Overthinking Sucks. Here Are 6 Easy Ways you can Stop it
#2 Don't look for anything that isn't already there
It is in human nature to think. Our thinking ability is what makes our species stand out from every other living being on this planet. But sometimes we go beyond the extremes, sometimes thinking about our decisions, or our past, opens the gate of overthinking, and we can’t help but start stressing over those things. It happens with everyone. But the problem arises when a person starts overthinking almost everything in his life, which, without any doubt, hinders his ability to not only focus on the present but also ruin the moments that he should be enjoying.
Not a few months ago, I used to overthink even a text message from the people that were too important to me. What could she mean? Oh! doesn’t she feel the same now? What did I do wrong? You see. How I wouldn’t only think about it but also form scenarios and stories in my head just from a single message and would ultimately blame myself for everything. That's what overthinking does to people. It gives the negative perspective a higher ground and stops you from analyzing the situation exactly how it is.
I don’t know if your overthinking is gone up to that extent right now, but here are a few things that have helped me and will definitely prove to be beneficial for you too. So grab your coffee and let’s dive right into it.
1. Recognize whenever your mind tries to overthink
Nothing more can be said about it. The first step is to be aware of the fact that you’re thinking too much. Whenever your mind tries to put you into the loop of overthinking or leaving you stressed, you need to take a moment and see what it is you’re thinking about. Remember that you can only act on something if you know it exists.
2. Don’t look for anything that isn’t already there
I know it’s quite straightforward. But try not to add your own interpretation to what has happened or what someone is saying to you. Most of the time we add our own meaning to the things that don’t even exist. And when that happens, it makes us anxious and we tend to overthink even more in those kinds of situations. Comfort yourself with the fact that it is not a hide and seek game or a puzzle that you’re supposed to complete.
3. Meditate, meditate and mediate
I can’t even begin to tell you how much it has helped me. Meditation took me closer to myself more than anything else ever could. The very own idea of meditation is to make you see clearly and accept the present just as it is. It also calms your mind and keeps the stress away which ultimately helps you to focus on the present.
Simple Habit is an app that I use to meditate with. You can check it out here.
4. Live in the moment
I know it’s cliché. But as Raymond Reddington points out in The Blacklist, “Clichés work. That’s how they get to be clichés.” Moreover, living in the moment is an answer to so many problems of ours. When you start thinking about the past or the future, your mind will automatically be engulfed in what would feel like a trap. And I’m sure you already know how hard it is to get out of that. So, focus on the present and you’re good to go.
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5. Shift your focus
Robin Sharma, in his book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, points out how one can stop his mind from dwelling into the past or the future by immediately replacing that thought with something else.
Once you realize you’re thinking about something else, you can immediately catch that thought, and have a look at your surroundings. Perhaps adore the poster on your wall or the scenery outside your window. That way your mind will come back to the moment after looking at what exists right in front of it.
Keeping yourself busy in a tedious activity will also never fail to help you in returning to the present. As we engross ourselves in a tedious task, our mind doesn’t divert somewhere else because it gets occupied with the task at hand. That’s why solving a puzzle is one of the best things to stop your mind from diverting.
6. Spend more time with your friends and family
When nothing works, just walk over to your friends and talk with them. However, keep in mind that talking about what’s bothering you might backfire in this case. Just talk about the normal stuff that you usually do. Personally, I find it very relaxing. When something bothers me, I leave everything behind and either hang out with my friends or call them up. And it always works like a charm.
So there you have it. If you gained anything from this, please consider sharing it with someone who needs it just as much as you do.
P.S. – Yesterday I published my first article on Medium. Mind giving it a clap? You can do so here. Thank you!