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Challenge your Mindset

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5 methods to stop overthinking

overthinking

Those of us who are frequently classed as the indecisive, the worriers and the over thinker’s generally pass off our far- fetched illusions as a bit of a joke. “‘You’re reading too much into this’” is something we can count on hearing often. It might have been something we had previously accepted, but with research suggesting that overthinking can lead to anxiety, and eventually depression, maybe now is the time we try to do something about it:

1) Reduce stimulants

Anything that makes us hyperactive, jittery and helps force our brain into overdrive will only add to the time we spend overthinking. Allocate time in your evenings where you can switch off and wind down, with an activity that doesn’t require any mental activity! This will allow you to drift into a natural sleep that will give your brain time to rest,. Most of us find everything always feels much better in the morning anyway.

2) Refocus

Psychologists suggest that in order to take our mind off a negative situation we may be replaying, by actively distracting ourselves we are physically forced to take our mind off things. For example, talking to a friend or exercising are activities that requires conscious control over our bodies. This diverts our attention to a productive or positive situation, which could actually make us feel better about the problem itself.

3) Take Action

You’ve analysed the situation to the last inch, yet still you are left feeling worse off and no closer to a resolution. Dwelling in the past, regardless of whether the cause is warranted or not, will not change a situation. Therefore by choosing to solve the problem rather than to rehash it, it allows a way to distract yourself from the situation itself. But also, you could potentially stop the anxiety altogether by addressing it.

4) Challenge

If you find yourself struggling with a negative belief, then challenge yourself on its validity. First of all, what do you believe? If, for example, you think your boss doesn’t like you, then next look at the evidence for that belief. Your evidence is because they didn’t say “hi” to you in the morning. Is this your only evidence? Then think of all the evidence that disputes this. In most situations there are plentiful examples of how your belief is unreliable, so it’s your decision to focus on the positive reasons why that is the case.

5) Mindfulness

This approach may be limited to some, but those who use it claim to its extreme success in dealing with overthinking along with many other things such as stress. Achieving mindfulness, allows us to be present and thinking in the moment, and not to look beyond or behind. For example, instead of replaying an argument from the night before with a partner, focus on the big pile of work in front of you, and only focus on that. When you see your partner in the evening you can then address your next problem.
This can help not just as a distraction, but also stops us potentially handling present situations poorly by being too focused on previous ones. Essentially, be mindfully aware in the present moment and not the past or future.

To be able to control our thoughts is easier said than done, and even if you have tried and tested every method but with no success, then speaking to a life coach who can train you to avoid these negative thought patterns could also be extremely useful.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.