The human brain is one of the most sophisticated things on the planet.
After all, it is a product of billions of years of evolution!
Thanks to it, we have managed to colonize our entire planet and have achieved things that almost seem miraculous!
It’s also our brains that allow us to understand and appreciate the universe that we live in.
It enables us to marvel at things of beauty and admire the amazing phenomenon of life.
Without it, our lives would be like other animals – limited to just eating, sleeping, and reproducing.
But despite being such an amazing organ, it has its downsides.
For one, if you use it more than you should, it can bring absolute chaos and madness to your life.
I am, of course, talking about overthinking.
And I am sure I don’t need to tell you how terrible that can be. It can wreak havoc on virtually all the spheres of your life.
As such, it’s crucial that you learn how to stop overthinking and live your life to the fullest.
To that end, let’s take a look at some of the most effective methods you can follow.
- 1) Enhance Your Awareness
- 2) Have A Broader Perspective
- 3) Make Decisions Faster
- 4) Let Go of Trying To Control Everything
- 5) Try To Live In The Present
- 6) Don’t Dwell On Vague Fears
- 7) Get Proper Sleep
- 8) Spend Time With People
- 9) Distract Yourself When You Start Overthinking
- 10) Focus On Doing Your Best, And Leave The Rest
- 11) Practice Meditation Regularly
- 12) Be Action-Oriented
- 13) Keep Aside Some Time Every Day For Self-Care
- 14) Work Out Daily
- 15) Switch To Thinking About Positive Outcomes
1) Enhance Your Awareness
The first thing you need to do to solve a problem is to become aware of it.
Many people don’t even realize that they are overthinking something until it’s too late, and they are already way too deep in the rabbit hole.
This wastes a lot of brainpower and time.
And frankly, it’s not good for your mental health.
Therefore, you need to get into the habit of becoming aware of your overthinking the moment it begins. You know yourself better than anyone else.
Yes, this will take some time, but it can be done.
This will allow you to take immediate steps to stop the chatter of your brain.
2) Have A Broader Perspective
We often get entangled in the smallest of things.
Living our lives from day to day, our attention often gets limited to small details.
And typically, it happens with things we don’t like.
For example, if your friend says something rude to you, you get stuck on it for days! If you miss your deadline by a couple of hours, you might become sad, and your confidence may take a hit!
You see, it’s these small things that lead you to overthink things.
We all know how our brains can make a mountain out of a molehill.
All it takes is one negative thought.
So, you need to look at the broader perspective whenever a minor thing starts disturbing you.
Just ask yourself, will it matter five years down the road?
If no, there is no use dwelling over it.
3) Make Decisions Faster
We all have to make countless decisions in our daily lives.
Some are important, and some are trivial. But we do have to make them.
The thing is, the longer you take to make decisions, the more prone you become to overthinking.
Even a small thing like deciding what to wear for a casual night out with friends can lead you to overthink a hundred different things!
So, give yourself as little time as possible to make decisions.
For trivial ones, make it a point to decide under a minute. And for important things, try to do it in a day or less. Just give yourself the deadline and see how your mind adapts to it.
4) Let Go of Trying To Control Everything
It is in our nature as humans to try to be in as much control as possible.
Evolutionarily speaking, this trait of ours ensured our survival.
However, in the modern world, it is wreaking havoc on our minds.
We all know that things will never be under our complete control. There are just way too many variables and moving parts!
And yet, we try to dictate things our way non-stop.
This, of course, leads to overthinking.
You try to figure out ways to be in control of a situation and create 100 different simulations in your mind!
In the end, none of it matters.
So, stop wasting all that energy and time and just relax for once. Let go of trying to control everything and enjoy going with the flow for a change!
5) Try To Live In The Present
If you pay attention to your thoughts, you will realize that most of the time, your mind is either thinking about past events or worrying about future situations.
For many, this becomes a compulsive act and their mental health begins to take a toll.
Plus, dwelling on the past or the future is a wasteful thing because you don’t achieve anything by doing so!
A better way to live is by focusing your attention on the present moment.
Technically, it’s the only thing that exists for real (both the past and future exist only in your mind).
Even spiritual leaders say that living in the present is the only way to ensure a peaceful and content life. Plus, it does wonders for your productivity and general well-being.
If you want to learn this way of life, try practicing mindfulness, meaning really focus on what you are doing.
Don’t let anything distract you.
It can be tough at first but with some practice, you will get the hang of it.
6) Don’t Dwell On Vague Fears
We all have fears in our lives.
What if this relationship doesn’t work out?
What if my friend betrays me tomorrow? What if my investments don’t work out?
The list is endless.
And while some fears are specific, most of our fears are vague and unlikely to happen.
It’s just that our minds like to dwell on the negative possibilities to ensure they don’t come to pass or to anticipate things hoping to avoid them….
But this is no way to live your life.
Ask yourself… is this how you want to spend your days?
Of course, not!
So, stop thinking about your vague fears over and over again.
If you can’t let go of one, ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen? You will realize that most of the time, even in the worst-case scenario, you will be fine!
7) Get Proper Sleep
A lack of sleep can really mess with your mind.
It can deteriorate your mood, decrease your productivity, and send your mind on wild adventures.
This is because a tired mind is more vulnerable than usual.
Fears, anxieties, pessimism, and other negative patterns become too powerful for it to handle.
Therefore, you should make sure you get proper sleep every night.
Of course, the amount of sleep one needs varies from person to person. Just figure out what works best for you and try to stick to a routine.
Not only will this help calm your mind down, but it will also provide you with health benefits.
8) Spend Time With People
Spending time with yourself is a healthy thing to do.
We all need to unplug from the world and spend time with our thoughts.
However, if you do this more than you should, well, things can take a turn for the worst.
You see, when you are alone, your mind basically has a free pass to think whatever it likes.
It can go as deep as it wants to in the rabbit hole.
So, if you tend to overthink a lot when you are alone, you need to go out and spend time with people.
I am sure you might have already experienced this.
When you are alone, you might be tormented by your mind. But when you talk to someone, everything suddenly becomes normal. This happens because when you are talking to someone, your attention and thoughts are focused on them and the conversation at hand.
9) Distract Yourself When You Start Overthinking
This is one scenario where distractions can actually do some good.
We all know that we have millions of distractions in our lives.
It could be social media, app notifications, a nosy colleague, the neighbor’s barking dog, and more!
Usually, these distractions come in the way of our work and mental peace.
However, if you are the overthinking type, you can make use of them to stop doing so.
The next time you become aware that you are overthinking something, try to distract yourself.
Open up your social media feed and start scrolling.
Or plug in some headphones and listen to music. Or log on to YouTube and binge-watch interesting videos!
Of course, there are healthier ways to deal with your overthinking, but when things get out of hand, you need to take help from these distractions.
10) Focus On Doing Your Best, And Leave The Rest
Success is important in everyone’s life.
Nobody would like to face failures.
However, as I mentioned above, things are never in our complete control.
And so, the best thing you can do is focus on doing your best.
Be it an exam, a job interview, an important project, or a date, just try to do your best and leave the rest.
If you believe in god or a higher power, leave it to them.
And if you don’t, well, leave it to the forces of chance.
But create a distance between you and the end result.
This detachment will prevent you from driving yourself crazy by overthinking things endlessly.
11) Practice Meditation Regularly
When it comes to matters of the mind, meditation is the best cure.
It was literally designed to get your thoughts and emotions in order.
And people have been reaping the benefits since ancient times.
So, try to practice meditation regularly. If you do it daily for fifteen minutes, that should be enough to solve a lot of your problems.
You will find that you have better control over your thoughts.
You will feel calmer and more peaceful. And adverse situations won’t affect you that much.
Meditation can also help you detach yourself from things, people, and situations. So, you won’t be prone to overthink anything.
12) Be Action-Oriented
This is one of the best ways to deal with overthinking.
Have you ever noticed that when you are performing an action, you tend to think less?
It’s all about doing things at that moment.
On the contrary, if you spend too much time on the planning part, you get stuck in an endless process of adjusting your plans.
So, try to plan things quicker, make decisions faster, and get to the action part as quickly as possible.
The faster you do this, the less time you will spend overthinking things.
Also, focus on doing one thing at a time. Say to yourself that you will deal with the next step when you get there. This too, will keep your focus and energies where they are needed the most.
13) Keep Aside Some Time Every Day For Self-Care
Self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
In fact, the reason why people feel so tired and overwhelmed these days is that they don’t practice self-care.
If you are in the same boat, you should change that asap!
When you take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, you achieve a state of well-being.
And in this state of well-being, overthinking becomes virtually impossible.
So, what does self-care include?
Well, anything you like that is beneficial for you! It could be taking a shower after work, drinking a cup of tea, meditating, taking care of your skin, going for a walk, sitting in the sunlight, etc. In a nutshell, anything that helps you relax and chill…..
14) Work Out Daily
Working out has tons of physical and mental benefits.
We all know that we can be much healthier by working out more often.
But did you know that it can also help you stop overthinking? Yeah, it actually can!
When you exercise, the stress level in your body decreases. Your body gets filled with feel-good hormones, and that keeps you in a pleasant state of mind.
So, it’s only obvious that you should include exercising in your daily routine.
You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym.
Even some light yoga at your home can help.
And if that’s not your thing, then go cycling or swimming or find something else you enjoy!
15) Switch To Thinking About Positive Outcomes
Last but certainly not least is to change how you think.
More often than not, your mind might be inclined to think about the negative outcomes.
It does so to prepare itself in case any of the negative outcomes actually come to pass.
But this takes a toll on you. Going over multiple different negative outcomes can fill you up with anxiety and worry. And that is certainly not good.
So, what you can do is switch to positive thinking.
Think about the positive outcomes instead and how they would make you feel. You will find it a much more pleasing activity and help you stop overthinking about any negative outcomes….. yah easier said than done but it all takes it a just to give it a try…. 🙂
And remember that no matter what, you cannot control everything……. So, sometimes it is better to let it be….