How I’m Learning to Stop Overthinking, and Start Living

I live in my head a lot and I’ve recognized it’s been holding me back my whole life. I have the ability to turn small, inconsequential things into something bigger and scarier than they actually are. And good things? They aren’t so good after I’ve been able to pick them apart. Once I recognized that over thinking was holding me back from living a full life, I decided I needed to do something about it, and here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Learn That I Can’t Control Everything

Over thinking is a form of trying to control things for me. I try to come up with every possible scenario in advance so I don’t make a mistake and look like an idiot in front of anyone. Learning to let go and stop trying to control the outcome has allowed me to take action without fear. I know that even if I do make a mistake, it’s something to learn from. Mistakes may look negative now, but in the long run, there’s always valuable feedback that can be gained.

Look at the Big Picture

It’s really easy for me to start stressing over minor things but looking at them through the big picture lens has helped me a lot. Asking myself if this will matter in 5 years or even 5 weeks helps me put things in perspective quickly and shifts my mindset so I can focus on more important things.

Don’t Get Sucked Into Vague Fears

When I go through tough situations in my life, my mind tends to run wild and come up with all the worst case scenarios. I’ve had to learn to stop this over thinking by pausing, and asking myself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” I realize it’s not as bad as I think and can even come up with a plan for the worst case scenario – should it happen.

Set Time Limits for Decisions

This is all about becoming a woman of action. I’ve learned to set limits on how long I have to make decisions otherwise, things tend to not get done. For big decisions I give myself until the end of the day and for those small, daily choices – about half an hour. I know in my heart what I want the outcomes to be, I just have to convince myself it’s the right choice.

Work Out

This is the odd one out on this list but it’s still an important one. When I workout, I’m focused on the task at hand; not on all of my problems. This is a great way of getting out of my head for awhile and I’ve noticed that after a good, hard workout I come back to the problem refreshed and in a more optimistic mood. Because I’m also a bit tired, I tend to be more relaxed, calm and open to change.

Be Present

By spending my time in the present instead of the past or in a possible future, I get to spend more of my time in the here and now instead of in my head, overthinking. I’ve learned to slow down and be more aware. I get to enjoy the moment and give my mind a chance to relax while taking in my surroundings.

Spend Time With Positive People

Most, if not all, of my overthinking is pretty negative. Although some would call me a pessimist, I consider myself a realist. When I over think, I truly believe that there are a number of things that could go wrong but I try to come up with solutions to fix them. Over time, I’ve recognized that I’m not doing myself any favours thinking this way and one thing that’s helped me has been spending time with people more positive than me. Their thinking rubs off on me and I find that even when I do over think, I see not only the negative, but the positive as well.

I’m still not perfect with my over thinking but I’ve definitely made huge strides. These have been a few ways I’ve dealt with my over active mind, how do you deal with your over thinking? Please leave me a comment.

12 thoughts

  1. This my dear is a great post and so very helpful for many on many levels. Myself, I’m always in my head and sometimes too much. My workouts are the only place, as you, that I focus and not worry about other things or life in general. I find peace with my workouts. I find that I need to be busy in order to not think about things too much. By busy I mean active, running , exercise, house work, work has to be busy (if not, I’m in trouble) etc… I do struggle with thinking too much, but when I realize I am doing it, I have to stop myself, take a deep breath and go get active (get my mind active on somthing else). My husband actually calls me out on it when I start doing it and tells me I need to be busy. 8) I’m still a work in progress, but with Faith, Guidance and my Angels beside me – I’ve got this covered. As do you! Always with Light, Love, Strength, Guidance and Our Warrior Within!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you mean about being busy to take your mind off things. I sometimes ask myself, “What am I doing with my hands!” When I get antsy. It’s also great you have your partner to call you out on it otherwise you may not catch yourself right away. Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, I have just come across your blog looking at mental health blogs, I think this is great. I definitely need to set a time limit for decisions, I find it really hard to make the simplest choice most of the time. Reading this, I see that overthinking is probably my biggest problem too. Thank you for this post and I wish you the best in overcoming your anxiety 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a very helpful post. I remember myself always telling my friends not to overthink whenever something happens. Sometimes, ir should I say most of the time, problems look bigger because we think it is, but in reality things are simple, it is just a product of overthinking. So whenever I face difficult situation I would often tell myself: “it’s okay, things will get better. Do not overthink, do not overthink.” and try not think about the possibilities that might happen, afterall things that are bound to happen will happen, i will make mistakes yes, but it will help me make better decisions after. Atleast I learned something 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much JT for writing this post! I have a huge problem with over thinking and it causes me a great deal of stress. I think something that helps me is watching TV to get my mind off things or like you said exercising. I’m reblogging this ASAP! 🙂 Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

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