Too much thinking is tiresome.
There are times you need to chill and accept whatever will happen. Otherwise, you’ll get tired and caught up in a mentally declining state.
In this post, let’s answer this question: “How do you fight overthinking?”. This way, you’ll know what to do to eliminate overthinking out of your life.
How do you fight overthinking and why should you fight overthinking?
Learning more about the causes and triggers of overthinking is a way to fight it. You need to put up a fight because it endangers different aspects of your life.
Here are the aspects of your life that overthinking can endanger:
- Career – Overthinking makes you doubt your potential to achieve great things. It also belittles your self-confidence.
- Home life – Living with someone who overthinks can be chaotic. And spending time there can drain people’s energy.
- Sleep – It deprives you of a good night’s sleep, says Linda Sapadin, a clinical psychologist in New York.
How do you fight overthinking? 12 ways
To prevent overthinking from ruining your life, you need to get rid of it.
Here are different ways you can do it:
1. Practice mindfulness
Find yourself and be present. Mindful thinking allows you to be hyper-vigilant and distraction-free.
When you’re mindful, you’re less prone to thinking about things not in your current surroundings. You only think of what’s in front of you.
Here are the things to be mindful of:
- Daily activities – What’s your version of “eat, sleep, repeat”?
- People in your life – The people you surround yourself with regularly affect the way you think. For positive vibes, be around positive people.
- What you do during free time – Determine where your mind wants to go to when you’re not busy. It’s a sign of what you truly want.
2. Be grateful
When you wake up each day, make a habit out of appreciating the good things in your life. It’s a way of avoiding overthinking and showing self-compassion.
A daily gratitude practice is a healthy habit, too.
Here are the reasons gratitude is great for your health:
- It reduces depression – Gratefulness wards off feelings of negativity. It also helps you experience joy, wonder, peace, and more positive emotions.
- It improves sleep quality – It soothes the nervous system because it lets you feel good about your life.
- It strengthens the immune system – Gratitude leads to a happy heart. And with a happy heart comes less stress and more energy.
Sometimes, “going with the flow” is easier. It’s easier, less stressful, and less time-consuming than questioning things.
Then again, you’re prone to overthinking if you always just go with the flow. So if you feel as if things in your life make little sense, you need to reflect.
Here are the reasons you should reflect:
- You identify mistakes – It draws attention to what’s wrong. It allows you to analyze things better so if there are errors in them, you can correct them.
- You generate ideas – It grants you time to consider new concepts. And with enough time, you can assess these new concepts well.
- You create realistic plans – It lets you organize your life. And it helps you design plans.
Learning to focus
4. Focus on solving problems
Everybody — overthinkers and those who aren’t — has their problems. What sets the overthinkers apart from the rest?
They let their problems get too much! They don’t solve their problems when these problems are small enough to be crushed.
Here are the reasons you should focus on solving problems:
- You broaden your understanding of “cause and effect” – Many problems aren’t there for no reason. They exist because of causes you need to determine.
- You learn to believe in others – Some problems are too big to solve on your own. You need the help of others.
- You create value – When solving problems, changes in how everything works occur. However, when solving problems, you introduce improvements and not mere changes.
5. Focus on yourself
Focusing on yourself is good for your health. When you practice self-care, you learn to value yourself. It increases your self-esteem and assures you of your importance.
Here are the reasons you should focus on yourself:
- You define success – Everybody wants to succeed in life, despite having different versions of success. By focusing on yourself, you can realize what success means to you.
- You discover interests – It’s how you can discover the things your heart wants.
- You improve personal and professional relationships – When you’re focused on yourself, you’re admirable. You possess confidence that inspires others.
6. Focus on important matters
Prioritize. Next to yourself, focus on important matters.
If you’re used to living life with distractions, gently get rid of them.
Here are the reasons you should focus on important matters:
- You set better goals – It helps you target things that will improve your life.
- You’re given purpose – It gives you something worth working for. And it rewards you with something you can be proud of.
- You maximize time – It lets you aim for clear goals. When something isn’t vague, there’s no room for discouragement.
7. Identify destructive thought patterns
Be mindful of times when you think negatively. Like behavioral traits, thoughts can be destructive.
And their destructive ability is more powerful once they become part of your thinking.
Here are the reasons you should identify destructive thought patterns:
- You need to leave your comfort zone – Exciting opportunities come when you leave your comfort zone. However, destructive thoughts will keep you there.
- You shouldn’t walk around with assumptions – Don’t arrive at conclusions without concrete evidence.
- You shouldn’t create non-existent problems – Don’t look for problems in situations when there’s none of them.
8. Replace destructive thoughts
Identifying destructive thought patterns is a start. Next, you need to replace them.
Otherwise, they’ll remain with you. They’ll also snowball and ruin different aspects of your life.
Here are the reasons you should replace destructive thoughts:
- You should stop investing in excuses – With destructive thoughts, it’s your default reaction to justify unacceptable behavior. Over time, you’ll realize you invested a lot of time and effort in questionable actions.
- You should stop thinking less about others – It’s hard to see the best in other people if you have a flawed way of thinking. Even if you have no right to be, you’re envious of others’ successes.
- You should stop seeing the world in only black and white – There are gray areas in life. And if you don’t entertain destructive thoughts, it’s easy to see them.
9. Eliminate exaggerated outcomes
Exaggerating outcomes can sometimes be fun. However, it’s not always good because it’s a sign you think too much.
Here are the reasons you should stop exaggerating outcomes:
- You’re not seeing reality as it is – You insist on changing the reality to be acceptable to you. You only want to see what you want to see.
- You’re not taking control of reality – If you’re in charge of situations when an outcome is exaggerated, you’re clinging onto false hope.
- You’re not focusing on what’s important – You’re setting aside what matters. Instead of dealing with things as they are, you’re dealing with things only you want.
Erasing excess thoughts
10. Know the triggers of overthinking
Stress is a common trigger of overthinking. When you’re stressed, you may get restless and think about things too much.
Other triggers include an anxiety disorder, childhood trauma, and perfectionism.
Here are reasons you need to know the triggers of overthinking:
- You’ll have better success fighting overthinking – Usually, you can’t beat what you don’t know. To fight and win, you need to know what it’ll take to crush overthinking.
- You won’t worsen overthinking – If you can’t win, knowing the triggers gives you peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing you won’t make overthinking worse.
- You can seek treatment for that trigger – You can make a trigger go away. If you’re certain of a trigger’s effect on you, you can treat it and treat overthinking.
11. Know what triggers overthinking for you
What triggers overthinking isn’t the same for everybody. So while you may have one trigger mentioned earlier, don’t rule out other triggers, too.
Here are the others reasons you should know what triggers overthinking:
- You know what to avoid – Because you know what causes overthinking, you can avoid that trigger before you overthink.
- You can be more accepting of yourself – If you have unique triggers, you don’t have to feel odd.
- You can understand your case better – You can treat the problem better, too.
12. Use up your excess energy
Get physical! You’re prone to overthinking because you have the energy to overthink.
So another surefire way of kicking the habit of overthinking out of your life is to eliminate excess energy.
Here are reasons you should get rid of excess energy:
- You’ll be more energetic – Getting physical such as doing household chores will make you livelier.
- You’ll be mentally fit – Physical activities will boost your mental sharpness, too.
- You’ll be doing your wellness a favor – Living a sedentary lifestyle leads to a variety of illnesses. To avoid these illnesses, stay active.
So, how do you fight overthinking?
What’s your method? How do you fight overthinking?
The second method listed above, be grateful, is many people’s favorite way of fighting overthinking. They find that when they’re grateful for everything in their lives, they feel good.
As mentioned above, gratitude has benefits. Gratitude also reduces aggression. If you’re grateful, you’re more sensitive towards others. You’re also less likely to retaliate when you encounter something you dislike.