Overthinking is debilitating.
Overthinking leaves you mentally distressed and exhausted.
Defining the problem
When getting sucked into obsessive thoughts starts to consume your life then this becomes a serious problem.
- If you have an analytical mind and are used to solving problems,that is fine,but if you get stuck in a loop of unproductive thoughts then your mind can easily become your enemy.
- You may have experienced a major change or significant loss in your life which causes your mind to spiral in the direction of obsessive,unproductive thoughts.
- You can't sleep
- You can't turn off your mind
- You feel agitated and/or worried
- You self-medicate,turning to drugs,alcohol,food or other external ways of managing emotions
- You always feel tired
- You try to control every aspect of your life
- You don't trust your own judgement
- You tend to be a perfectionist,having a fear of failure which prevents you from learning from any mistakes
- Physical symptoms may be you suffer from headaches,pain and stiffness in your neck
How to stop overthinking and work to overcome anxiety
To overcome obsessive thoughts you need to have an action plan. Finding techniques that work for you and repeating them until they become second nature.First of all it is important to know your anxiety triggers which are individual and unique to you. Start by paying closer attention to your thought processes and notice when you are thinking in an unproductive way.This helps you to develop a deeper level of awareness. Make a note of what you are thinking and the form it takes. Are you thinking of worst case scenarios?
What triggered the overthinking?
- A social interaction?
- A new environment?
This gives you the material in which to challenge your underlying limiting beliefs through reflection or journal work.In time you learn to preempt triggers before they cause a serious episode of overthinking.
Take breaks throughout the day
Make time-limited decisions
Minimise overwhelming input.Set time limits on things like checking emails/social media
Learn something new
Use positive daily affirmations
"I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me."
Live in the moment and appreciate the beauty all around you
Reference: How To Stop Overthinking And Overcome Anxiety Now. By Katherine Hurst