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Re: How to stop overthinking? - November 24th 2015, 11:15 PM

Hey, Jordi!

That sounds difficult and I can see why it'd interfere with your happiness. I'm sorry this happens. What sort of things do you find yourself overthinking?

At some point I read about a few habits you can get yourself into that can reduce overthinking. One is to set time-limits for decisions. If you procrastinate you'll most likely begin analyzing and overthinking the situation. Say, you are wondering whether to do homework or play a video game first. You know the homework is important so if you choose to play a video game first you're going to be thinking how you should be doing homework most likely the entire time. Ah! Here you are, overthinking what it'll be like depending on which option you choose. Caught you. Setting time-limits is important. When you're faced with a decision like that, give yourself 30 seconds or a minute to decide.

Secondly, take action whenever you are faced with the opportunity. Whether you need to get homework done or you need to do chores around the house, do your best to take action as if you're crossing off a "to-do" list. That will hopefully prevent you from staying in your thoughts too long. You can begin with the small things and work up to the larger things that you find yourself overthinking. Speaking of, thinking in a wider perspective may help. Acknowledging you don't have control over everything is important, because you can drive yourself crazy thinking about all the "what ifs" in life. Practicing staying in the moment and embracing the present can help a lot. Just take it one step at a time, you know?

If you find yourself getting lost in your thoughts, give yourself frequent reminders of what you are doing to stay in touch. For example, if you're going for a walk, tell yourself that if you find yourself overthinking. Focus on the present and all the small things like the smell of the air or the trees. That may sound weird, but simple reminders and simple things can bring you out of your thoughts if you make yourself aware. Having several things on your mental list you know you need to get done day to day can be beneficial as well. Do your homework, do the dishes, clean, do any extra chores, work on a hobby etc.

Worrying can be a big source of overthinking. However, a lot of worries have no solid ground and are vague. Yet they impact our thinking in a big negative way. I realize it is easier said than done, but try establishing what worries have rational reason for worry and focus on what you do have control over. Thinking smart to prevent issues in your life is a great thing, but it's important to maintain a balance to work on aspects of your life you do have control over.

All those things I listed may help and I hope they do. Be sure to do your best to get to a point of balance in your thoughts. Establish what is rational (what you have control over) and remind yourself that sometimes, it's okay to worry. Say, you're worried about a family member who is ill - that's perfectly rational and everyone will worry. It's important how you handle that worry. Don't block it out, just be sure you handle it in a healthy way of coping and dealing with it.

I acknowledge that some of this is easier said than done but the point is to slowly make progress, you know? Work on it little by little and hopefully you won't have as many moments of overthinking. Hope things improve for you soon.