Overthinking Mind: What to do

Overthinking is the process where we continuously beat ourselves over yesterdays and fret about a tomorrow, so much that we forget to live in the present.

While everyone overthinks a few things, some of us overthink everything. And it prevents us from doing anything.

There isn’t a time when overthinkers aren’t caught up in their thoughts. And it doesn’t matter whether these are good thoughts or negative ones, because overthinking is bad. It can create problems that aren’t there in the first place.

Overthinking can threaten a person’s mental health and overall well being. It causes an unnecessary burden which can induce stress and anxiety. Constantly ruminating on the past and worrying about the future can be destructive for your progress too — you get stuck, your judgments get cloudy, and you lose control over your life.

Clearly, overthinking is exhausting. But there must be some way to prevent the brain from running ahead of itself, to silence its constant commentary, and, of course, to be more present.

How to Get Out of Your Head

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get over my overthinking mind. Initially, it can be a challenge. But with practice you can train your brain to break this mental habit.
Awareness is the key

To deal with a constant stream of thoughts at any given time is part of being human. It comes to us so naturally that we fail to recognize the thin line which separates thinking from overthinking.

To stop overthinking you’ve to start noticing when you’re doing it. Pay attention to your thoughts. Try to recognize repeating patterns that cause fear, doubt, and anxiety. Acknowledge that these thoughts aren’t helpful.

The moment you become aware is the moment you decide to change.

Question your assumptions

Once you realize you have a problem. The next thing to do is to question your mind. See if it’s making unnecessary assumptions to reach unwanted conclusions.

“Do you know for certain that the story your mind is telling you is true?”

“What are the chances that something you’re scared of will actually happen?”

“Is there anything you can do about it?”

Focus on finding solutions

Stop overthinking about your decision to quit your job and focus on making up for it. Instead of worrying about the meaninglessness of life, try to figure out what you want to do with your time.

And if there’s something that’s supposed to happen, and it’s something you can’t control, let go until it actually affects you.

You can learn to get better at it in the next step.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of living in the present. It can take on many forms, from simple breathing exercises spread throughout the day to morning pages, and writing in your journal for a few minutes at the end of each day.

Whenever my mind tends to get lost in the spiral of overthinking, I try to capture my thoughts on paper. It’s impossible to overthink on paper.

Mindfulness helps you to experience life here and now. It’s about getting through with your thoughts without any judgment. It’s the subtle art of acknowledging the chaos and not running away from it.

When you deliberately schedule some time to embrace the chaos in your life, it becomes easier not to worry about it for the rest of the day. You can simply postpone your overthinking and deal with it at a set time.

Find better distractions

You can’t force your way out of overthinking. You need better alternatives. It can mean plugging in the earphones and listening to an audiobook, or music, while simultaneously taking a walk. It’s something that works for me. For others, it could be a workout or learning a new skill, or reading, or painting. Anything that distracts you and prevents you from overanalyzing everything.

Ultimately it’s your commitment and your motivation that will decide whether you’ll succeed in overcoming your overthinking mind.

It’s difficult, but it isn’t impossible.

I’ll once again leave it to Seneca to share the final piece of wisdom,

It is likely that some troubles will befall us, but it is not a present fact. How often has the unexpected happened! How often has the expected never come to pass! And even though it is ordained to be, what does it avail to run out to meet your suffering? You will suffer soon enough when it arrives; so look forward meanwhile to better things. What shall you gain by doing this? Time. There will be many happenings meanwhile which will serve to postpone, or end, or pass on to another person, the trials which are near or even in your very presence. A fire has opened the way to flight. Men have been let down softly by a catastrophe. Sometimes the sword has been checked even at the victim’s throat. Men have survived their own executioners. Even bad fortune is fickle. Perhaps it will come, perhaps not; in the meantime, it is not. So look forward to better things.

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