We are in an epidemic of overthinking. Most of us experience a torrent of negative thoughts and emotions which affect our mood and interfere with our functioning. A simple remark by the boss can set you off for weeks. Your spouse is too tired for sex and that keeps you up all night thinking what it means for your marriage. Women especially are plagued with overthinking about their appearance, career, children and health. Overthinking and worrying is extremely toxic for our minds and bodies. So today we will discuss ways to stop overthinking and relax more.
1. Get rid of self pity
A lot of overthinking comes from self pity. We all experience pain and trauma in our lives. Some amount of sadness is normal and experiencing sorrow is natural too; but dwelling on sadness excessively is self destructive. It may seem difficult but there are several proven ways to get rid of overthinking symptoms and stop feeling that your problems are worse than those of others:
- Stop cursing your luck, fate or destiny. Know that no matter how much you protest, you are responsible for your own destiny. Your thoughts make your destiny.
- Go out and help others less fortunate than you. This will help you see that your problems are lot less compared to so many others.
- Get help-Speak to someone about your issues and if needed, take medicines to manage overthinking symptoms.
- Keep doing something! Take up a hobby, exercise, work-all these are proven ways to get rid of overthinking and relax.
2. Embrace change
Overthinkers often get stuck up in a rut as they are afraid to make changes. Change is the new constant. Keep the faith that all that happens is in your best interest. Surrender to the higher power and take the step-whether it is changing a job, or taking steps to lose weight etc. Embrace and welcome the change. The worst thing in life is to not try. Think about how short life is. If you don’t take that trip today, or try for that new job-you will regret it on the last day of your life.
3. Stop giving your power to others
When you overthink you are surrendering your power to others. You are giving your thoughts more power than they deserve. Remember: you are not your thoughts. Seek to understand that overthinking is a bad habit. You do not want to indulge in this habit which brings nothing but self destruction. Be objective about what you think. If your boss criticizes you, you need to know that he is stressed himself and that he does not mean half the things he says. Give up the need to win and the need for perfection. Let go and surrender. Accept people and situations as they are; understand that they will not change. The only one who can change is you.
4. Stop trying to control things
The best way to let go of the overthinking in a relationship is to stop being a control freak. Consider your expectations for the other person. Pick and choose your battles. Adjust your attitude and begin to notice when things go differently in your relationship. Then make positive corrections. Place yourself in the other person’s shoes. Remember: every relationship can be improved when you come from a place of love. Let love and kindness be at the forefront of everything you do.
5. Stop trying to please everyone
This is an important aspect of overcoming the overthinking disorder. Become self aware and realize that doing too much hurts, rather than helps a relationship. Be authentic and learn to let go. Face the problems and understand that avoiding problems will not promote growth. Accept and love yourself completely. Set boundaries. Understand that it is never too late to live a free life on your own terms.
6. Take calculated risks
One of the best quotes in this aspect is “In the end the only people who fail are the ones who do not try”. Like any change, making changes to improve wealth or health involves taking risks. Keep reminding yourself that all successful people have left their comfort zones and taken a risk and succeeded.
7. Stop dwelling on the past-stay mindful
Overthinking means you are not mindful. You are either anxious about the future or dwelling on the past. Practice mindfulness through meditation. Use your breath as an anchor. Each breath is your anchor to the present moment since you cannot get back a past breath nor can you rush a future breath in present moment. Makes sense? Every time you find yourself overthinking, bring back the mind in the present moment by breathing slowly and deeply. A simple trick that works each time is to make the exhalation longer than the inhalation. You simply cannot think when you breath in this manner.
8. Stop resenting other people’s success
We are all guilty of feeling jealous at some point or other. However, jealousy about other’s success comes from undermining yourself and comparing yourself with others. We are all different. You must learn to praise other people’s accomplishments since praise means that there is goodness in you to see the good in others. Reframe your jealousy as inspiration. Compliment people every chance you get.
9. Do not give up
Occasional setbacks and mistakes are likely to happen but learn to bounce back from them. We will be wrong but we can learn from mistakes. View setbacks as temporary so that you are not discouraged. Attribute mistakes to other factors that can be changed. Look for opportunities that can come as byproduct of setbacks. Believe firmly that mistakes serve as foundations for growth and insight. Keep your thoughts on the goal and keep them positive. Make affirmations like:
- I am the best
- Success follows me everywhere I go
- I am beautiful
- My weight is perfect
- I nourish my body with healthy food.
When you set these intentions each morning, your thoughts become more optimistic as you start seeing positive changes in your life.
10. Learn to enjoy your own company
When you eat alone, travel alone and spend more and more time alone, you learn to love yourself unconditionally. You need to understand that when you love your own company, other people will love it too. As you start to spend more and more time alone, you become meditative and mindful and your automatically quit overthinking and worrying.
11. Reduce anxiety
Overthinking is a symptom of anxiety. So learn to reduce anxiety by being mindful. Keep faith in the fact that you’ve come so far; the journey ahead will be easy as well. If your anxiety is severe, you must seek help. If needed, take medicines. Talk to someone. Go for group therapy. Read up about specific anxieties on various forums. This way; you will know that you aren’t alone.
12. Fake happiness
There’s a quote that goes-fake it till you make it. When you adopt this thinking and stretch it to happiness, you will find that you will always be happy, no matter what. So fake it till you make it. Smile and learn to change every thought into positive one. Distract yourself into thinking you have all the happiness you deserve. Be grateful every moment and abundance will flow!
We hope these easy ways help you quit overthinking and start living a fuller, more enriched life.