Today I want to go through my tips on “how to stop overthinking” mainly because it is a nightmare and whether you are a worrier or not, those crazy thoughts that wonder around your head do need controlling. I used to overthink situations all the time but now I have realized a lot of things in life, that actually you can control your own thoughts when you are aware of what they are trying to do.
You see our minds are such powerful things that the subconscious mind has around 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day. That is a lot of thoughts and most of them you probably won’t even be aware off.
What we have to remember though is that our natural instinct is to protect ourselves from harm, a bit like horses spook at stupid noises all the time, as our minds are aware of our surroundings more than we think.
When we are spooked or even have thoughts, the fight or flight mechanism comes in and your mind goes off telling you there could be danger around, what if this happens, what if that happened. So your thoughts are just there to protect you.
From every word that leaves your mouth and every conversation you have with someone your mind will assess whether it was the right thing, the wrong thing to say or will there be any reactions or repercussions to what you have said. This is a natural behavior but it can also get out of hand and quickly turn to anxious thoughts if you are not aware of them happening in the first place.
The other issues with overthinking can be things like
- What if I said the wrong thing
- Did I do enough to help
- Omg I think I might have cancer
- What if I lose my job
- I have no friends and no one likes me
There are just loads of things that your mind can overthink about, it might be during the day, it could be when you’re trying to get to sleep, it could be over a partner, a job. You name it and it can come up. But just how do you stop overthinking and learn how to be happy again?
My Top Tips On How To Stop Overthinking
- Thoughts are just thoughts – It doesn’t matter how crazy something sounds when it comes into your mind it is just a thought. Some of the obscene and crazy things we can think about sometimes even take my breath away too. But realizing that this is just your mind trying to protect itself will help you understand why it happens in the first place. One of the lessons I learned in life was that your mind will come up with crazy ideas and disasters but when you take them with a pinch of salt, realize it is normal and just say “darn it” that was weird helps you move on swiftly.
- Change your thoughts quickly – Dwelling on a situation will not help you to find clarity and will only fill your mind with more spiraling thoughts. Think about something else quickly and take your mind off whatever it is that is occupying your thoughts.
- Have a plan in life – One of the things that I have found extremely useful is that I now live for myself in life. This means I have goals and a plan on where I want to be in a year and how I want to get there. This isn’t about keeping busy but it gives my mind direction and clarity on moving forward. When you are passionate about something and live in the dream, you wake up with a passion to continue it and your mind is so occupied with those thoughts it doesn’t have for overthinking. You might need to find your meaning in life along the way but that is half the fun of truly finding your worth in life.
- Look at everything in your life as a challenge – We all know that life throws curve balls at us to knock us off our tracks along the way. Sometimes they are massive things and sometimes small but they are to side track us not stop us. So when something bad happens put a plan together on how you can resolve this, take time to think about things properly and come up with two or three ways to solve the issue. If you panic then your mind will overthink and send you down a rabbit hole of thoughts that you don’t want to go there.
- It is normal to overthink things – Everyone in some way overthinks things and they say that if you plugged a speaker into everyone’s brain that was sat in a waiting room. Everyone would sound like they were crazy as we all have weird thoughts throughout the day. Knowing you are normal helps with this.
- If it is worrying you, do something about it – The biggest thing I see is that most people worry about situations or what has happened. I can tell you that whatever leaves your mouth through words, can be interpreted in a completely different way by the person or audience that are listening to you. This is a really important aspect on how to stop overthinking because if you suffer from this, rather than thinking did I say or do the right thing, speak to the person and ask them, then you know whether you have or not. There is nothing worse than worrying yourself about something when you can ask a simple question and find out the answer straight away. You might not like the answer but you can then at least explain your reasoning.
- Everyone has issues so be kind – If someone has upset you then before reacting or going away and overthinking the situation. Talk to them and understand what they said, or what they did and see it from their point of view too. Open communication is key here so that you can see whether or not there is an issue or whether you can agree to move on and be friends still.
- Talk to your partner about it – Mental health is an issue for lots people when overthinking comes into play but talking about it will help. There should be nothing to worry about if your partner loves you then they should also have an open ear about it and will probably tell you about their weird thoughts too. Open communication again here is key, don’t bottle it up and deal with it on your own.
- Don’t put things off – If there is something bothering you which generally is why most people ask how to stop overthinking because there is something going around and around in your head. Get it out there, it doesn’t matter what it is, deal with it straight away, if you deal with it straight away, you will save all the overthinking and what if’s in the first place. We are all great at scaring ourselves with the what if’s so just tackle them as quickly as you possibly can and get it out of the way.
- Spend some quiet time on your own every day – Most people wince when you say things like meditation but even if you just take 30 minutes a day to sit quietly with no noise and process your thoughts properly, it will make a massive difference to the way you think and feel about things. Most of the time we react to situations because we are all so busy nowadays, so learn to slow down a little bit and take care of your mind.
- Be kind to yourself – believe in yourself and don’t question yourself about things in life. Make wise and good decisions and accept the consequences of your actions. When we learn that we can all make mistakes in life, say the wrong things, do the wrong things, just make sure you apologize or learn from your mistakes moving forward.
- Don’t listen to what others say – We are all known for our moaning and critical opinions of others and situations but this is just not a kind thing to do. Be aware that the law of attraction is real and Karma will come and bite you on the bum if you are unkind to others too. So when someone upsets you either talk to them about it and if they won’t listen, know that their opinion does not matter and as long as you are thinking wisely, being kind and considerate you don’t have to worry about it. There are plenty of people out there that will love you for who you are and will see things from your point of view so surround yourself with them.
- Look after your body and your mind will take care of itself – Everyone hates exercise really don’t they and it is really hard to get into when you might be unfit or overweight too. Once you do get there however and you see the rewards of what you have done and you start to enjoy it, then life does change. When your body is exhausted your mind relaxes and therefore stops overthinking too. So if you haven’t found a passion for exercise yet get out there and find one.
- Think positively – When a weird though comes into your mind, train yourself to turn it around. So if you say I can’t do this, change it to oh yes I can and I am going to do it. Simple little things like registering negative thoughts and turning them around into positive outcomes will really help. You have to first recognize when you are doing this however and it does take time to adopt to having a positive viewpoint.
- Don’t be scared – Some of these thoughts might be scary, a little weird and unkind. Do not worry about them however as they will pass. I had some really scary thoughts at times but if you feel like acting on them then do make sure you seek help if you are worried. Just calm your mind and know that they are just thoughts, no matter how strange and distract your mind with something else quickly.
Stop Overthinking In Different Scenario’s
- About a girl or a boy – Darn it being in love is such a great thing in life and to be with someone who makes you really happy is just amazing. However when you first start to feel like this you will not be able to get them out of your mind. You might even find yourself being jealous of their activities because you are not there with them. These again are all just thoughts, but good thoughts and if you are not with that person, then make sure that you make them aware you like them. It is like everything else you have to keep your mind busy and occupied and allow time only for positive thoughts. So think about when you are next going to see them or meet them and look forward to it. The sickly feelings will subside with time.
- Hair loss – This is a tricky time for me an women as our hair is something we all want to look great. Sometimes though we have to know that we are unlucky enough not to keep it. Acceptance is key with this and make sure that you go with a style that suits you or get rid of it all if you can. Sometimes hair loss can be a cause of stress or other condition however and you should go and visit the doctor if you feel that this could be the case with you. Do not leave it though, it does not matter if you feel embarrassed it could be temporary so pluck up the courage to get it seen too quickly.
- Being jealous – This is really hard and is the worse emotion that we can go through. It will eat us up inside and chew us out. The problem in a relationship is if you do not trust that person then you do not have a relationship. You cannot go through life being worried and overthinking about whether someone will cheat on you. So learn to trust them and in a relationship give them everything they need and more and they will never look at anyone else anyway. If you are jealous of someone else don’t be. Learn to be the best that you can be and then you will be proud of your own achievements and others too.
- Getting things done – You need a do it now attitude with this as if you leave things to the last minute or just keep putting them off. This will lead to anxiety and your elephant will just get bigger and badder, then you won’t know where to start. Take pride in your new attitude and when something needs doing just force yourself to do it. New habits take about 2mths to form so get started today and you will feel great because you will have accomplished all the things you need to and without the anxiety to follow.
- Jumping to conclusions – Stopping overthinking with this takes time to master. You cannot make up someone’s mind for them, so there is no jumping to conclusions because it could turn out completely different. If you make your mind up about a situation or person before it happens, you will just tell yourself, I knew that was going to happen. This will reassure you that your thinking was correct. The best behavior however is to just not judge a situation and let it take its natural course, then react to it as you need to no matter what actually happens.
- Goìng to sleep – We all suffer from sleep problems at times and it is a nightmare. You need to try the usual things of having a good bedtime routine and not catching up on social media minutes before sleep. Sometimes a going through what you are grateful for and what you are going to do tomorrow will set your mind free a little. Also try putting on some low level music or sounds, so your brain concentrates on other things whilst trying to drop off. Often or not sleep is messed up due to over activity and worrying.
How Stop Overthinking Frequently Asked Questions
- What is overthinking a symptom of? It depends on your viewpoint. Overthinking is a natural thing that our minds go through as suggested above. It is not an illness in my mind but generally tends to happen when you have too much stress and too many things to do. Learning to switch it off and calm the mind is paramount however if you want to live a happy life. Follow the tips above to learn how you can stop overthinking now.
- Is overthinking a mental disorder? Not in general but if your thoughts are really destroying your mind and controlling you and you cannot stop it, then you do need help. In general we all do it, but sometimes we can be consumed by them and then the panic and anxiety can start. You need to really look at relaxing your mind and dealing with your thoughts in a sensible manner. Keep your brain tired and active with things that make you happy and push those thoughts back down where they belong.
- How do I stop overthinking things? It has taken me years to do this and my tips are – keep yourself fit because your mind will then look after itself, be kind to yourself and others, work as hard as you can, have a plan in life, do not let others put you down, be empathic to others and listen to them, know that your mind is just trying to play tricks on you. When you love yourself and you know what you stand for then other people and things do not get you down.
- What is the cause of overthinking? It can be linked to self doubt, confidence and low self esteem. That is why you really do need to live a life that you can be proud of and one that lets go of the past. Live in the moment and do everything you can to just enjoy life and add value to other people’s. To look at life and take the struggles as a challenge you have to overcome, to be strong and be your best you.
- How can I stop my brain thinking at nights? As above you need a good sleep routine for this and meditations prior to bed should help. Try not to go to sleep worrying about things and avoid serious conversations before bed time. When you close your eyes take yourself to a happy place, breathe and manifest what you want your ideal life to look like. A bit like when you are a kid having nightmares, you need to take your mind away from your problems by diverting it to something good instead.
So they are my thoughts on how to stop overthinking and I hope you liked them. I also know that this is a process that takes time. life is what you make of it and when you find your purpose and passion in life and are focused on moving forward in life, then your mind is naturally occupied with other things. If you find you are under too much stress then make sure you see a doctor as it could also be tied into a mind/gut connection.
I also put together a transformation program that I went through when I was at my lowest point in life and how I pulled myself out of the gutter and how you can too by adopting the principles above. I would love for you to join me at https://changeyourlifeforever.co.uk
In the meantime take care be happy and keep smiling Scott.