10 Ascertained Ways To Stop Overthinking | Divya Toshniwal |

Overthinking can be a great burden on your mental and physical health. Although it starts with an attempt to resolve a problem, it can take a terrifying form and take away all your peace. There are various patterns of overthinking and each has a different cause and effect. But one thing is common, it sucks up a lot of your energy and leaves you exhausted to actually take any action.

The first step to stop overthinking is however the realization that you are overthinking. If you have realized that you are overthinking and have decided to take some steps to curb the harmful effects it brings along then congratulations, you have already done 50% of the work. 

While my practice as a therapist I have come along with a few tested tips to stop overthinking. Some of these have worked excellently for my clients and I am sure they would benefit you too if you dedicatedly work towards controlling your overthinking.

So here are guaranteed ways to stop overthinking :

1. Maintaining a facts journal : 

One of the major problems that lead us to the spiral of overthinking is assumptions. We assume a lot of things and then derive consequences based on those assumptions. We need to understand that these assumptions are not facts. So maintain a facts journal. Whenever you feel your mind is thinking a lot about something, pause for a minute and note down all the facts (if possible with proof) that you have about that particular episode. When you will be able to distinguish the facts from assumptions, it will break the overthinking express you were boarded on.

2. Break the chain of thoughts :

Whenever you find yourself in the spiral of overthinking, break the train of thoughts by purposely diverting yourself into something entirely unrelated. Get extremely indulged in something that is not related to that though. Once you are out of the spiral, go back and start from the beginning with the facts that you have at hand.

3. Create Positive Triggers:

This will take some practice but positive triggers can help a lot to control and stop the spiraling thoughts in your mind. A trigger can be a particular hold of the hand, it can be a mudra, it can be a fragrance, it can be a piece of music. To create this trigger you have created an association between the calm state of mind and the trigger you choose. For example, if you join your index finger and thumb to create a mudra, practice being calm and peaceful while doing that mudra. Every time you are in a calm state join these two. So that an association is created between the mudra and a state of mind. This will create a positive trigger to calm your mind while you are overthinking.

4. Meditate : 

Increasing your focus and concentration on something will direct your thoughts in a positive direction. Overthinking becomes harmful because of the number of distractive and negative thoughts that make our minds their home. Learn to meditate to eliminate these bunch of thoughts and clear your mind every once in a while.

5. Understand and Strengthen Your Beliefs:

Most of our overthinking patterns are because of our automatic thoughts. These automatic thoughts are based on the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us. For, example, if you have a belief that most people in the world are selfish, your automatic thought patterns would create overthinking patterns related to negative outcomes in every interaction you have. If you have a belief that everything in the world is good and nothing bad would ever happen then you fall victim to another overthinking pattern known as Big Picture Thinking. Hence it is critical to understand your beliefs and strengthen them appropriately.

6. Listen to Your Intuition And Not Fear:

Mostly, when we overthink we believe our inner voice is talking to us, which in fact is not true. When we overthink it is the fear that talks to us. Stop listening to your mind and try listening to your gut. Strengthen your intuitive power and a lot would resolve on its own.

7. Reduce the Decision Fatigue:

Build a routine for yourself. Set some rituals for your daily life. There are a number of menial jobs that we do every day and whether you believe it or not it takes up a lot of your energy to make decisions for these menial jobs. For example, should you do the laundry today or tomorrow? you would think a little and then come upon a decision. There are many such decisions that you make every day and these result in creating decision fatigue. If you live with people who ask you every little thing and burden you with the decisions that they need to make that also causes decision fatigue. For example, your partner asks you what they should wear for the day. You need to set routines and rituals, and also you need to set boundaries for people you live with in order to not overload your mind with thoughts.

8.  Practice Self-Care :

I cannot emphasize it more. Self-Care is the most crucial part of strengthening your mental health. Give yourself time to relax and be away from the anytime running world around you. Create a special corner in your home meant specifically for relaxation. Go out on nature walks, take small little breaks known as 'Fika' like the Swedish people. Spend some time every day to love yourself and not bother about the load of the world that you carry on your shoulder. You can check the types of self-care you should know about here and also the daily self-care that you can practice without spending much on it.

Read also: 21 Tips for Self-Care in Winter months

9. Let go of what you can't control :

Worrying is like sitting on a rocking chair, it gives you to do something but it never gets you anywhere. If you can control and change things you are thinking about, then you should stop thinking about it and actually take action regarding them. But overthinking majorly happens in situations where it is not in our hands to alter anything, and in that case, it is of no use to worry about it. It will do nothing but drain your energy and make you weaker.   I am adding here a slide once explained by Gaur Gopal Das on this topic of worrying.

why worry slide by gaur gopal das

10. Set Your Priorities: 

Sometimes we overthink things that are not even important in our lives. For example, what will people think about me if I do this or if I don't do this? Use time management tools and better organization techniques to not only organize your space or day but also your thoughts. Whenever you find yourself thinking about something ask yourself how much importance does it hold in your life and based on that take the next step towards that thought. But most importantly, remember that you are the one who would be living your own life. There may be people who support you or put you down but you are the one who has to live and what other people think is just their opinions. do not waste your time thinking about LOG KYA KAHENGE (What will people Think)



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