How to stop overthinking?

How to stop overthinking?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

You are preparing for your final exam to be held on next day. But your brain is still on cricket pitch, where you played your inter-state cricket championship last day and your team lost by just one run. You think you are the reason for losing the match as you weren’t able to score in last over. This regret of not making enough runs and overthinking would not let you prepare for your exam. You know that there will be serious consequences of overthinking, but still you can’t get it through.

You are working on a critical assignment in your office which is to be delivered at the end of the day. But you are still thinking about the long debate you have with your wife today morning. You know you have serious relationship issues in your life, due to which you are not able to concentrate sometimes. But still you dive into overthinking during work which can lead to serious consequences related to your career.  

Overthinking is a process in which we think about a problem or a person so deeply and for so long that even our mind doesn’t know how to stop it at that time. Overthinking has serious consequences for mental health and your overall well-being. Overthinking can affect your brain in a harmful way; it can affect your sleep cycle. In worst case, it leads to long term and serious health problems.

Are you overthinking?

Do you relate yourself with above anecdotes?

Are you too seeking solution to this kind of problem?

Then you are at the right place. I have done some research on overthinking and came around these common solutions which can be helpful in stopping overthinking. So don’t overthink now, and read below:

  • Be positive.

Awareness is the beginning for every task. If you are overthinking, make yourself aware that overthinking can lead to negative consequences. If there are 8 negatives and only 2 positives in your mind, still you should focus on positives. Thinking about the negative side will scare you and your mind will not stop thinking negative till you find a solution of your problem. But negativity doesn’t give you any solution. So it becomes very tough for a human mind if it indulge into negative thoughts. So always start with positive thinking, positive emotions and positive actions.

  • Focus on now.

Live in present, not in past or future. Past is a collection of events that are already done in present and future is just a collection of those present events that have not been created yet. So ‘present’ is important. Whatever will be present, the same will be past and become the future. So focus on now, focus on what you have today, and focus on what you can do for yourself today. Don’t wait for tomorrow.  I will write a separate article on how to live in present. I would recommend the readers to go through the book ‘Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. You can also read its book summary on you tube but a hard copy is a hard copy. Buy the book clicking the link below.

  • Distract yourself towards happiness.

Sometimes distractions prove to be beneficial. Find an element of distraction that makes you happy and detach you immediately from what you are doing at the moment. This element of distraction can prevent you from diving into negative imagination. This element should be of your interest, or anything that you enjoy doing. Whenever I feel I am overthinking, I play a game on my mobile. I have only one game installed in my phone. It’s not too much addictive, so as it doesn’t distract me to achieve my targets, though equally interesting that I can use it to distract myself from overthinking and negative thoughts. The happiness that you will get after this distraction will refresh you and bring your energy back that you lost through overthinking. So whenever you feel you are overthinking, start doing what you love.

  • Don’t give birth to a problem.

If you are overthinking, you are slowly moving towards problem oriented thinking rather than solution oriented thinking. There is no point of overthinking about a problem if it’s giving birth to a new problem. Overthinking creates problems that don’t exist. So the ideal thinking should be solution oriented.

  • Stop waiting for perfection.

Nobody is perfect in this world. So why aim for perfection. Perfection is not important every time, delivering the desired output on time is important. Always aiming for perfection can cost you more. It could cost you your health, your personal life or even peace of mind. Be aware how to take the right decision for yourself. You can revisit my earlier post here to know how to make decisions. Be a doer, just think once and take the decision, and act on it without aiming for perfection. Hey book readers, I would recommend the below awesome book which can be your mentor in making right decisions in your life.

  • Change view of FEAR.

Fear is that one element, if diluted in any phase of your life, can make it toxic. Fear can make you do things that you don’t want to do. Fearing from the problem will not change anything, facing the fear will change. Change the meaning of fear in your dictionary. Say to yourself at night before going to bed – FEAR doesn’t scare me, but fear of not overcoming that FEAR do. Change the meaning of fear in your life.

F – Face

E – Everything

A – And

R – Rise in life.

  • Don’t worry about future.

While driving, if you keep looking at the rear mirror of your car for a long time, it won’t let you focus on front mirror which is bigger and the place where your attention should be at that moment. Life doesn’t seem enjoyable if you always try to predict what’s goanna happen next. Instead enjoy the present moment and only be curious about what is going to happen next. Curiosity is important, to be a part of the game called life, but don’t predict. You can’t predict the future anyway. And if you don’t predict, then why worry!

  • Accept your best and work on it.

Always accept whatever you get in life. Always treat the fulfillment of even your smallest goals as a big achievement. This will motivate you to work on it and make it best. Accept your mistakes, accept your failure, and accept your defeat. If you don’t accept, you can’t improve. Acceptance is the key to improvement. A person, who accepts his mistake, never does the same mistake again. The book below teaches you the art of acceptance. Get your copy now.

  • Be grateful.

After you have learned to remove negativity and be positive, the next step would be to think only about positives and be grateful to them. You should be grateful for all the positive things happened in your life. Be grateful for everything you have got in life – be it your education, life partner or career choice. Regret is poison.

  • Write your thoughts.

The best way to talk to you is by writing a note to yourself and read it. Write down your thoughts and confessions on paper and read it loudly. This will expel all the anger, dislikes, negativity and regrets which exist in your heart and you will feel light. This process will distill your thoughts, detatch yourself from overthinking and make you ready for your next task. Always keep a pen and paper if you are overthinking, just like you do while you prepare for your exam.

  • Focus on one thing at a time.

In this multitasking environment, there are very less people left who can focus on one thing at a time. Know what the benefits of focusing on one thing are. If you want success in exam, focus on study. If you want success in your career, focus on your work. If you want success at personal front, focus on your relationships. To get success in life you just need to follow a single path without deviation, you just need to focus on one element that can lead to your goal. You need to find that one thing and stick to it. Ignore everything else which is not part of that ‘one thing’ and which deviate you from your path. Learn to focus at one thing and working on it deeply. There is a old and famous book ‘One thing’ by Hodder And Stoughton. This book will teach you how to stick to one thing and achieve what you want in life.

After a person learns to focus on one thing, he should learn to do deep work. All the famous personalities are created by doing deep work. Below is the recommended book for deep work by Little, Brown Book Group.

  • Keep your mind engaged in new things.

It’s a good practice to keep trying new things and keep your mind engaged. If you are not happy from what you are doing, change it. Start jogging, yoga or dancing if you never tried it before. Change is the necessity of life. Be that rat who never become sad if his cheese is exhausted, he works hard again and keep searching for cheese until he finds it at some other place.

  • Practice controlling your mind.

Yes you can control your mind. Don’t let your mind go away from the direction in which you are moving. Force it to focus on your goal. The best way to control your mind is by meditation. Take out time for yourself, don’t waste your time in binge watching, shopping and gossiping. If you don’t control your mind now, someone else will control it.

  • Challenge your belief.

Redirect your attention. If you don’t like anything, move away from it. If you don’t like your job, go and learn something new and change your skill-set. There is a famous saying – “Attachment causes detachment” which means, to detach from what you don’t want, you need to attach yourself with something else. Learn how to develop self-belief. Revisit my last post to know how to develop self-belief.

  • Keep active physically.

Healthy mind resides in a fit body. Join a gym, do yoga or join a dance class. Be active always. If your body is not active, you mind will also don’t. The power of being active is that you will never become lazy and hence it prevents you from overthinking.

  • Develop skill of forgiveness.

Forgiving increases your life span. The skill of forgiveness cannot be taught, it’s within. Just believe in almighty and you will be fine. If you know whatever is happening is only for a reason, then only you will find this skill in yourself and can develop it. This is a very useful personality trait of a person be in business or service or any other field.

I always try to serve my readers with more useful content on motivation, life myths and technology tips and tricks. Hope you find this post useful. Type your comments below to show how much you like the post. You may also ask a question in comments below.

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Alok Kundnani

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