9 Tips to Stop Overthinking
Do you ever have those moments where you are trying to get something done, but you can’t stop overthinking long enough to focus? Maybe you are fearful, doubtful, anxious, stressed, or simply remembering an embarrassing situation from ten years ago. Whatever the reason, sometimes we struggle to stop overthinking and get out of our heads. If this sounds like you, check out these nine handy tips on how to deal with it.
1. Schedule Reflection Time
You can’t possibly eliminate all of the thoughts running through your head, so why not schedule some time to reflect? Schedule some good old “me time” with just you and your head. Hopefully, this will allow you to carry on distraction-free the rest of the day.
2. Write Your Thoughts Down
If you find that you are often lost in overthinking, try releasing the worry, anxiety, or other negative feelings with the written word. Starting a journaling practice is a great way to get those worries stuck in your head out into the open.
3. Spend Time With Loved Ones
When you spend time with people you truly care about, you will be less likely to be lost in overthinking. Make a concerted effort to get caught up in the moment. Listen closely to what they say; observe what they do, feel the joy of just being with them.
4. Establish a Meditation Routine
Meditation is all about clearing your mind. While that is hardly a thorough definition, it does sound perfect if you are struggling to stop overthinking. It may take you some time to break through all the noise and relax enough to meditate, but it’s worth the effort.
5. Work up a Sweat
It’s hard to worry about the thoughts in your head when you feel like your heart is about to beat through your chest. Of course, you don’t have to go that hard – but spending any time exercising will keep you out of your head, and you will get all the normal benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
6. Take Action on Your Thoughts
If you are lost in thought with worry, doubt, or fear about some aspect of your life, then try taking some action. You don’t even have to do anything drastic. Just jot down some ways you can address the issues you worry or fret over.
7. Identify Your Values
Do you know what matters to you? It might seem like a silly question, but most of us never really define the things we care about most. When you figure out what means the absolute most to you, the thoughts of things that don’t matter will start to drift away.
8. Use the 5-4-3-2-1 Method
Sometimes you will find yourself with so many thoughts racing through your mind you feel on the verge of panic. The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a great way to ground yourself. You just look around and pick out 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell, and 1 you can taste. It’s a simple but effective way to stay mindful.
9. Talk to a Professional
If you feel so stuck in your head that it negatively impacts your mental well-being, career, or relationships, consider speaking with a professional. There is absolutely no shame in doing so. A trained professional is simply another support for you to lean on.
In sum, thinking can be good for us. It helps with many essential tasks like clarification, problem-solving, and future planning. But other times, we can feel like we’re trapped in overthinking. When that happens, these strategies can provide a key to unlock the trap and help you shift your focus to something more productive.