Imagine yourself enjoying a peaceful moment, doing something productive, and all of a sudden getting carried away by thoughts. Everything from peachy turns into blue in a matter of seconds and as you try to withdraw from that situation, you can't help but think more about it. For example- You sent a beautiful text to a friend but soon after you pressed the send button, you thought that it could have been better, "What if she/he doesn't like it?", "Was my writing tone correct?", and the list keeps on increasing.
Can you relate?
See, thinking is useful but overthinking is not if it leads you to extended periods of anxiety, confusion, or indecisiveness. You did a good deed but overthinking made you question your efforts. Repetitive thoughts can take a toll on your emotional health, may lead to behavioral issues, and snatch away your happiness. Overthinking can affect your relationship, career, future and increase the depression levels recklessly.
So, how to stop overthinking? How do you pull yourself away from the process of overthinking? Here are 5 quick and effective ways to stop overthinking and move your thoughts in the right direction:
#1 Analyze or observe the negative thought pattern
The first thing you'll need to do is be aware of what's causing such a change in your behavior. Overthinking can lead to a destructive thought cycle, often thinking recklessly about the past or future, about yourself or others
Changing this pattern can be challenging but if you train your brain by practicing mindfulness techniques in your daily routine or simply shifting your focus in the present moment, you can successfully alter your negative habits constructively. Shift your focus to think about something that will direct you towards positive outcomes.
#2 Don't dwell on thoughts
You'll sometimes get stuck in a situation that will be out of your control like the sudden death of a loved one or being hurt by another person’s behavior etc. Acknowledge that you aren't responsible for someone’s actions. Don't blame yourself, rather deal with it by adopting the right coping strategies.
Seek support from people who care about you or take care of yourself physically (physical weakness can add to emotional grief). Adopt a problem-solving method rather than being stuck on the thoughts.
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#3 Change your strategies to stop overthinking
If you try to be too harsh on yourself by blocking your thoughts, they can backfire on you in the worst ways. Stop pretending as if you don't have emotions because when you do so, they pile up inside you and damage your inner peace.
Change your strategies by changing the channel. Start making changes in your routine, change your place if you don't get a good vibe from a particular spot, change your clothes if they are uncomfortable, as simple as that.
#4 Include breathing exercises in your day
Your breath (prana) is the reason you are alive as it fills you up with energy to perform daily chores. Focus on your breathing, perform relaxation exercises or yoga and see how it changes your mood significantly.
Take a few minutes, breathe in, count till 4, then breathe out deeply and mindfully till the count of 8. Repeat this 10 times and let go of negativity.
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#5 Maintain a journal
Whenever you experience any negative emotion and are overwhelmed with thoughts, one of the best ways is to pen it down in a journal. Write or draw whatever you are going through and let it all out.
Maintaining a journal allows you to shed that extra load off your head and makes you feel better. It gives you the confidence to accept yourself and move on.
Understand that the remote to your thoughts is in your hands. You can find your way out of the dark by adopting the stated techniques to stop overthinking. Everyone has a different mindset, therefore, these methods may not work for everyone in a similar manner. Experiment, cherry-pick the one you can get the benefit from, stick on it and you'll witness its wonders over time. In case you need emotional support or further guidance, consult with our emotional therapists or counsellors on The Wellness Corner so you can become resilient and deal with it quickly.