Overthinking can be a constant and chronic issue for many individuals. This vicious cycle can feel like mental acrobatics. And for the person who deals with impostor syndrome, overthinking seems to be part of their daily battle.
Chronic overthinkers are plagued by second-guessing their decisions or imagining a horrible outcome. Replaying conversations or events over and over can lead to excessive worry and negativity. This can then lead to physical ailments and excessive mental anxiety.
If you can relate to these feelings then you may be dealing with overthinking.
Five Tips for Winning at Overthinking
If you are someone that overthinks every decision or envisions the worst outcome, then continue reading for some expert tips on overcoming the cycle of overthinking.
- Are you replaying events in your mind? If so, take time to notice this so you can become better aware of this issue.
- Are you focused on the problem or the solution? Instead of dwelling on a problem, focus on the solution.
- Are your thoughts negative? If so, challenge yourself to take notice of each thought and whether or not it is true.
- How often do you reflect on the thought? Give yourself some time to think through the issue so you can get the proper perspective.
- Have you considered engaging in a different subject? Consider mentally changing the channel in your mind.
You can build healthy mental habits with practice. Try to train your brain to think differently so over time you can build healthier mental habits. One thing that is certain is that overthinking is unproductive and can cause even an easy decision to become an ordeal. Below are some tips on how to avoid overthinking your day.
How to Avoid Overthinking
According to Psychologytoday.com Amy Morin, LCSW, states that there are two categories that overthinking falls into:
- Ruminating – in other words, rehashing the past. Thoughts might look like this: “I could have made a better decision.”
- Worrying – making catastrophic predictions about the future. This type of thought could be similar to this: “I’m never going to lose this weight. It doesn’t matter what I do.”
Knowing these categories can help you learn how to train your brain to quieten your inner voice. Overthinkers do not just use words when they overthink; they also use images. Some helpful tips that were shared in the Psychology Today blog post include the following:
- Learn how to do mindful meditation so you can observe your thoughts rather than get stuck in them.
- Journal your thoughts so you can stop them from spiraling out of control.
- Abstain from thinking about tough decisions before going to bed.
- Acknowledge that your thoughts are not productive and that you cannot change them.
- Stay focused on the solution to a problem so you can better prepare next time you are faced with a similar thought.
- Engage in a healthy conversation or even exercise so you move your thoughts into a positive realm.
Overthinking is dangerous and can take a toll on your mental and physical health and relationships. If you struggle with overcoming this thought cycle, consider seeking the help of a therapist.