5 ways to overcome overthinking and reclaim your life

Stop overthinking Overthinking can be a real challenge for many of us, causing stress, anxiety, and even depression. But fear not, my friend! There are things you can do to break the cycle.
 
 
Mindfulness is my go to strategy…
 
This takes time and practice to become skillful at it. Once you can do it though – it can change your experience of life on multiple levels. Let’s face it – being present in the moment, without judgment often goes against the cultural messages we receive through our screens every day.
 
You’re side-tracked by one rabbit hole after another and become lost in vortex of thoughts and reactions. Losing sight of what’s right now – which is the only place anything ever happens. I’m mindfully sipping my coffee as I type this for you.
 
By practicing mindfulness, you can train your brain to focus on the present moment and let go of your thoughts. Instead of trying to control or suppress your thoughts, letting go involves acknowledging them without judgment and allowing them to come and go naturally.
 
Letting go of your thoughts can be a helpful practice for reducing stress, anxiety, and overthinking. Over time you can gain a greater sense of clarity and calmness, and prevent yourself from getting caught up in negative thinking patterns. You can practice mindfulness through activities such as meditation, deep breathing, or simply paying attention to your senses.
 
 
Question your thinking…
 
The way we think and solve problems can get muddied up by negative or irrational beliefs born of trauma, biases, and assumptions, that shape your perceptions. This is a big reason overthinking can quickly become catastrophic. As you frighten yourself with worst-case scenarios.
 
Try challenging your thoughts with questions like: “Am I sure about that?” “Does this thought empower me or discourage me?” or “Is this thought and assumption?” By questioning your thoughts as an observer, you can take a step back, gain a better perspective and avoid being swept up in them.
 
 
Do something!…
 
I imagine you’re familiar with the term “analysis paralysis” or “information constipation”, when you’re so focused on trying to think of every option and possible outcome to the point you never take action. This is often an attempt to find a way forward that’s certain to grant you success without suffering.
 
If you can find that path I’ll be front row when you receive the Nobel Prize. In the meantime – do something. A baby step can help you experience that you don’t always need certainty (unless your a pilot or a brain surgeon). Creating a habit of taking action sooner can nip anxiety in the bud because you don’t give it an opportunity to build.
 
 
Look for opportunities…
 
As we’ve been discussing so far, overthinking is usually the result of us belly-flopping into the mosh-pit between our ears. It’s easy to overlook the opportunities available to you when you’re so guarded.
 
It can help a lot to write it all out – “opportunities and concerns”. Like mindfulness, getting the thoughts out of your head grants you better perspective. Not to mention there’s less in your head to wrestle with.
 
As you can hopefully see, writing down my thoughts has paid off in spades. It helps you challenge your thoughts and spot opportunities more easily.
 
 
Embrace imperfect-action…
 
Waiting for the perfect moment before you do anything can lead to stagnation and missed opportunities. That’s why taking smaller actions and adjusting as you go can be a more effective way of moving forward.
 
Imperfect-action is giving yourself permission to learn from any result you experience – not just the ones you enjoy. I don’t know about you – but the wisdom I’ve gained in my life comes predominantly from things going other than planned.
 
To be clear, imperfect-action doesn’t mean you act on impulse – that’s thoughtless versus thought through. Be clear on what you want, why you want it before taking action. Then adjust as needed.
 
These are just a few tips to help you overcome overthinking. Remember, it’s a process and it takes time. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way!
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