Overthinking is a negative behavior that tends to raise stress since it involves concentrating on the negative, worrying about the future, and overanalyzing everything you do. Even though overthinking is not a mental disorder in and of itself, it has been linked to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Overthinking can be challenging to overcome. So, how can we break the cycle of overthinking that never ends?
Here are a few tips to help get rid of those overthinking behaviors:
- Set up a worry period – Designate a time in the day to make your “worry period”-30 minutes. During this time, write down all your worries and focus on the concerns you can problem-solve and control.
- Challenge your negative thoughts – You may think you’re not liked by your peers or that you’ll never succeed at your job. Challenge your negative thoughts and transform them into empowering ones rather than allowing them to rule your mind. Consider whether that thought is beneficial or worth any value. What is the proof that my doubtful belief is accurate? Is there another possibility? The goal is to adopt a more impartial perspective.
- Practice self-compassion – Most likely, you are aware of how to be empathetic toward your sibling or a friend. What about you, though? How do you speak to yourself internally when dealing with an issue or challenge? Remember to be kind and forgiving to yourself. Give yourself grace.
- Try talk therapy – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches you how to better manage your worry and anxiety by teaching you how to better identify, confront, and reframe your negative ideas
- Rethink your “what ifs” – What if I get sick? What if I get hurt? Having these thoughts is normal, but spending more time focusing on only the worst-case scenarios is when it may be an issue.
- Distract yourself – Your stress levels can be managed by engaging in activities such as reading, meditation, or walking. Being active can lower your anxiety levels and decrease your tendency to overthink. Including exercise in your daily routine is one way to be proactive.
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If you feel that you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. If you are experiencing a psychiatric emergency, please call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.