In this blog, I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide in what to do if you catch yourself overthinking and how to stop overthinking or worrying
How to stop overthinking
Step number one
so step number one, you need to find yourself a quiet place, sit down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. You need to start thinking about your breathing, so forget about whatever is on your mind and start focusing on your breathing. Breathe in and out slowly and gently, and if you want, when you breathe in, you can hold your breath for a couple of seconds and then slowly breathe out. You can do this a couple of times if it’s needed. You don’t need to do it too many times, but you’re trying to take all of that focus and attention on your breathing.
Step number two
once you’ve mastered the breathing technique, you need to start practising mindful meditation for about five to ten minutes so keep those eyes closed and begin clarifying your thoughts. Think to yourself which one of these thoughts are important and which ones aren’t, and slowly get rid of the ones that aren’t important and focus on the important ones. This is whilst you’re still doing the breathing technique. It’s whilst you’re calm. It would help if you stayed away from your phone or your computer or anything like that, so what we’re doing with this mindful meditation is we’re clarifying our thoughts.
Step number three
open your eyes and write down your thoughts in a diary or a journal or anything like that, whether it’s your phone or anything like that will do basically what you’re doing here is all those thoughts whether they’re positive or negative they’re getting printed on paper or your phone that way it’s like taking it out of your mind and putting it somewhere else to come back.
Step number four
now that you have this list created of all the things you’re thinking about, you need to organize it into deep and shallow work. Now, if you’re wondering what deep and shallow work is, I did do a video all about this on boosting your productivity not long ago, and I will link it up here and in the description below, but it’s a way of organizing your time to what is the most important and what is the quick sort of things that you can do and what are the long-term sort of things that you can do so it’s essential.
Step number five
look I know that writing these thoughts on paper or your phone or whatever that’s the most difficult, but once you’ve done that or whilst you’re doing that, give yourself a break now and then get up, put your trainers on and go for a walk in the park go for a walk whether it’s a garden centre anything like that will do so that it’s a change of scenery these are going to help, and it’s been shown that exercising can lift your mood can reduce your anxiety, so it’s good for you and you must get this in now this moves us on nicely.
Step number six
look, you’ve gone for a walk, but that’s great, but you need to do some more high-intensity exercise so whack on them trainers again and either pull out a yoga mat, do a bit of yoga, or if you’re like me, go for a run look when you’re doing this running and stuff like that for myself, for example, I completely switch off I have my music on my headphones, and I can stop thinking about everything that I’m overthinking about, and I just run that’s all I’m thinking about running and having a good time feeling my body moving and just not thinking about everything that’s going on so getting in that exercise I can’t stress it enough, but it’s going to make such a big difference.
Step number seven
it’s all about distractions look if you enjoy doing something like, let’s say, for example, reading or drawing a picture or anything like that, and it’s going to distract you from overthinking these are great things to do, and it doesn’t just have to be reading and drawing pictures you might enjoy talking to friends and colleagues or whoever so if that’s what you enjoy doing do that, so it keeps your mind occupied.
Step number eight
step number eight is to practice self-praise. If you’re someone who doesn’t reward yourself continuously, you need to start doing this. It would help if you learned to do this. It’s going to have such a good effect on you. It’s going to increase your self-esteem as well, which in turn is going to reduce your overthinking, so self-praise is super, super important to remember that you’re awesome.
When does overthink become a problem
well, here are three different ways that overthinking can affect your health-
Overthinking can affect your sleep
so firstly, overthinking can affect your sleep. It can cause insomnia it can give you poor quality sleep. You might be waking up early. All of these things are going to affect your life because you’re going to feel tired, you’re going to feel drained, you’re not going to have the motivation to do things, so that’s one of the ways that it can affect your life.
Overthinking can affect your problem-solving skills
secondly overthinking can affect your problem-solving skills so if you have to make a big decision write it down and write down the different thoughts that you can and can’t control and this might help you solve the problem better also you can always ask someone that you know and trust to help you with solving that problem and help your thoughts with it remember you got this.
Overthink too much
And thirdly, please remember that if you overthink too much, you’re four times more likely to develop mental health conditions such as depression. The next bit that we’re going to talk about are these mental health conditions and red flags to look out for so that you speak to a healthcare professional, so let’s go to them.
When seek medical advice for overthinking
Now some people will find overthinking a little challenging to tackle on their own this is quite normal, but also there are mental health conditions associated with overthinking as well, so we’re going to go through them, but these are what I’m going to call red flags they’re going to prompt you to speak to a healthcare professional if you feel like any of this kind of symptoms match yourself or anyone that you know when they need to talk to a healthcare professional so let’s go through them okay.
- Repetitive negative and suicidal thoughts could be a sign of clinical anxiety or depression.
- Hearing voices or experiencing hallucinations that trigger negative thoughts could be a sign of schizophrenia.
- Try to distract your thoughts by developing repetitive habits that disrupt your life. This could be a sign of OCD which stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Phobia you have a fear of something, and you need help to manage that fear because otherwise, you’re not going to be able to live your everyday life because you’re constantly overthinking about that fear.
- If you’ve had a past traumatic experience, you may be suffering from something called PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder, and you may need help to manage these symptoms and move away from that overthinking slowly.