How to stop overthinking
June 8, 2017
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Overthinking your problems and constant analysis of your life events and actions. Does this sound familiar? Your thoughts and worries overwhelm you with such intensity that you can’t sleep at night.  We’ve all experienced this. In most cases these thoughts and emotions simply fade away, but what if you just can’t stop. You simply can’t help yourself and you analyze and analyze …

 

Thinking is an inevitable part of our lives, it helps us reach our goals and avoid our troubles, but you should know the difference between thinking and overthinking. Nowadays overthinking is a very widespread problem. This necessity to constantly analyze your actions and different life situations can sometimes turn into a bad habit. This habit usually keeps you stuck from leading a happy and fulfilled life. It is extremely difficult to break this mind-whirlpool of negativity, but you should always try to catch yourself over thinking and change these annoying thoughts.

Reasons, why we do this, are various. For instance, some people have the tendency to constantly worry. It’s simply in their nature. They attract problems and draw terrible pictures in their minds. They often find it difficult to imagine how things can go right. Sometimes people believe that overthinking is a kind of protection from troubles. It’s a defense mechanism. Somehow person is under the impression that constant analysis allows them to have more control over their lives and various life situations. Therefore they get trapped in their thoughts and fears.

Whatever may be the reason, don’t be too hard on yourself. Our brains are simply wired this way. Our thoughts and memories are intrinsically woven together and then when stressors are triggered you get into a bad mood. It can unlock a tornado of negative thoughts that have nothing to do with the original trigger which lies behind this.

Overthinking is a bad habit

So, why do we fall into this downward spiral? Well, as we explained our brains and certain thinking patterns are responsible. Somewhere along the road of our lives, we’ve created this bad habit. Our memories are often linked by emotion. When you get down to an event, that feeling is likely to call up past events where you felt similar. And from there on, the only way is down.

So, how do you break that spiral?

Here are a few tips:

  • If possible, take action. Find an activity that really engages you to distract yourself from overthinking (sports, exercise, etc). This is a good way to redirect your attention.
  • Sometimes journaling is a good place to start. Writing things down can help you to pour your monsters on the paper and take some edge off.
  • Challenge your beliefs. Are the things you’re worrying about really happening or likely to happen?
  • Stop talking about it! Talking with someone seems like a good idea, but it’s really just one more way to continue the downward process.

In the end, there’s really just one process for overcoming things like this. Identify the problem you’re having and practice noticing when it’s happening to you. Mindfulness techniques can help you in this process. The more you practice, the more likely you can stop the behavior before it spirals out of control.

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