When you suffer from overthinking, it can seem like your whole world is going to crumble down with every “important” decision you have to make. Or your mind replays the embarrassing things that happened last week only to leave you in a turmoil you can’t seem to escape from. Your feelings become chaotic, your breathing starts getting erratic and your mind can’t seem to stop double guessing every single little thing you did before that might’ve led to some shocking event that day.
Overthinking solves nothing
In the end, you gain nothing but stress, anxiety, and a feeling of eternal doubt. Overthinking does more harm than it does good, since it’s not the same as when you think things through, like when you’re deciding on which home to buy or if you should take a special trip, the factor of money, for example, comes to mind.
But when you worry over a catastrophic event that could happen if you change your job, or when you ruminate over a mistake you think you did in the past that ends up seeming bigger than it actually was, you’re stopping yourself from taking necessary risks. You’re preventing yourself from moving forward and starting on something that could be good for you and your happiness.
What overthinking does and how to stop it
- When you overthink, you begin to worry over every small, meaningless detail that could relate to the subject of your thoughts. Realize when your thoughts are taking a turn for the worse and that they are not helping the situation at all, so you can turn them into something productive instead. If they usually appear as you are going to sleep or when you’re hungry, learn to stop them and tell yourself that you are not going to think about this now, but later when you have the time for it.
- Try to contemplate the supposed reality that your negative thoughts are giving you and see if maybe they are just exaggerating the possibilities. Overthinking causes us to imagine situations much worse than they are which either prevents us from taking part in an opportunity or damaging the possibilities of us doing a good job in something.
- Instead of dwelling on why did this awful thing happen and tirelessly trying to find any detail that might give you an answer to it, look for a way to make things better, if possible. If it was a discussion with your partner, think of a way to explain yourself to him/her that could make things better between you two and finally leave all mistakes in the past where they belong.
- Start to be more aware of the present than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. You might be losing chances now when you’re overthinking on how to deal with tomorrow, or when you’re still dreading a mistake that you made yesterday. Force yourself to be more aware of what’s happening now, the problems you must face now, the opportunities you can take now. Eventually, the past will stop bothering you and your future will be less scary to face.
- No matter how you try to avoid worries from attacking your mind, they can find their way back to haunt it. When this happens, look for distractions such as a physical activity, talking with someone over a completely different subject, working on a project, or anything that will stop the negative thoughts from bothering you. This way you can stop the overthinking habit and feel at peace with yourself.
Remember that overthinking can ruin good things, or even prevent them from happening in the first place. It makes you doubt and feel insecure over problems that you probably have no reason to have in the first place. Overthinking makes situations appear much worse than they are, or simply creates a problem over worthless assumptions. So always do your best to prevent it, think in a more productive way and trust that whatever chaos that is going on in your mind right now is only there to make you feel bad instead of making things better.