Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.
Do you think a thought and then ‘run with it’? Do you thoughts ever take on a life of their own? Do you find yourself getting anxious or worried? Do you have a hard time focusing or sleeping? Do thoughts get stuck in your mind and go round and round? These are all symptoms of overthinking.
Overthinking is generally not good for your overall health. It can cause anxiety, depression, and persistent worry. It promotes obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors. It can strain relationships, work performance, and self-worth. To cope with overthinking, many people try to escape the distress by abusing food, alcohol, or drugs.
The first step to stopping the pattern of overthinking is to notice when you do it. Take another look at the list in the first paragraph and honestly assess your own processes. When does it happen? About what topic(s)? What is your response? How do you (if you do) get them under control? How do they prevent you from living your best life?
Are your thoughts based on facts? Or Fears? Are they happening now? Or at some point in the future? Stay focused on the facts that exist in the here and now. When you are facing facts, it’s easier to problem solve. There aren’t any real solutions to fantastical problems.
Get busy! There’s only so much space in your brain for active thinking. When your thoughts go into busy mode, overrule them with direct action on something else; pulling energy away from the overrunning thinking. The more involved you are in the distraction, the better.
When we are overthinking, it’s not really the thoughts that are problematic, but our feelings and associations we have with the thoughts that are the problem. If we can learn to become observers of the thoughts, their impact is reduced. Meditation is one of the best ways to achieve this. Using this technique may allow you to detach from the thoughts so that they become nothing more than something that moves through your brain.
We all do it from time to time but if your life is negatively impacted by too many thoughts too much of the time, follow these steps in an effort to …
Listen to me on Try This at Home – a series of conversations about making life better.
I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.