
You must know the only person you should ever compare yourself with is who you were yesterday. Competing can cause many self-doubts because we tend to base our success on what other people do or have rather than by our standards.
Realize that life is a journey and not a race
One of the most significant issues with overthinking is having expectations on how we want to be or what we should have done by now. Everyone’s path in life looks different; some people take longer than others to find their passion and figure out what they want to do with their lives. Realize that life is a journey, not a race!
The only person you should please at this moment is yourself
It’s easy for us to get caught up in making other people happy when we are constantly overthinking how we appear or what people think of us.
Please stop overthinking everything; the only person you should ever please at this moment is yourself. You do not need to worry about how others look at your as long you do your best for your job.
Celebrate your success
Celebrate and appreciate yourself for your hard work! No matter how small or big your success is, it’s essential to acknowledge what you’ve achieved because self-love will help us continue to pursue our goals with more ease in future situations too.
Self-compassion and look at happy things
You need also look at what you’re grateful for, even if it sounds silly or straightforward. There are always good parts about any situation that we can focus on, and this will help us stay in a more positive state of mind when facing difficult times. Some days may be more complicated than others, but you will learn to appreciate the small things in life and get back to a less anxious state with time.
Everyone fails sometimes
Too often, we try to be perfect because we think it’ll make us feel better about ourselves until something happens where we fail miserably at what we set out to do. Failure is a part of life, and everyone sometimes fails, which can help us get back on our feet faster. Success comes to those willing to go through whatever it takes; failure is just one of the many things that will happen along the way.
Remember that your thoughts aren’t facts
Our brain has a beautiful imagination that allows us to think about all the possible outcomes in situations, but this can become a problem when thoughts become too negative. Remember that your thoughts aren’t facts, and you have the power to choose what you want to focus on.
Improve yourself every day
Your life is an ongoing journey where we mustn’t get stuck with our initial successes. It’s important to keep improving ourselves every day because this will give us the best chance of success.
Talk to someone, seek help
When tough gets going, it’s vital that you know there is always someone willing to listen. Don’t be afraid to talk about your problems and seek help when needed!
Final thoughts on how to stop overthinking
Overthinking can be defined as excessive thinking, worrying and ruminating about things that are outside of the person’s control. It’s when we worry excessively about something or obsessively analyzing events in our life for details, feelings of dread and fearfulness. Everyone overthinks at some point in their life. We all have our issues, but the key is overcoming them to achieve success. The best way to stop overthinking about something that’s bothering you is by doing it!