Have you ever caught yourself in a rut where something is constantly bothering your mind and you are unable to establish a solution or answer? We have probably all been there. Many times, we overthink the silliest things such as how we were perceived by others or whether we said the right thing at the right time.
Overthinking is a very unproductive way to spend your time because even after hours and hours, you still can’t find the way forward. It is a big waste of time, and for this reason, we must find ways to deal with it.
Overthinking is a waste of time. What’s done is done, and you can never fully control how people perceive you. The nature of human beings is just that – we are human. We are not perfect, and we will never be. That’s why we must find ways to stop the vicious cycle of overthinking.
Here are 6 ways to stop overthinking.
1. Distract yourself
A lot of times we overthink because we have the time and energy to do so. We overthink when we are idle and constantly focusing on the problem. One way to deal with overthinking is to distract yourself. Read a book, or organise your room. Cook or learn a new hobby like painting. This will, at the very least, help you to keep your mind off of the reason for overthinking.
Telling yourself to stop thinking about something will backfire. The more you try to prevent a thought from entering your brain, the more likely it is to keep popping up. However, doing something different will put an end to the barrage of negative thoughts.
2. Question your thoughts
Do you ever stop to question your ideas and thoughts? You need to learn how to challenge them because not all your thoughts are true or real. Many times our brains trick us into believing things. So, sit down with yourself and ask the question why. Why are you thinking that way? What led you to that point? Is it the gospel truth, or just a theory? Breaking down your thoughts this way will help you realise that in many instances you are just overthinking.
Remember that your emotions will interfere with your ability to look at situations objectively. Take a step back and look at the evidence. What evidence do you have that your thought is true? What evidence do you have that your thought isn’t true?
3. Readjust your goals
What are your goals in life? I’m pretty sure that nowhere among that list does it read ‘pleasing everyone,’ which is often a big cause of overthinking. How will all the issues floating around in your mind affect you 5 or 10 years from now? Will anyone really care that you bought a fruit plate for the potluck instead of baking a pie from scratch?
As part of your goals, choose to be more decisive, then you automatically become a person of action. Because action stems from a decision and the latter comes from you.
Meditating is a very powerful practice. There’s something unknowingly beautiful about sitting with yourself in silence and listening to your mind. Meditation gives you perspective, making you aware that there is a larger picture. You realize that your thoughts are restrictive and narrow. When you are ready to explore more, you will be able to join the dots for the larger pursuits in life. Health And Fitness: 7 Positive Effects Of Meditation
5. Understand your triggers
Overthinking is in many instances triggered by something. When you pay attention you can start to see the pattern and join the dots. Maybe you overthink after you drink alcohol, or after hanging out with a certain crowd. Once you know them, you can moderate or even eliminate the number of times that you expose yourself to them.
6. Focus on solutions rather than problems
The problem with overthinking is that most times you feel paralysed by your thoughts with no way to escape. What is the solution to your overthinking? While you may never find answers, there is almost always a solution. If you are overthinking a conversation, clarify what the other person meant. Be vulnerable enough to do so.
If it’s something you have some control over, consider how you can prevent the problem, or challenge yourself to identify five potential solutions. If it’s something you have no control over, think about the strategies you can use to cope with it.
My name is Laura Ayienga, a 25-year-old writer & marketer, experiencing the highs (not claiming the lows) of life. I discovered my passion for writing on this very blog back in 2019 and since then, I’ve been using it to express myself as candidly and authentically as possible.