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How to Stop Overthinking It

How to Stop Overthinking It

The classic overthinking definition is – to think about something too much or for too long.– While it’s human nature to think things through when making a decision or evaluating different scenarios, it becomes overthinking when you can’t get out of your own head.

Here are some things you can start to practice, to stop overthinking:

 

Awareness is the beginning of change

Becoming self-aware can go a long way in helping you deal with overthinking in the long term. Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it's happening. Any time you find yourself doubting or feeling stressed or anxious, step back and look at the situation and how you're responding. In that moment of awareness is the seed of the change you want to make.

 

Accept and embrace your fears

In many occasions, overthinking is caused by fear. When you focus on all the negative things that could happen, it's easy to become paralyzed. There will always be things that may be out of your control. Learning how to accept that can go a long way when you want to stop overthinking.

  

Distract yourself

Sometimes it's helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. This looks different for everyone, some ideas may include mediation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, knitting, drawing, or painting. These activities can distance you from the concerns enough to shut down the overthinking.

 

Put things into perspective

It's always easy to make things larger and more negative than they need to be. Sometimes, quieting your thoughts requires stepping outside of your usual perspective, and see them from another point of view. How you see the world is shaped by your life experiences, values, and assumptions. Imagining things from a different point of view can help you work through some of the noise.

 

Stop striving for perfection

Being ambitious is great but aiming for perfection is unrealistic, impractical, and debilitating. Perfectionism is one of the biggest blockers to swift, effective decision-making because it operates on faulty all-or-nothing thinking. Trying to weigh every possible outcome and consideration is paralyzing.

After all, it’s much easier to wrap your head around and take action towards a single next step rather than trying to project months or years into the future.

 

Leverage the underestimated power of intuition

Intuition works like a mental pattern matching game. The brain considers a situation, quickly assesses all your experiences, and then makes the best decision given the context. This automatic process is faster than rational thought, which means intuition is a necessary decision-making tool when time is short and traditional data is not available. In fact, research shows that pairing intuition with analytical thinking helps you make better, faster, and more accurate decisions and gives you more confidence in your choices than relying on intellect alone.

 

Focusing on solutions

You need to identify your problems, but you need to give your power and energy to solutions. You’ve identified the real reasons for your stress and anxiety, but your work isn’t done. The only way to learn how to stop overthinking for good is to take charge of your life. If you’re not where you want to be in life, set goals for yourself so that you can get there. If you feel like life is out of your control, make a decision today to get back behind the wheel.

 

At the end, no one controls your reality but you.

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