Overthinking is something that happens to everyone from time to time. But overthinking every situation is not healthy and can start to take over our lives with our own stress and anxieties. Here are eight tips to help kick the habit of overthinking.
1. Be aware of the issue
Knowing the issue you're facing is the best way to break it. Overthinking can stem from trying to avoid your actual issue. Recognizing it first can actually help. If necessary, keep a post-it note, or a note in your phone saying "am I over-complicating this?" Whenever you start to think about the issue, look at the note.
2. Stay in the present
There is a saying that I always repeat to myself when I am overthinking or getting anxious about something. "Worrying about the past or the future will not affect the present." No matter how hard we overthink a situation, it will not change it. We have to remember to stay in the present, this will help us not worry as much if we are only dealing with immediate situations. Reflecting or worrying about ones that have past or ones coming up will only lead to more stress.
3. Distract yourself
Being alone with our thoughts can sometimes be the worst thing for us. Doing little things to distract our minds can be exactly what is needed to stop overthinking. This can be anything form meditation, knitting, exercising, drawing, or really anything else.
I was always told to meditate to deal with my overthinking but never really knew how. I was then introduced to an app that makes it super straight forward. So, if you're looking for some help, a meditation app will do the trick. It's also great because you can mediate literally anywhere without anyone knowing (bus, car, home, anywhere!)
4. Put things into perspective
Everything seems like a big deal in the moment, it's just how our brains work. The easiest way to get around this is to ask yourself, "how much this will matter in five years? Or even next month?" If the answer is not at all, then it isn't worth stressing over.
5. Spend more time with positive thinkers
Your social environment plays a big part, and not just the people and groups close to you in real life. But also what you read, listen to and watch. Surround yourself with people that think positively rather than negatively, this will help weaken your bad habit of overthinking.
6. Realize you can't control everything
Trying to control and make sure everything is perfect, is an over-thinkers go-to. We have to realize that sometimes things happen that are out of our control, and that's okay. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and we can't do anything to change that. Accept that sometimes crap happens and move past it and learn from it.
7. Think of the best-case scenario
Overthinking is usually caused by fear. So thinking of everything that could possibly go wrong does not prepare you, it makes you more scared and therefor overthink more. Next time you're in an unknown situation try to picture all the things that can go right and keep those thoughts present and up front.
8. Put your thinking on a timer
To completely stop overthinking is something that is near impossible to ever accomplish. But to make sure it doesn't overtake your life, set boundaries for yourself. For example, give yourself 10 minutes every week to write down everything that is causing you stress or anxiety. Once the 10 minutes is up crumple the paper up and throw it in the garbage and move on.