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How to Overcome Your Overthinking

Category: 

Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Oct 28, 2015

overthinking tips blog

We’ve all been there: you’re lying in bed exhausted but you can’t just get to sleep. You keep running the same thoughts through your mind. Maybe they are thoughts of regret over the way a certain social situation played out. Maybe you’re thinking anxious thoughts about the way your presentation might go wrong tomorrow. You want to stop these thoughts because you know that whatever you may be thinking, it’s not going to change the past or the future. You just want to get some peace and quiet inside your head and stop these thoughts form keeping you awake. Here are a few tips on how to curb all of this overthinking.

Forgive yourself for overthinking. Unfortunately, this is just how our brains are wired. Our brains are filled with neurons and synapses that are built to fire, and it’s difficult to stop the process once it gets rolling. Although the knowledge that our minds are predestined to behave in this manner might be cold comfort to the habitual overthinker, it can save you the added worry that something is wrong with you. You have the same problem that many other people do!

Try meditation. Considering that the goal of meditation is to practically drive out all distractions in your mind so that you can focus on the moment, it might be worth a try. Don’t knock meditation before you try it, either. You don’t need to be a particular type of person to meditate. While there are different levels of meditation, anybody can try. The best place to start would be with a guided meditation that you can listen to on your headphones. You don’t need to be a Zen master to know that a few minutes of tranquility will go a long way to help clear your mind of distractions.

Exercise. Never underestimate the physical self’s ability to steal attention from your mind. When you are in pain, you know that it’s impossible to think about anything else. Now, exercise (hopefully) shouldn’t be outright painful, but this same idea comes into play here: physical exertion causes your mind to focus on your body and little else. So a bit of vigorous exercise might be just what you need to clear your head for a while. When you’re looking for an overthinking cure, try to avoid repetitive exercise like running or biking, unless you’ve decided that you’re really going to push yourself. Even better would be exercise that is mentally stimulating as well, like a pickup basketball game or a racquetball match.

Read a book. Take a trip out of your own head and get lost in something you haven’t read before, or pick up an old favorite. Reading is better than watching television when it comes to changing your thought process because reading requires more of your attention. You’ll have to decide what type of reading works best for you to combat overthinking. For some, a mystery or a romance novel might do the trick. For others, a dense tome on history or philosophy might work.