While everyone overthinks situations once in a while, some people are plagued with a constant barrage of thoughts all the time. Chronic over thinker’s rehash conversations they had yesterday, second-guess every decision they make and imagine disastrous outcomes all day every day. Thinking too much about something often involves more than words–over thinkers conjure up disastrous images too. Their minds resemble a movie where they imagine their car going off the road or they replay distressing events over and over again. Thinking too much prevents them from getting anything done. And it wreaks havoc on their mood. Overthinking often involves two destructive thought patterns:
- Persistent worrying.
Ruminating involves dwelling on the past. Thoughts may include things like:
· I should have stayed in my last marriage. I would be happier than I am now.
· My parents didn’t teach me how to be confident. My insecurities have always held me back.
Persistent worrying involves negative predictions about the future. Thoughts may include things like:
· Everyone else will get promoted at work before me.
· I will be the least dressed person tomorrow in that party
Getting out of your head, your prison or your own bondage can be challenging but with consistent, perseverance and by being kind to yourself you can overcome it. Check out these stairs you can use to get out of your own prison.
- PAY ATTENTION TO THE WAY YOU THINK
Overthinking can become such a habit that you don’t even recognize when you’re doing it. Start paying attention to the way you think so you can become aware of the problem. When you’re replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive. Thinking is only helpful when it leads to positive action.
2. QUIT DWELLING ON YOUR PROBLEMS AND START FOCUSING ON SOLVING THE PROBLEM
Focus on the things you can control, like your attitude and effort.
Dwelling on your problems isn’t helpful–but looking for solutions is. If it’s something you have some control over, consider how you can prevent the problem. If it’s something you have no control over-like a natural disaster–think about the strategies, you can use to cope with it.
3. TAKE A STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE OR PROOF
It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. So before you conclude that you are going to be the worst dressed in the party and staying sleepless the whole night takes a step back and look at the evidence. What evidence do you have that your thought is true? What evidence do you have that your thought isn’t true? Remember that your emotions will interfere with your ability to look at situations objectively.
4. INCORPORATE 30 MINUTES OF “THINKING TIME” INTO YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE
Overthinking for a long time isn’t productive, but a few minutes of meditation or reflection can be helpful. Thinking about how you could do things differently or recognizing potential pitfalls to your plan, could help you perform better in the future.
5. LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Be kind to yourself. When you are kind to yourself you will live in the moment and living in the moment will help you become more aware of yourself. Just like any other skill, being kind to yourself takes practice, but over time, it can decrease the overthinking. There are classes, books, apps, courses, and videos available to help you learn how to be kind to yourself.
6. CHANGE YOUR ACTIVITY
Doing something different will put an end to the barrage of negative thoughts. Exercise, engage in conversation on a completely different subject, or work on a project that distracts you.
7. DON’T GIVE UP
Paying attention to the way you think, quitting dwelling on your problems and starting to focus on solving the problem, taking a step back and looking at the evidence or proof, incorporating 30 minutes of “thinking time” into your daily schedule, Live in the Present and changing your activity will help build the mental strength you want to achieve over time. With practice, you can train your brain to think differently
Best of Lack!