How many times have you worried about something to the point it made you miserable?
Are you someone who struggles greatly when making a decision?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may be someone who is an overthinker.
People who are overthinkers often just want to make sure they are making the best decisions possible.
Overthinkers tend to overthink at home, work, and in their relationships.
While it is always good to be cautious and carefully consider things, it can be detrimental when the overthinking takes over your life.
When you find yourself in that cycle of overthinking and getting anxious about things, you need to have some items in your wellness toolbox that can help you get out of that cycle.
Here are five powerful things you can do to stop overthinking.
Journaling is a wonderful activity to do for many reasons.
First and foremost, it is a way to get the swirling thoughts out of your brain and onto paper.
Sometimes writing down your thoughts it a good first step to getting them organized.
Allow the words in your journal to flow free.
Do not put a filter on your thoughts.
Remember, your journal is for your eyes only.
You don’t have to worry about being judged for what you write.
Often, just writing down your thoughts can help end the overthinking process.
For example, imagine that you are overthinking about a recent argument you had with your spouse.
Write down what happened, how it made you feel, how it made your spouse feel, and ideas and solutions for moving on.
When we write, things can become a lot clearer and it can help us focus on making the right decision without overthinking.
Pick out a cute journal (a notepad can work too!) and get started today.
Meditation is another great tool to help us with overthinking.
Meditation is a way to clear your mind of thoughts and thus reach a calmer state.
To get the most benefits from meditation, it is ideal to meditate for 20 minutes twice a day.
During meditation, you will notice that at first, your thoughts will be running through your head.
Do not be discouraged, this is completely normal!
As your mind works through the thoughts, you will eventually be able to reach a calmer state.
By the end of the 20 minutes, your body will feel relaxed and renewed.
If you feel like meditation is not working for you, do not give.
Struggling with meditation is part of the process.
Meditation is explained perfectly by Light Watkins in his book Bliss More.
This book is great for those who are new to meditation or those who are struggling to incorporate it into their lives.
Light Watkins will walk you through the steps to meditation and how it is “E.A.S.Y” to do.
E.A.S.Y is the acronym he uses throughout the book which stands for embrace, accept, surrender, and yield.
One more key thing to remember about meditation is that it doesn’t require you to sit like a pretzel and be in pain for 20 minutes.
In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Find somewhere comfortable that supports your back such as the couch or a comfortable chair.
If you’re comfortable, the meditation practice will be a lot easier.
Once you become well versed in meditation it is a practice that will transcend all of your overthinking tendencies.
You will find yourself more relaxed throughout the day and better able to control situations where you would typically overthink things.
Be Kind To Yourself
A great way to stop overthinking it to simply practice being kind to yourself.
Come up with a positive mantra that you can say to yourself when you begin overthinking something.
Examples include: “I’m enough”, “This will pass”, “Everything will be ok”, “I’m strong”.
Make these mantras a part of your day.
Anytime bad thoughts creep into your head, pause and say your mantra either out loud or to yourself.
You can also write about your mantra in a journal and how it affects you.
In addition, simply practice self-care.
The more stressed you become in day-to-day life, the more times you’ll notice yourself overthinking things.
Instead of packing your day full of activities, chores, and errands, carve out some time for yourself each day to do something you love.
This could be reading, yoga, running, cooking, taking a bath, or anything else that brings you a sense of peace.
Self-care will help you rejuvenate and be able to tackle life situations without being plagued by overthinking.
Start by creating a self-care checklist.
This way you will have something to reference each day you are making time for yourself.
Check out this list of 51 self-care ideas to help you get started.
It’s hard to overthink when you are relaxing in a bubble bath with a hot cup of tea or sweating it out in your favorite yoga class!
Create A To-Do List
Another way to avoid overthinking it to simply create a to-do list.
Often overthinking comes from having way too much to do every day.
Start each morning by making a daily to–do list.
You also might want to make a more general to-do list for the week every Sunday evening.
Once you see your daily and weekly tasks laid out in front of you, they will feel a lot easier to manage.
You can even make separate to-do lists for work and home.
Don’t forget to schedule self-care time for yourself.
If you feel lost during the day and stressed about all you have to do, look at your to-do list.
Be happy about all the items you have already checked off and know that you will have the strength to finish the rest.
Stop overthinking about all the things you have to do and write them down.
As you finish each item, check it off.
The to-do list can be on paper or in an Excel spreadsheet, whichever method works best for you.
Last but not least, learning to think realistically is a very powerful way to stop overthinking things.
Start this process by creating a list of pros and cons for the situation you are overthinking.
For example, maybe you are overthinking about quitting your job to start a new career.
What is the worst that could happen?
What is the best thing that could happen?
Writing down the pros and cons can be a great way to put things in perspective.
Perhaps you are worried about the entire family coming into town for Thanksgiving?
Write your pros and cons.
What is the worst thing that could happen?
What is the best thing that could happen?
Under each con, write a potential solution.
For example, a con could be that you burn the turkey and it’s inedible.
You could make more sides for everyone to enjoy.
You could run to the store and get a last-minute chicken instead.
You could prepare ahead of time by getting a pre-cooked turkey and having it in the fridge as a backup.
As you start to write down the cons and possible solutions to all of your overthinking situations, you will quickly realize that realistically most issues are fixable and don’t deserve the time you plan to spend overthinking them.
These pros and cons lists can be a great thing to put in your journal to reference when you are having a rough time.
Overthinking can be crippling but fortunately, there are powerful things you can do each day to put a stop to the overthinking cycle.
Start by journaling, meditating, being kind to yourself, creating to-do lists, and thinking more realistically.
Practicing these simple methods can drastically change your life and your approach to overthinking situations.