Overthinking: How to Overcome it
For some reason, you ended up arguing with someone at work and had a rough day. The discussion, and what may or may not happen because of it, is the subject that starts to dominate your mind. You keep reliving dialogues and wondering what you could have said and what you should have omitted. These thoughts are hammering into your mind all day, during the bath you take when you get home, and even during insomnia that decides to keep you company when night comes.
We may have all had this kind of experience, ruminating on situations, and thinking about how to solve certain problems. The question is: does thinking too much about something help us or just hurt us? What do you think? The truth is that thinking too much about a problem can hurt us very badly. As a result of this, let us check out three dangers of overthinking on the same subject:
1. Increases your chances of developing some mental illness
Numerous surveys have shown that mentally reliving your problems, your mistakes and things that did not go as planned is an attitude that increases your chances of developing some mental illness, such as depression and anxiety.
Worst of all, mulling things over is a vicious circle that is difficult to break: the more you think about what went wrong, the more your mental health is damaged and, as a result, the more you tend to be thinking about the bad things.
2. Impairs your ability to solve problems
Another thing that has already been scientifically proven: ruminating on that discussion or that family problem of yours is a way of reinforcing your “defects,” which paralyzes your capacity for rational analysis.
When you think about a problem too much, you find it increasingly difficult to find a way to solve it. It is something that makes you sink into mistakes instead of looking for ways to correct the whole thing. It is strange to think about it, but the truth is that diving headlong into a problem does not make us take good steps to solve it.
3. It harms your sleep
Who has never lost sleep overthinking too much? Even without realizing it, we end up making our mind work excessively, and then it takes much longer to shut down and stay calm, which is necessary for a good night’s sleep.
Countless research on the subject has already proven that taking the worry to bed potentially decreases our time and quality of sleep, precisely because we keep thinking non-stop before finally deciding to relax and sleep.
From the above points, it becomes evident that overthinking is quite harmful to the physical and mental wellbeing of anyone suffering from it; hence, we need to find ways to surmount this problem. Below we have listed tips on how to overcome overthinking.
Ten Tips to Overcome Excessive Thinking
If you’ve identified with what we’ve talked about so far, don’t panic. The good thing about knowing that you have a problem is that, from the consciousness of it, we can work to solve it.
1. Accept that your excess thought is a challenge
A lot of individuals overthink, and they are not even conscious of this act, and due to this unknown action, they spend a lot of time being worried and feeling insecure. However, immediately you recognize that you are an excessive thinker and the fact that it is an obstacle to your well-being; you will be looking for ways to surmount this obstacle. Therefore, your attitude towards something about life will become different.
2. Stop being too hard on yourself
Many excessive thinkers have one thing in common: being too hard on themselves by taking the blame for anything that goes wrong in their lives. Indeed, apportioning blame to yourself when something goes wrong is quite easy; however, overthinkers go beyond blaming themselves; they beat themselves up for that failure. However, on almost all occasions, they are not responsible for what went wrong. So, it is best to come to terms with the fact that those things might not be important in the long run when certain things go wrong. Always endeavor to remind yourself that the failure of something doesn’t mean the end of it.
3. Take a breather
One thing that has been established about people that overthink is that they don’t know how to relax under pressure; however, taking a breather can help settle your racing mind. Find a place to sit, afterward, inhale and exhale slowly; this will help reduce the rate at which your heart is running and inadvertently give you a new perspective over that thing that is bothering you.
4. Stay busy
There is nothing as unfortunate as being idle when you are an excessive thinker. When one is idle, different thoughts start coming to mind, which is the same for people who don’t overthink. So, you should find something to do to steer away from the thoughts that keep you worried. Find a way to be around your loved ones. Another way to stay busy is by engaging in physical exercises that help release endorphins that wade of pains in the body.
5. Accept what you cannot change, and embrace what you can
Not every situation in life can be brought under control; there are certain situations that get out of hand. Knowing this and having it at the back of our mind will prevent us from worrying over situations we can’t control. The first question you should ask yourself if you become disturbed about a situation is that, can I control it? If the answer to this question is yes, I can manage it, put enough effort into finding a better solution that will stop you from worrying. On the other hand, if your answer is no, then there is no point crying over spilled milk – as it won’t improve things.
6. Try not to talk too much
Many times, when you are worried, different persons push you to share what is getting you worried as a means of alleviating your worries. Indeed, this is a therapeutic way for people who have “normal” concerns, however, for an excessive thinker, talking too much about your problems won’t solve your fears, it will only lead to you talking about the same thing without achieving anything due to the fact that when the issue is shared, it is not something serious.
7. Stay out of negative situations
Another way to overcome being an excessive thinker is by steering clear of negative situations. Take, for instance, if you tend to misbehave after taking alcohol, you should steer clear of consuming alcohol. In a condition where you get tensed and can’t control yourself around an individual, it is probably advisable to avoid that person. Negative thoughts can develop when you are not in a negative situation or environment.
8. Don’t get carried away with possibilities
Many overthinkers think more about possibilities than realities, which signals danger to their mental health. Excessive thinkers tend to imagine varying outcomes for an event, and this complicates things. Obsessing over the results of an event that has not taken place is just an effort in futility. Coming to terms with the fact that at a certain point, we have no control over how things will happen or happen will help you to alter the way you worry over the actions you take, and this can also help in stopping overthinking.
9. Remember that thoughts become things
It is essential to know that if our attention goes to a particular thing, we begin to exert energy on it, and that situation we use energy on begins to grow. We can begin to overthink unintentionally. Hence, it is advisable to concentrate on positive things. The main thing is to avoid paying attention to negative thoughts.
10. Have a little patience
The tips that have been mentioned in this post will help you overcome overthinking in the foreseeable future; however, it should be noted that they are not magic wands. It is a gradual process that requires a commitment that will help you to become relaxed and less worried about things that you can’t control in the long run.