5 Steps to Stop Overthinking Your Life

Are your thoughts speeding up to the point where you become anxious, are you not able to get out of your head or are you extremely worried about the future? It seems like overthinking is messing up your life.

This chaotic monologue in our head is a form of sterile intellectualization that keeps us from actually dealing with the problem at hand. We try to deny the uncomfortable feelings we have. Instead, we fall back on cold and distant abstract terms.

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This kind of thinking may seem to be a way to solve problems, but in reality our mind is just playing games. We raise irrelevant or trivial counterarguments, we challenge sound assumptions, we cling to bad examples. We conjure not only words, but also images that all lead to a horror movie.

This pseudo-analysis overwhelms us, we panic and not actually solve anything. Moreover, this pattern can lead to serious mental issues. We get stuck in a vicious circle: we mull over things until we break and after we are broken we try to fix ourselves by mulling some more.

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Another problem is that it interferes with our sleep. Because we cannot turn off our mind, we get less and less sleep and therefore be more tired and less productive.

Here are 5 steps to stop overthinking your life:

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1. Acknowledge your overthinking when it happens – Be aware of your endless worrying especially when it is about things you have no control over.

2. Don’t believe your negative thoughts – Things cannot be as bad as you tend to believe when you are in the whirl of overthinking.

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3. Use your time and energy productively – Instead of revisiting over and over again a past situation and ask what you might have done differently, try to put your efforts into solving the present problem.

4. Incorporate mindfulness into your life – Mindfulness is the practice of being totally aware of the present moment. It takes time to actually work, but once you do it, it helps enormously with your anguish and ruminations.

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5. Stay busy – If you force yourself not to overthink, you might make things worse. But if you are aware of your tendency and catch yourself slipping into this mode of thinking, you might just go for a walk, engage in a pleasant or productive activity that will take your mind of the worrying.

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