While it may take some people to think about certain situations they face in their lives for a period of time, we find that there are a number of people who suffer from constant and continuous flows of ideas in their lives.
their minds. Chronic Overthinkers often relive the conversations they had yesterday, question every decision they make, or imagine catastrophic outcomes for everything, all day, every day!
Overthinking doesn’t just involve words. Overthinkers also conjure up disastrous images from their imagination. You can liken their minds to a movie in which their car falls off a cliff, or they keep thinking about bad events they went through over and over again.
It may not feel like overthinking is that bad, but if you really struggle with it, you know full well how exhausting, draining, and exhausting it can be.
Let’s talk in more detail about this problem and learn the best ways to get rid of it or at least reduce it.
Overthinking and destructive thinking patterns
Overthinking usually involves two main types of destructive thinking: brooding and constant worrying.
Regretting usually involves constant thinking about the past, and may include thoughts such as:
_ I shouldn’t have said those things during the meeting yesterday. Of course, everyone thinks I’m an idiot.
_ I should have stayed at my previous job, but I would have been happier then than I am now.
My parents didn’t teach me how to boost my self-confidence. My fears and constant insecurities always prevented me from moving forward in my life.
Persistent anxiety often involves negative (and sometimes catastrophic) thoughts and predictions about the future. We find ideas like:
_ I know I’m going to embarrass myself tomorrow when I do that show. I’ll forget everything I have to say.
_ All my colleagues will get upgrades before me. I know we’ll never have enough money to retire.
_ We’ll get sick, we won’t be able to keep working, we won’t have enough money.
Disadvantages of overthinking
A whirlwind of overthinking can negatively affect not only your mental health, but your physical and emotional health as well. Sadness and depression are not the only outcomes of the excessive thinking process, as it has many other damages that affect all aspects of your life.
1- More thinking means shorter life!
According to a study conducted at Harvard Medical School on a group of people between the ages of 60 and 70 and those who are over 100 years old, it was found that those who died at younger ages had a lower percentage of the protein that calms the brain. Overthinking exhausts the brain.
This leads to the secretion of this protein. This does not mean that you will die at the age of thirty if you are excessively thinking, but it will undoubtedly affect the brain negatively and lead to problems and diseases that may cause death.
2- Fewer and worse sleep
Sometimes you may not be able to control your feelings of worry and thinking late at night. This causes your body to come out of its resting state and become more alert.
what does that mean?
Yes, exactly… that means fewer hours of sleep and even worse quality of sleep, which in turn leads to a constant feeling of fatigue and stress.
3- Increased chances of developing mental illness
One of the most important damages of excessive thinking is an increased risk of mental illness and problems such as chronic anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or borderline personality disorder.
In short, excessive thinking leads to many problems and mental disorders, which in turn leads to more excessive thinking to find yourself in an inevitable vicious cycle.
4- Appetite disturbances
If you overthink, you may find yourself unwilling to eat or, more commonly, overeating in an effort to relieve stress and thinking. These disturbances and fluctuations in appetite often lead to many physical health problems.
5- Retreat creativity and innovation
Contrary to what you might think that overthinking will help you find more solutions to your problems, it actually reduces your creativity and makes the process of searching for solutions a difficult challenge, and even innovating and coming up with new ideas in your work will become more difficult.
6- Negatively affect social skills
When we spend a lot of time analyzing what other people around us might think, it usually creates a feeling of fear and detachment from social situations.
Just imagine the number of times you’ve fancied that someone doesn’t like you or won’t like you, and as a result, you didn’t start talking to them. You may have missed a lot of opportunities to meet new friends or expand your circle of relationships because of your overthinking.
Often overthinking is the reason behind your actions and feelings, not the people around you?
How do I get rid of excessive thinking? What is the treatment of excessive thinking and obsessive?
If you’re an overthinker, you probably know it, and maybe the reason you’re reading this article right now is because you want to know how to get over your overthinking.
First of all, you have to realize that overthinking is only a habit…but it is a bad habit that you have to break. It’s not easy, of course, but with constant practice, you will be able to train your brain to think differently. Here are some effective ways to reduce or eliminate excessive thinking.
1- Pay attention to yourself when you are stuck in your thoughts
Overthinking can become a habit so ingrained that you don’t even notice yourself doing it. So the first step is to pay more attention to your way of thinking to become more aware of this problem.
When you find yourself starting to think about the events in your head over and over, or worrying too much about things you can’t control, admit that this pattern of thinking is not working.
Always remember that thinking will only help you in one case, which is that it leads you to make decisions and take positive actions.
2- Look and pay attention to how you respond to your thoughts
2- Look and pay attention to how you respond to your thoughts
The way you respond to your thoughts can sometimes leave you in a vicious cycle of worrying or recurring sighs. So, when you find yourself in a spiral of excessive thinking, pay attention to the impact of this thinking on your feelings and mood. Are you feeling tense? Anxiety or remorse? What is the main feeling that fuels these thoughts?
Always remember that self-awareness is your first step to changing your thinking.
3- Distract yourself from overthinking
In other words, stop your overthinking by engaging yourself in activities that you enjoy.
These activities vary from person to person, but you can benefit from the following ideas:
_ Develop your culinary skills by learning a new recipe.
_ Register for sports classes.
_ Take up a new hobby, such as drawing.
_ Volunteer with some of the local organizations near you.
It can be hard to start something new when you’re under the influence of your thoughts, so if you’re finding it hard to find something to occupy you, start by dedicating some time (30 minutes a day) to exploring new hobbies and distractions, or pursuing hobbies you already have.
4- Take a deep breath!
You’ve no doubt heard this advice a million times before. Do you know why?!
Simply because it is effective and gives real results…
The next time you find yourself drowning in the sea of your thoughts crashing into its waves, close your eyes and take a deep, relaxing breath.
Here is a simple breathing exercise that you can start with:
_ Find a quiet place to sit, making sure your neck and shoulders are relaxed.
_ Place one hand on your heart and the other hand on top of your stomach.
_ Take a deep breath in through the nose and then exhale slowly, concentrating on the movement of the chest and abdomen as you breathe.
_ Repeat this exercise three times a day for five minutes, or as often as you can.
5- You should do meditation exercises
Regular adherence to meditation exercises has been scientifically proven to clear your mind and eliminate the clutter of thoughts within you, by focusing your attention deep inside.
6- Look at the big picture
Ask yourself every time you find yourself mired in an issue: “How does this problem or issue affect my life in 5 or 10 years?”
Does anyone really care that you forgot what to say during your presentation? Or did you make a mistake during the meeting?
It probably won’t happen…so why make the bean a dome? Drowning yourself in a sea of thoughts that will have no effect after some time?
7- Do something nice for someone
When you try to lighten the load on someone, it will help set things right. So always think of ways to help someone else who is going through a difficult time.
You don’t need to do big favors, just helping your sick neighbor carry her grocery shopping, or helping your friend find a job after they quit, can make a big difference for you and them too.
Realizing that you have the power to make someone’s day better will undoubtedly keep negative thoughts out of you, and give you something positive to think about instead of vicious circles of sterile thoughts.
Negative thinking patterns refer to all thoughts based on feelings of fear or anger that come in response to an event that a person is going through in his life.
It is very important to track and address these thoughts before they completely obsess you and plunge you into overthinking. Make sure to keep a record of these thoughts and work to change them, by following these steps:
_ Use a notebook to keep track of the situation that causes you anxiety, or negatively affects your mood, and write down the first thoughts that always come to you automatically.
_ Get to know the details of these thoughts, and evaluate the situation that causes you these negative thoughts.
_ Break down the feelings you’re feeling and what you tell yourself about the situation you’re in.
_ Find an alternative to the initial (spontaneous) thoughts running through your head.
For example, instead of starting to think directly that you are going to fail at something, tell yourself that you are doing your best and trying to give your best.
9- Acknowledge your successes
When you find yourself overthinking, take out a pen and paper or open your favorite note-taking app on your mobile phone, and immediately write down five things you accomplished in the last week to perfection.
These accomplishments don’t have to be great, things like cleaning your car, rearranging your desk drawers, or even sticking to your weekly budget will have a huge impact on your psyche and thoughts.
When you look at all these small achievements combined, you will see how important and positive the small achievements are.
Always be sure to check out this list of little accomplishments whenever you feel like you’re getting caught up in overthinking.
10- Focus on the present moment
It is true that meditation always leads you to focus on the present moment, but it is not the only way to do so. There are many other normal lifestyle practices that help you focus on the now.
Here are some of them:
Turn off your phone or computer for a set period of time and focus on doing just one activity without interruption.
Be more mindful when eating, by making sure you enjoy every bite and focusing on the taste, smell, and texture of every ingredient in the dish you’re eating.
Take a walk outside, even if it is short, and focus on noticing everything around you. Pay attention to the smells you smell, the sounds you hear, and all the sights you see in front of you.
11- See the world from a different angle
Sometimes, in order to calm your thoughts, you may need to change your perspective on things around you.
Your view of the world is based on your past experiences, values, and assumptions, so always try to imagine things from someone else’s point of view, as this will greatly reduce your overthinking.
12- Take practical steps to overcome excessive thinking
Sometimes your overthinking can be the result of not taking any real, practical steps to change things around you. Do you keep thinking about someone you wish you were?
Instead of spoiling your day with thoughts like “I will never be like him,” “I will never be as successful as his…” or similar thoughts, immediately start writing out real, practical steps that will help you reach your goals. This will keep you away from futile thinking and instead direct your energy to work and diligence.
Always use your thoughts and feelings to take real steps towards living a better life.
13- Be more compassionate with yourself
Continuing to think about the past prevents you from moving forward with your life. So if you’re constantly scolding yourself for mistakes you’ve made in the recent or distant past, try to be more accepting and more sympathetic to yourself.
_ Here are some steps you can get started with:
_ Pick an idea that comes to you frequently.
_ Identify the feeling that accompanies this thought and that comes to you every time you think of it.
_ Acknowledge your feelings and their truth at this moment.
Choose an empathetic phrase that you say to yourself whenever you experience these feelings. For example: “I accept myself as I am” or “I am enough”…etc.
14- Accept your fears
Some things in life will always be out of your control no matter how hard you try to control them. When you learn how to accept these things, you will greatly reduce the overthinking process.
It’s easier said than done, of course, but you can always start with small steps to conquer your fears and accept things that are out of your control.
Start by confronting the little situations that always cause you anxiety, such as standing up to a bossy co-worker, or going on that trip you’ve always wanted to take alone.
15- Don’t be shy about asking for help
Sometimes you find yourself unable to control your thoughts on your own. And all the previous methods fail to make you stop repeating those negative scenarios in your mind.
At that time, do not hesitate to seek help from experts and specialists, as resorting to a psychologist or a specialized counselor will definitely help you, as it will provide you with effective tools and strategies to change your thinking pattern.
If you suffer from overthinking, you are not alone in it. Whereas, 73% of people aged 25-35 years, and about 53% of those aged 45-55 years are hyper-thinking.
Thinking is a natural human thing, but when it goes too far, it becomes easy to get bogged down in negative thoughts and in building assumptions that have no basis in truth.
Are you one of those people? Do you feel that overthinking is affecting you in any of the above ways? And if so, what steps do you think you should take to solve this problem?
Share your opinion through the comments, and there is no harm in reading some of our interesting and useful articles, as they will definitely help you reduce excessive overthinking!