Overthinking is the fastest way to break your own heart and to suffer from paralysis by analysis. Overthinking mostly occur when we are worried about something, when we are confused or when we are scared. It is best not to overthink or overanalyze situations if you desire to have a peaceful and happy life.
It is okay to think through situations and to analyze the benefits and dangers of certain situations. Still, after you have gotten a clear view or results from touching the situation at hand, it is wise to stop thinking, analyzing, and focusing on applying the solution. The problem most of us have is that, instead of focusing on the solution to the problem, we focus on more problems that may complicate the existing issue, causing us to become paralyzed with cycles of thoughts and no action.
Here are 12 ways to Stop Overthinking:
1. Write it out
If you find yourself in a loop of thoughts that is going nowhere positive, write out the thoughts on paper. Write out the problems, then write out the possible solutions you are thinking about, then write out all the obstacles to the solutions. The majority of the time, when you are done penning your thoughts on paper, you will see that continual thinking of the problem is not necessary.
2. Go for a walk
The very moment you catch yourself thinking about an issue that always makes you sad, take a walk to clear your head.
3. Go cook dinner
Instead of constructing “comebacks” in your head that you should have said earlier in the day when that mean friend or family member said something awful to you, go cook dinner for yourself and your family. It is in the past now. You can’t tell them off again. Maybe life will give you another chance to defend yourself, but until then, let it go.
4. Let go of the outcome of your situation
Suffering occurs when we expect life to happen the way we want it to happen. The best thing to do is to let go of the expectations tied to our situation because it will never happen as we want it to. Overthinking our situation will only end up in a cycle of thinking – reacting – suffering, then thinking again – reacting – suffering. It is better to break the cycle by letting things happen the way they are supposed to. Don’t overthink it, just let it be.
5. Compliment other people
When you catch yourself thinking over and over again about how bad your life is or how bad it was, send short nice beautiful messages to three people close to you. Just an: “hey, my beautiful friend, you are such a gem, have a happy day” to a close friend of yours, will pull you out of your thoughts and into your present reality.
Complimenting people around you and making them smile will cause you to see that life is not so bad, like your brain is trying to make you believe.
6. Recite “this too shall pass”
The very moment that negative thought takes over your mind says unto yourself, “this too shall pass,” over and over again. This will stop your subconscious from generating anymore negative, scary thoughts about the situation.
7. Do the next best thing, one step at a time
The very moment thought about how massive that project you are about to embark on is just stand up and do the next best thing close to you. Don’t dwell on the thought; just become active and slowly tackle the project.
8. Dance and exercise
This will help you focus on something productive and fun. For example, Whenever you find yourself overthinking about how delicious that unhealthy food, you are not supposed to have is. Do five squats or five push-ups, or whenever you start over-analyzing who called your wife or husband, just dance and shake your body. It will help you feel good and happy. It will take you away from that sad, unhappy thought pattern to a happy one.
9. Ask yourself, how long will this matter?
If what you are overthinking about won’t matter in 1 week, one month, one year or even five years, why are you stressing yourself with thoughts about it? Let it go.
10. Redirect your thoughts
Take a pause, breath in, breathe out then, think of that issue from a different perspective. A little shift in ideas may just be all you need.
11. Focus on a different goal
If your present goal is to give you a headache because you are overthinking it, focus on a different goal. Focus on drawing something, walking your dog, calling your mum, or your sibling to say Hi. Accomplishing a different goal will boost your confidence to accomplish the goal that is bothering you.
Still, your mind, relax, and let that thought go.