Would you like to stop overthinking and create peace in your mind and spirit? Positive thinking can help you recognize negative thought patterns and change them. Releasing negativity is the key to restoring your heart and soul to a place of positive thoughts.
You should make informed decisions and pay attention to details. However, chronically second-guessing yourself wastes time and energy. Here are twelve steps you can take to help prevent being an overthinker.
Twelve Steps to Stop Overthinking
Try these activities progressively. If you break the negative thoughts by step one or two, you don’t need to proceed. However, some people might need to take multiple steps to let go of the source of their negativity while increasing positive thinking.
1. Find Something to Distract You From Overthinking
The first reaction to those anxious thoughts is to distract your mind.
When your mind is drowning in thoughts, ideas, and worries, something new is the last thing you want to do. Although it seems counterintuitive, doing something else can distract you and help you think more positively. It’s an ideal way to ease stress and boost your positivity.
If your schedule is overwhelming, try reserving a spot for something fun and relaxing. It can be as little as thirty minutes daily or maybe every other day. Learning a new hobby or sport can lighten an overthinker’s mood and provide a much-needed distraction.
Another healthy diversion to consider is exercise. Getting your body to move increases endorphins and can improve your mood. A daily routine can help you build a leaner, healthier body.
2. Practice Meditation to Treat Yourself Kindly
If you want to stop overthinking, one of the best ways is to release your thoughts. An overthinker’s mind is constantly bombarded with an inner conversation. Unfortunately, this dialogue often focuses on negativity instead of positivity.
One study explains how chronic negative self-talk is often the root of worry. After a while, your concern can turn into a severe anxiety disorder. However, the study suggests regular meditation can help you stop overthinking and reduce anxiety.
For thousands of years, people from all over the world have used meditation as a tool to manage their thought processes. All you need is a quiet place to sit, close your eyes, and be aware of your thoughts. As each idea comes into your mind, acknowledge it, and let it go.
Meditation is also helpful for boosting positive thinking. You begin to recognize false statements and negativity in your self-talk. Soon, you can stop overthinking and focus on the blessings in your life.
3. Try Deep Breathing Exercises to Clear Your Mind
Mindful breathing is an integral part of meditation or any other attentive practice. The next time you fret over situations or decisions, notice your breathing. Your body goes into survival mode, and stress hormones quicken your breath to prepare you to fight, fly, faint, or freeze.
This mode evolved to boost your energy in dangerous situations temporarily. Your system isn’t hardwired to exist in this state permanently. Chronic stress can lead to severe physical and mental conditions, and it can inhibit your positive thinking.
Do you want to stop overthinking and bring yourself out of survival mode? Please take a deep breath through your nostrils and hold it for a few seconds. Slowly exhale through your pursed lips, making a soft blowing sound.
Usually, after the first two breaths or so, you’ll feel the tension drain from your muscles, bringing in more positivity. Overthinkers tend to get anxious and have shallow breathing. The more oxygen you bring into your body, the better you’ll feel.
4. Try to Stay in the Present to Stop Overthinking
While you can learn valuable lessons from the past, you can’t stay there. Ruminating about past failures and hurt can make you feel bitter and depressed. You’re stuck in a continual loop of self-doubt and overthinking.
Meditation is just one of many ways you can learn to be mindfully present. Giving yourself an occasional break from technology can help you stop overthinking. Put your phone on voice message and turn off the computer and television.
Spend this time relaxing and being fully in the moment. Take a walk outside and notice the stunning beauty of nature. Enjoy a delicious meal with your family with laughter and meaningful conversation.
5. Visualize the Negative Thought Patterns in Your Mind
Overthinkers tend to be pessimistic in their outlook. You may assume that positive thinking is unrealistic and oblivious to any mistakes. On the contrary, positivity does accept that nothing is perfect but doesn’t focus on negativity.
Why is it that so many people could have a thousand things going right but are fixated on the one negative point? Psychologists call this phenomenon the negativity bias, explains an article published by the National Library of Medicine. In some respects, it can be a safety mechanism that’s hardwired into the brain.
However, negativity bias can eventually smother your outlook with pessimism. Recognizing these negative thought patterns is essential to stop overthinking. Learn to focus on positivity, and don’t allow pessimistic thoughts to bring you down.
6. Reflect on Your Achievements to Stop Overthinking
A proverb says your first step is the beginning of a long journey. In other words, you reach most of your goals in stages. Each small victory leads up to a big win.
An overthinker may be too worried about their pending aspirations to ignore their accomplishments. Some may be your internal negativity bias, but it’s also a product of fear and not believing enough in yourself. Do you give yourself credit or believe that nothing you do is good enough?
You can break that mental roadblock by celebrating every achievement toward a larger goal. Also, you’re more apt to realize your dreams if you break them down into doable steps. The higher you climb, the more self-confidence you gain.
For example, let’s say that you need to lose some weight, and your goal is fifty pounds. Staring at that number may be so intimidating that you think it’s almost impossible. Conversely, you feel pretty confident that you could shed five pounds.
Start by losing five pounds and celebrate your dedication and a thinner waistline. Now, set your sights on dropping another five pounds and do the same happy dance. Soon, you’ll have lost fifty pounds and gained a new respect for your abilities.
7. Help Someone Else to Focus on Others Instead of Self
Another negative consequence of overthinking is the feeling that your problems are unique. Have you always wondered why things come so effortlessly to others and you must scrape to get what you need? It’s only a mirage because you have no idea what’s happening in other people’s minds and lives.
The best way to broaden your perspective and stop overthinking is to help someone. Reach out to a family member or friend who’s having a rough time. Consider volunteering weekly for a food pantry or other worthy cause in your community.
Being kind to someone costs you nothing, and you can reap priceless benefits. If you do it for the right reasons, helping others can boost your spirit. Moreover, you discover that you may not have it so bad after all.
8. Consider Different Perspectives to Stop Overthinking
Your upbringing and past experiences help form your life’s perspective. However, not everything you perceive is based on reality. These assumptions are often the cause of an overthinker’s endless mind chatter.
Instead of assuming the worst, ask yourself if these negative statements are factual. How can you reframe your thoughts to get a different perspective? You may clear the air to attract more positivity in your life.
9. Give Yourself a Break
Would you be appreciated or offended if somebody treated you the way you treat yourself? Once you stop overthinking and adopt more positivity, listen to your inner dialogue. Are you making uplifting statements, or are you beating yourself down mercilessly?
Positive thinking isn’t all bubbles and sunshine. You realize there’s no perfection, and some things are out of your control. Self-compassion allows you to release these unrealistic expectations and work on things you can change.
11. Consider Whether Perfectionism Could Be the Cause of Your Anxiety
Perhaps one of the most significant consequences of overthinking is perfectionism. You’re in a whirlwind of second-guessing and worrying about making a mistake. You are so overwhelmed, and you do nothing.
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to stop overthinking. Don’t allow this negative mindset to turn into a pattern of procrastination. Positive thinking helps you turn your worries into motivation to get things done.
12. Don’t be Ashamed to Ask for Help
Overthinking can become a habit that hinders every aspect of your life. Just the thought of worrying too much can increase your anxiety. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
Discuss your issues with a trusted family member or friend. It’s refreshing to share your burdens with somebody who listens. They may offer a fresh perspective that can change your feelings about a situation or decision.
You can also share your concerns with an experienced spiritual leader or mental health professional. They won’t have all the answers but can suggest coping strategies and other tools. It’s okay not to be okay sometimes and admit that you need a hand.
Final Thoughts on How to Stop Overthinking
Are you tired of missing out because you constantly overthink and second-guess yourself? You can break the habits that let negativity seep into your mind and be more confident in your abilities and choices. Then, you’ll only have to think about celebrating your achievements.