How to Quit Overthinking Everything: 12 Easy Habits

What is holding individuals back from the life that they actually desire to live?

I’d say that one extremely prevalent and damaging factor is that they don't know how to quit overthinking.

They overthink every tiny situation until it becomes larger and frightening than it truly is. They overthink good things until they don’t appear so positive anymore (and as the worry begins to develop) (and as the anxiety starts to build).

You overanalyze and dissect things and so the delight that comes from merely experiencing something in the present fades.

Well, thinking things through may be a terrific thing of course.

Yet becoming stuck in a type of overthinking problem – when you too frequently conjure up worst-case scenarios in your head or attempt to imagine all the potential outcomes – might result in you becoming someone who stands still in life.

In becoming someone who self-sabotages the nice things that happen in life (and the good news you receive) (and the good news you get).

I know. I used to spend too much time on overthinking things and it held me back in ways that weren’t pleasant at all.

Yet in the last 10 years or so I've discovered how to make this problem so minor that it very seldom crops up anymore. And if it does then I know what to do to conquer it.

In this post I'd like to share 12 behaviors that have helped me in a great, major manner to become a simpler and sharper thinker and to live a happier and less frightened existence.

I hope it will be of assistance for any other chronic overthinkers out there too to spend less time on those recurring ideas.

1. Put things into a larger perspective.

It's quite easy to slip into the trap of overthinking trivial things in life.

So when you are thinking and thinking about anything the first step is to question yourself:

Will this matter in 5 years? Perhaps even in 5 weeks?

I've discovered that extending the viewpoint by employing this simple inquiry may rapidly jolt me out of overthinking and apocalyptic predictions and allow me to let go of that scenario.

It helps me to finally stop worrying about something and to spend my time and attention on something else that genuinely does important to me.

2. Establish a limited time restriction for a choice.

If you do not have a time restriction for when you must make a choice and take action then you may simply keep whirling your ideas around and around and see them from all perspectives in your mind for a very long period.

Therefore learn to become better at making choices and to spring into action by creating deadlines in your everyday life. No matter whether it's a minor or huge choice.

Here’s what has worked for me:

For little choices like whether should go and clean the dishes, answer to an email or work out I normally allow myself 30 seconds or fewer to make a decision.
For a slightly bigger or tough choice that would have taken me days or weeks to go through in the past I set a deadline for 30 minutes or for the end of the workday.

3. Avoid setting your day up for stress and overthinking.

You can’t entirely avoid overwhelming or highly stressful days.

Yet you can decrease the amount of them in your month and year by having a solid start to your day and by avoiding setting yourself up for excessive stress, overthinking and pain.

Three things that assist me with it are:

Have an excellent start.

I’ve stated this several times by now. And with good cause.

This is possibly the finest method to affect your day. Because how you start your day tends to frequently set the tone for your day.

A hectic morning leads to anxious day. Absorb bad information while you take the bus to your work tends to lead to more gloomy thinking over the remainder of your day.

Whereas for example reading something uplifting during breakfast, getting some exercise and then getting started with your most essential activity right now sets a fantastic tone for the day and will assist you to remain optimistic.

Single-task and take frequent pauses.

This will assist you to have a sharp concentration throughout your day and to get what’s most essential done while also enabling you to relax and recharge so you don’t start to run on fumes.

And this relatively relaxed mentality but with the focused concentration will assist you to think clearly and decisively and avoid ending up in a worried and overthinking headspace.

Minimize your everyday intake.

Too much information, too many times of merely spending a few minutes to check your mailbox, Facebook or Twitter account or how your blog or website is performing leads to additional input and clutter in your head as your day develops.

And thus it gets difficult to think in a simple and straightforward manner and easy to slide back into that old overthinking tendency.

4. Become a person of action.

When you know how to get started with taking action consistently each day then you’ll postpone less by overthinking.

Establishing deadlines and a positive tone for the day are two things that have helped me to become much more of person of action.

Taking modest steps ahead and simply concentrating on getting one small step done at a time is another habit that have worked incredibly well.

It works so well because you do not feel overwhelmed and thus you do not want flight into procrastination or lethargic passivity.

And even though you may be terrified, taking just a step is such a tiny thing that you do not become immobilized in dread.

5. Understand that you cannot control everything.

Attempting to think things through 50 times might be a technique to try to control everything. To cover every scenario so you don't risk making a mistake, fail or seeming like an idiot.

Yet such things are a part of having a life where you actually expand your comfort zone. Everyone that you may admire and have lived a life that inspires you has failed. They have committed errors.

Yet in most instances they've also regarded these things as helpful input to learn from.

Such experiences that may appear bad have taught them a lot and have been helpful to enable them to develop.

So quit trying to control everything. Attempting to do so just doesn’t work since no one can envision all conceivable circumstances in advance.

This is of course easier said than done. So do it in little increments if you like.

6. Announce halt in a scenario when you know you cannot think correctly.

Sometimes when I'm hungry or when I'm resting in bed and are ready to go to sleep bad feelings and ideas start buzzing about in my head.

In the past they could cause quite an amount of harm. Lately I've grown skilled at catching them immediately and to remark to myself:

Oh, no, we are not going to worry about this now.

I know that when I'm hungry or tired then my thoughts sometimes seem to be prone to not thinking properly and to negativity.

So I follow up my “no, no…” expression and I say to myself that I will consider this problem or issue through when I know that my mind will operate much better.

For example, when I've eaten something or in the morning after I have received my hours of sleep.

It took a little of effort to make this to work but I've grown very good at delaying thinking in this manner. And I know from experience that when I return a problem with some level-headed thinking then in 80% of the situations the issue is extremely little to nonexistent.

And if there is a true problem then my mind is prepared to deal with it in much better and more productive manner.

7. Don't get caught in vague anxieties.

Another trap I've fallen into numerous times that have pushed on overthinking is that I've been caught in hazy anxieties about a circumstance in my life.

And thus my imagination running wild has produced catastrophic scenarios of what may happen if I do anything.

Now I've found a better method to get out of such a vicious loop and that is to first question myself:

Honestly, what is the worst that might happen?

And after I've found out what the worst that may happen truly is then I can also take a little time to think about what I can do if that frequently quite improbable event occurs.

I've discovered that the worst that might truly happen is generally something that is not as terrible as what my imagination running wild with undefined terror could generate.

Discovering a fresh viewpoint and clarity in this manner generally just takes a few minutes and bit of energy and it may save you a lot of time and heartache.

8. Work out.

This could seem a little weird.

But exercising out may definitely assist with letting go of inner anxieties, concerns and to lessen my stress levels.

It most frequently helps me feel more decided and when I was more of an overthinker then it was often my go-to technique of altering the headspace I was in to a more productive one.

9. Obtain lots of excellent quality sleep.

I believe this is one of the most usually disregarded things when it comes to retaining a good mentality and not get caught in negative thinking patterns.

And when you haven’t slept enough then you become more susceptible.

Sensitive to anxiety and pessimism. To not thinking as clearly as you normally do. And to being caught in ideas whirling around and over in your head as you overthink.

So let me share a number of my favorite ideas from my daily routine that assist me to sleep better:

Keep it cool.

It might seem great at first to get into a warm bedroom. Yet I’ve discovered that I sleep better and more quietly with less terrifying or nasty nightmares if I keep the bedroom chilly.

Keep the earplugs handy.

If you, like me, are easily awakened by sounds then a pair basic earplugs might be a life-saver.

These affordable products have allowed me to obtain a good night’s sleep and sleep through snorers, loud pets and other disruptions more times than I can recall.

Don’t attempt to push yourself to go to sleep.

If you don’t feel drowsy then don’t go into bed and attempt to push yourself to go to sleep.

That, at least in my experience, just leads to tossing and turning in my bed for an hour or more.

A preferable option in these instances is to wind down for an additional 20-30 minutes on the sofa with, for example, some reading. This enables me to get to sleep quicker and, in the end, get more sleep.

10. Spend more of your time in the present moment.

By being in the present moment in your daily life rather than in previous errors and life experiences or a hypothetical future in your head you may replace more and more of the time you typically waste on overthinking things with simply being here right now instead.

Three strategies that I commonly utilize to reconnect with the present moment and to practice mindfulness are:

Slow down.

Slow down how you do whatever you are doing right now. Walk slower, speak slower or ride your bicycle more slowly. Take slow and deep breaths.

By doing so you become more aware of how you utilize your body and what is occurring all around you right now.

Remind yourself: Today I am…

I regularly tell yourself this: Now I am X. And X could be cleaning my teeth. Taking a hike in the woods. Or washing the dishes.

This simple reminder helps my mind to stop wandering and brings my attention back to what is occurring in this moment.

Disrupt and reconnect.

If you sense you are becoming caught in overthinking then one of my favorite mindfulness activities is to interrupt that idea by - in your mind – saying this to yourself : STOP!

Then reconnect with the present moment by spending only 1-2 minutes to concentrate completely on what is going on around you. Absorb it all in with all your senses. Feel it, hear it, smell it, see it and feel it on your skin.

11. Spend more of your time with those who do not overthink things.

Your social environment is an essential factor to consider about if you wish to break damaging thought patterns and get out of the cycle of overthinking in the long run.

And this is not only about the individuals and organizations near to you in real life. But also about what you read, listen to and watch. The blogs, books, forums, movies, podcasts and music in your life.

Now think about whether there are any factors in your life – near by or farther away – that promotes and tends produce additional overthinking in your head. Now think about what persons or sources that has the opposite impact on you.

Discover strategies to spend more of your time and attention with the people and information that have a good impact on your thinking and less on the influences that tends to increase your overthinking habit.

12. Be conscious of the problem (and remind yourself throughout your day) (and remind yourself throughout your day)

Being conscious of your difficulty is vital to stop the tendency of overthinking.

But if you’re assuming that you’ll simply remember to quit overthinking throughout your typical day – and in stressful scenarios such as an impending date or job interview – then you’re likely just deceiving yourself.

At least if you’re anything like me.

Because I needed aid. It wasn’t hard to obtain it however. I simply generated a couple reminders.

My primary one was a message on the whiteboard I had on one of my walls at the time. It read “Keep things absolutely simple”.

Viewing this numerous times throughout my day allowed me to snap out of overthinking quicker and to over time considerably lessen this detrimental behavior.

Two different sorts of reminders that you might utilize are:

A little written message.

Just take a post-it note or anything similar and put down my whiteboard phrase, a question like “Am I overcomplicating this?” or some other reminder that appeals to you.

Place the note where you cannot avoid seeing it like for example on your bedside table, your bathroom mirror or alongside your computer screen.

A reminder on your smart phone.

Put down one of the sentences above or one of you own choice in a reminder app on your smart phone.

I for example use my Android phone and the free program called Google Keep to achieve this.