Are you overthinking and anxious? How can you stop overthinking anxiety? Overthinking can be debilitating, it will disturb your sleep, cause problems at work, and ruin social events.
Chronic overthinking comes with all the physical symptoms of anxiety.
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Overthinking will leave you mentally exhausted, distressed, and physically drained.
At this point, you are looking to find a way that will relieve your discomfort and start living life and be happy again.
It’s important to know that you can stop overthinking; you just need to learn how.
From my personal experience battling anxiety and overthinking, I want to share with you an expert-approved approach to calming your mind and stop overthinking anxiety.
Why Does Overthinking Happen?
We all overthink sometimes, but some people do it more than others, and this can be a chronic condition and turn in to an anxiety disorder.
If you don’t have a history of mental health difficulties, but might be a “problem solver,” you may be prone to overthinking.
A situation comes up that bothers you, and it just won’t leave your head.
You keep thinking about it.
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These thoughts in your head are repeating over and over.
Often people get confused and think overthinking is problem-solving. In reality, it’s become an endless replay in your head, not solving anything.
We feel vulnerable about our future and try to think of a way to solve the problem in our head.
Put it this way; you fight with your spouse. After you start worrying and your thoughts keep looping like this:
What if he/she no longer loves me? What if they find someone else? Do they have someone else? Who are they texting?
Related: Drinking Tea To Calm Anxiety
Is Overthinking Dangerous?
There are findings through research, that dwelling on your mistakes or shortcomings can increase your mental health problems.
As your mental health declines, you begin to ruminate, which leads to an endless cycle of overthinking.
Overthinking can lead to acute emotional distress and increase your risk of mental health problems.
Many over-thinkers tend to drink alcohol or eat food to help with their symptoms.
Overthinking can also lead to sleepless nights and insomnia. Not getting enough rest can drain you and cause other mental health or physical related side effects.
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Am I Overthinking?
If you’re overthinking, you probably already know it. Here are four signs that suggest you are overthinking:
- You’re not fully present around others
When you overthink, you always in your head and not emotionally present with others. You can make others feel like you’re not interested because you’re focusing on your thoughts. Eventually this can be detrimental to a relationship.
- Anxiety holds you back
If you’re having a hard time going out and your anxiety is holding you back from moving forward in your life, you are overthinking.
Thoughts in your head could be “What if?” and “This will go wrong.”
- You Ruminate
Going over and over the same situation or thought in your head is called ruminating. Something that happened last night or last week, the thought is on constant replay. Looking for some way to solve the problem.
- Not sleeping
If you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, the cause could be you’re overthinking. Not sleeping can lead to anger, lousy concentration, and being more emotional. This can lead to hurting your relationships
Patterns Of Overthinking
Overthinking is a thought process that wastes time, causes poor quality decisions, and results in inaction. These are the patterns associated with overthinking:
- Cold Logic
- Premature Decisions
- Intuition Neglect
- Neglecting Speed
- Ambiguity Aversion
- Over Optimization
- Irrelevant Decisions
- Fear of Failure
- Lack Of Principles
- Creating Problems
- Analysis Paralysis
- Big Thinking
Simple Ways To Stop Overthinking Anxiety
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
A type of therapy called CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is especially useful in treating anxiety and the way you think.
CBT exercises for anxiety will teach you different ways of behaving, thinking and reacting to situations and help you become less anxious and worried.
- Change Your Viewpoint
It’s human nature to think negative thoughts and make the situation seem worse than what it is. Take the time to see your thoughts may be exaggeratedly negative.
If you are sick, before concluding that you are going to get fired for calling out, for example, realize your thoughts may be exaggerated.
Did your significant other send a text, “I’m fine”? Why didn’t they write an exclamation point? Put things into perspective, over-thinkers commonly obsess over text messages, even down to the punctuation.
Ask yourself, how much will this matter in three years? Or even six months from now. Change up the time frame, and this simple question can help stop your overthinking.
- Be Aware Of Your Overthinking
When you start doubting yourself or feeling stressed out, anxious thoughts and nervousness begin to take over, check yourself and take a step back. You are overthinking again.
You need to be aware of when overthinking is happening. This takes time to realize, but once you learn to be aware, you will be able to change your thought
pattern and redirect them, and begin to train your mind to think positively.
- Perfection Will Never Come
Things will never be perfect, and once you realize perfection will never come the less stressed you would be.
Desiring success, being determined and ambitious is a great way to live life, but expecting everything to be perfect is not practical. Remember, making
progress through life’s tasks, is better than being perfect because perfect will never come.
- Think Of What Can Go Right, Instead Of What Could Go Wrong
All too often, we tend to think about everything that can go wrong. Our thoughts turn negative, and the situation looks worse than what it is.
Look for the positives and what could go right. Envision all the good things that could happen and keep those thoughts in your mind.
- Use Positive Affirmations For Anxiety
What are affirmations? Everything we tell ourselves either out-loud or in thought is an affirmation. Our (RAS) or Reticular Activating System is the part of our brain, which makes words that are repeated over and over our identity, negative or positive.
Our subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between yes and now or the past and future. It only understands the here and now. If you always tell yourself negative things, you will think you are never good enough.
It’s vital to switch these thoughts into positive thinking. Here are some ways to think positive affirmations:
“I will be happy; I am more than my negative thoughts.”
“I have the power to control what I think about. I will think positive thoughts.”
“I believe in, trust, and have confidence in myself.”
“I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.”
- Take Time To Reflect
Brief thinking and reflection are perfectly normal and healthy, but worrying about a problem for an extended period is exhausting and pointless.
Make some time every day for 15-20 minutes to allow yourself to reflect. This will be your “thinking time” and is the only time you allow yourself to worry and ruminate on whatever is bothering you honestly.
After you finish your thinking time, find something beneficial to you and your life. If, at some point throughout your day, you notice yourself overthinking, remember, and point out that you have time to think about this later on.
- Practice Mindfulness
Learn how to be mindful. Mindfulness exercises for anxiety will help bring you back to the present moment and stop overthinking anxiety.
Being mindful takes practice, and when you are in the present moment, it is impossible to worry about tomorrow or what happened yesterday.
Once you learn how to be mindful, practice the exercises daily to stay focused on the present. You’ll begin to learn how your body feels, learn how to breathe correctly to alleviate anxiety, and control your thoughts as they race through your mind.
- Accept Your Best
Learn to acknowledge yourself and accept who you are, the good, and what needs improvement. Be honest with yourself and realize that no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes.
The best you can do is try your hardest and keep improving. Don’t criticize and be hard on yourself. Take time to accept who you are. Self-acceptance is hard for all of us, and acceptance begins with a state of mind.
- Be Thankful
Make a list of the things you are thankful for. Make this list every day, morning, and then at night.
Find someone willing to share this activity with you, they can make their list, and you both can share and hold each other accountable for creating your “Thankful Lists.”
- Distract Yourself
Find ways to distract your overthinking mind. Find fun things you like to do and enjoy doing. Here are some fun things you can try:
There are so many different things you can do to distract yourself. Go out there and do them!
Final Overthinking Thoughts
Overthinking can happen to anyone, but with organization, structure, patience, and a little practice, you can improve your thinking and your life.
Give yourself some time, and you will be able to reduce anxiety, negative thoughts, anxious feelings, reduce stressful feelings, and start feeling empowered, useful
productive, and enjoy life again. I wish you all the best!