How to Stop Overthinking
Are you someone who overthinks? Most people at one time or another have had the experience of overthinking. Either they were obsessing about a relationship, a job, where they should go for dinner or any random thought. This usually leads them to eventually becoming anxious, stressed or even have a panic attack.
Why do some people overthink more than others?
Some people are deep thinkers. They live in their brains and can often stay stuck there and struggle to get out of their own head.
Some people are worried about the decisions they make. They become obsessed with making the “right” decision that they do not make any decision at all.
An over thinker is often linked to people that are highly creative, problem solvers and detail orientated.
Overthinking has to do with two things: CONTROL AND ADDICTION
When someone overthinks regardless of what the reasons are they are essentially seeking control. They want to figure out the “best” way to do something. In their minds they believe that if they find the make the “perfect” decision they will not feel disappointment. The need to find the best decision because this will cause them the least amount of risk and allow them to feel the least amount of pain in the end.
Research suggests that overthinking is also associated with anxiety. Anxiety is caused from living in your mind. People that experience anxiety live in the past or our worried about the future.
They attach to their own fears and replay them over and over again.
Being addicted to overthinking might be something some professionals disagree with, but I think this is a real addiction. Since most over thinkers are the fixers, the people that need to analyze things it can be easy for these people slide into the habit of overthinking. Once a habit begins to forms an addiction to the habit can happen. The need of wanting to rehash an experience over and over again and examining every little thing about what happened and what did not happen can become additive.
HOW DO YOU STOP OVERTHINKING?
The first thing is you have to be gentle with yourself. Accept that this takes practice. If you are addicted to overthinking, if you have been an over-thinker for a good portion of your life it is going to take some time to break this habit.
The first tool is to practice staying in the moment. When we overthink we are focusing on something that is not happening in this moment. Even if a decision must be made quickly the way to start stop overthinking your decisions is by trusting your intuition, Learning how to trust your and trust life is essential. Listen to what your body says and do not focus on every obsessive thought that comes up. Practice slowing down your thoughts.
Ask yourself what do I need or what do I want?
Once you ask yourself this question your first answer will give you some insight as to where you should go and what you should do.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR SENSES
By using your senses you begin focusing on something else vs allowing yourself to get wrapped up in a thought.
Running your hands under water and feeling the water hitting your hands is something that will bring your focus to something other than your thoughts. Think about how the water feels. What is the temperature?
Look at where you are and your surroundings. By focusing on your environment and the things around you this allows you to start having a conversation inside your head that will allow you to change your focus regarding what you are fixated on?
Putting a headset in and putting on a motivational video, podcast, or even a guided meditation are all things that you can listen to that will change your focus? Focus on the words that this person is saying vs the thoughts you are thinking.
Your mind may still want to attach to the old obsessive thought but just bring it back to what you are listening to and focus on each word.
These techniques will help you if you are not able to stop the train from taking off. If you feel like you cannot control your thoughts or that being able to self-parent yourself through overthinking is not something that has yet come easy to you this is a great technique to start practicing.