My husband is a huge overthinker. He worries about it all; past, present, future, hypotheticals. When his mental wheels start spinning, there is no stopping him. It comes from two places, fear and love. He loves so deeply, that he fears he won’t be able to keep everyone he loves safe. No small task for sure.
The problem is, he can’t keep everyone safe all the time, no one can. When that happens it’s not just that a failure has occurred, he believes that the failure is him.
Why do we overthink? Overthinking is created from the fundamental need to feel safe. Most overthinkers felt a real threat to their well-being at some point in their earlier years which created the belief that if they remained on high alert they could prevent bad things from happening.
Now you may be thinking, but isn’t it good to be cautious?
The answer is yes, it is good to make decisions from a place of discernment, not from fear.
While it’s natural to think things through and consider different options, excessive overthinking can be detrimental to your mental health and well-being.
It causes anxiety, stress, insomnia, indecision, and chronic doubts about yourself and others.
It puts a tremendous strain on your relationships. Preventing the ones you love from learning the necessary skills to navigate life on their own.
Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to reduce overthinking and live a more balanced and peaceful life.
1. Learn to intercept your negative thinking
Catastrophic thinking is the root cause of overthinking. By learning how to reduce your negative thinking, you can stop worrying about the future and learn to be fully present in the moment. You can train your brain and increase your positive intelligence in as little as 6 weeks, learn how.
2. Set Boundaries
Giving yourself time and space to let your thoughts flow can help reduce overthinking. It gives the thoughts a place to exist outside of your mind.
Set a timer, grab a pen or tablet, and allow yourself to release all of it. Write until there is nothing left to ruminate about. When the timer goes off, that’s your sign that it’s time to move on. Odds are you will see the thoughts much differently from your new perspective.
3. Take Action
Overthinking can be a sign that you’re not taking enough action toward your goals or making decisions. Overthinkers are often held captive by the fear of making the wrong choice. Start by making small decisions to build confidence. Trust that even those decisions that don’t go as planned are an opportunity to learn and grow.
4. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to overthinking. By practicing these techniques regularly, you can learn to relax your body and mind, which often results in seeing things much differently.
5. Seek Help
If you find that overthinking is interfering with your daily life or causing significant distress, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist, counselor, or life coach can help you sort things out and develop strategies to manage your thoughts more effectively.
The most important strategy in reducing overthinking is not to judge yourself. Changing your thinking takes time and patience. Resist the temptation to compare yourself with others and trust that you are on the right path.