Every new encounter with another person, with problems or conflicts many of us tend to overthink. More a burden than a blessing. In addition, many opinions and external information, some valid and some invalid, influence our decision-making. Instead of analyzing the situation, we draw, no, we create scenarios. Possible scenarios and never-gonna-happen scenarios. You know these kinds of problems. It messes up our sleep schedule and irritates our thinking process. So, here are 12 ways to stop overthinking.
12 Ways to stop overthinking
1. Remember that over-thinking does not lead to insight
Why do we overthink at all? We do it because we want to have insight into every consequence of the decision we make. As a result, we draw huge amounts of scenarios. In fact, we make scenarios for possible and impossible outcomes. But this will never be worth the time we spend time in it.
Why? Because we will never know the exact outcome of our decision until we experience it.
Change career path, marriage, ending a relationship in general, school, college, moving home. We will be surprised by what we will discover. Of course, we will also make mistakes. But this is part of life and our personal growth that makes life worth living. And this can only be done by acting and not overthinking.
2. Know that your decision will never be final
Many overthinkers believe that decisions will change our life forever and that we cannot change it anymore which is why they must be 100% right and correct. But, luckily it is not. I made tons of mistakes in my life. Changed my career path, ended up in bad relationships and hurt many people. But, it always works out in the end. Even in my most desperate moment, I found a solution. With every decision you make, you will find a solution over and over again. And as a result, you grow immensely. A decision will never be final. Believe in it and you stop overthinking.
3. Keep active throughout the day
Another reason for overthinking is because we have too much time. Fill your free time with meaningful, non-drug activity. When I was depressed, I also wanted to distract myself. This is the reason this blog is born. I read a lot of books and want a more active role in reading. Which leads to this blog. Also, I attend a Japanese language course and will soon start to dance. Besides this, I work on my online shop and website. I literally have no time to overthink and gain myself more skills. You should do it, too.
4. Become the ultimate skeptic
Many of us tend to think that our thoughts are always correct. But in fact, it is not. Let’s take an example.
If someone you know does something you consider hurtful but you do not discuss it with this person, negative thoughts will arise about why this person acted that way.
Ask yourself: “Can I be 100 percent sure?”
Answering this question will eliminate all kinds of assumptions and predictions. And let us be free from looking for confirmation of our thought.
5. Solve another person’s problem first, and get perspective
At some point, our overthinking leads us to a point where there is no return. We are deep in our mental world that we need someone to break it. And good practice for this is to try another person’s problem.
Helping other people will remind us that our problems are not that huge compared to others. When I was stuck with the thought that I was a failure overall, I helped a friend’s problem. As a result, I realize that he has a much tougher time than I do. Somehow I was ashamed of my problems. How can I feel down about my problem? He has such a tougher life than I do.
Stop overthinking by solving another person’s problem to gain perspective of your own.
6. Twist your mind by looking for a solution
One of the reasons, we tend to overthink is we overanalyze a situation.
Instead of, “I could not believe that this happened!” to “What can I do to prevent this situation?”. When I met the new boyfriend of my ex, I was in an awkward situation and I could not handle it well. Instead of overthinking what could happen if I did this or that. I immediately thought of a solution to prevent this kind of situation in the future. If I did not look for a solution I will overthink this problem until today.
Or, “I don’t have good friends!” another overthinking trap. This will leads to depression and anxiety, obviously. Instead, be a person of action and try to improve yourself. Ask yourself instead: “What steps can I take to deepen my friendships and find new ones?”. Always strive to find a solution and improvement.
7. Journal to get the thoughts out of your head
Personally, this is one of the best ways to stop overthinking. Back in Highschool, many situations bothered me a lot. And specifically, you and I are more aware of how we should behave around others and how to dress properly. I accepted that I was a sin to the fashion industry. This is the reason why I concentrate on social interactions. Once I was really upset about a friend who put me in an awkward situation. I could not handle it well. With this in mind, I wrote a journal about it to remember all the shits my friend put me in. It was a revenge plan. I overthought every situation. Counting every crime against me, sum it up, and destroy him.
But, after a couple of months, I read the journal once again. In fact, I was not mad at him anymore. Moreover, I forgave him and I could not believe how stupid I was. So, I drop every revenge plan and live without overthinking for all Highschool years.
8. Difference between fear and intuition
Remember there is a difference between fear and intuition. I have a friend who claims that her intuition is always on point. But in fact, it is just fear. Fear prevents us from deciding at all. Fear of making mistakes or fear of blaming. Instead, intuition is almost the same at first sight. But, it differs. Intuition leads us to a decision, despite fear paralyzing us and we are stuck in doing nothing and overthinking. Differ your thought, is it fear, or is it intuition?
9. Do not set up your day for stress and overthinking
We are living in a world of information and opinion overflow. Without a proper filter and a strong mindset, you are doomed to be lost in the loop of overthinking.
- Stop your social media input
We fear that we miss something when we are not online. But mostly, you do not miss anything important. In case of an emergency, people will call you. Once in a while, cut your phone off the internet.
- Quick small tasks
By doing quick small tasks, you will learn to focus on the important task in your daily life. Train your brain with it.
10. Take action
Every time a day passes in my life, I realize that the most common advice from my parents is the fundamental teaching to be an adult. When I was in Middle school, my father always told me to do my homework immediately. “Another strictness of my parents again.” that is was I thought. I could not understand it at all.
Now, this is the perfect example to stop overthinking. When you finish a task or a problem you would not think of it again. For example, when you finish a huge essay weeks ago, you will never have to remind yourself that you have a task. By taking action, you eliminate if-scenarios, and decision-making-time and your daily life will not be affected.
11. Accept imperfection
Perfection is shit. First of all, there is no perfection in the first place. Second, aiming for perfection is a sign of insecurity in many ways. “Is it good enough so it can display perfectly my skills? Making mistakes defines me, so I am not allowed to make mistakes! ” Clearly thoughts of the fixed mindset.
When we start to take action and accept that a mistake is not final, we overcome the thought of perfection. Furthermore, striving for perfection paralyze us to make a decision which leads to overthinking. So, accept imperfection in everything you do. (Why we should start right away)
12. Work Out
Working out is my recharging activity. And more importantly, it must be yours, too. It does not matter if you go to the gym, dance, or do martial arts. Every physical activity raises the probability of not overthinking. When I stopped working out for 2 months, I just felt down. I thought about trivial things and I thought of past events that no longer had anything to do with me.
Start doing sport and you will feel free of your mind from unnecessary thoughts.