How to Stop Overthinking
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Do you think you think a lot?
Here are 5 ways to stop overthinking:
1. Be Aware
Awareness is the beginning of change. We need to be able to identify when our thoughts are on overdrive. Do you know those times when you’re worrying unnecessarily or your thoughts are ruminating unhelpfully?
Remember that thinking itself is healthy and useful, whereas overthinking can place stress on our bodies.
2. Let Go
When thoughts or worries come up and it’s not the time or place to think about them, learn how to let these thoughts go. A helpful technique you can use is to imagine these worries as clouds in your head.
You are not your worries. Watch them float by, just like clouds float by you in the sky.
3. Distract Yourself
When you notice yourself overthinking - distract yourself by your breath.
You can focus on your breath by taking big breaths in and out.
Try starting with 10 slow ones and if you feel like you need more, do another 10.
4. Put Things In Perspective
Usually when we worry we think about the worst possible scenario. A lot of the time is not the most likely case. Put your worries in perspective by getting them out – either speak to someone you trust or write them down on a note pad.
Often the thoughts in our head can seem a lot less stressful when we take a step back and think of them objectively. Once you’ve noted what your worries are, try to flip them. Instead of thinking about what can go wrong, think about what can go right.
5. Set Aside Thinking Time
Make a time and a place for your worries. It’s normal to think and wonder but our heads can get super full of worries that negatively interfere with our day.
When worries start taking over your thoughts, set aside 10 minutes a day to worry.
Worry as much as you can! Then write all of the worries down that you can think up or say them out loud. When the 10 minutes is over let the worries go for all other waking moments of the day, and save them up for your “worry time” instead.