Everything needs some sort of balance and often times we have to discipline ourselves to find & maintain that balance.
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ―
Easier said than done, I know. Overthinking typically leads to negative thoughts and destructive thought patterns. Constant worrying also involves negativity and catastrophic predictions about the future – simply drowning you with more fear and uneasiness!
Overthinking is actually one of the most harmful things you can possibly do. I mean, thinking is (of course) a good thing but overthinking about something too much can be detrimental if you’re being consumed by it. Overthinking is derived by anxiety and causes emotional stress, behavioral issues, sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, and many more issues.
Face it, we can be our worst critic! We beat ourselves up for things we did/said, or worry too much about things out of our control. Sooner or later, this becomes a daily habit and we’re living in this space – causing more daily damage.
Here are some of the damages caused by overthinking
- Impacts your mental health – overthinking opens the door to unnecessary negative thoughts and promotes a dangerous cycle that becomes harder to break.
- Impacts relationships – you’re not present because you focus on every thing that went wrong (“why did I do that?”, “Oh my god, I just cant get anything right”) instead of focusing on what/who is directly in front of you.
- Interferes with problem solving – your ability to simply analyze outcomes/solutions or objectives can become challenging because you make things more complex than it needs to be.
- Interrupts your sleep & appetite – your mind is constantly racing with thoughts and emotions that multiply by the second. This can imbalance many chemicals in your body’s natural cycle and may keep you tensed longer. Resulting in the inability to rest properly or fully enjoy the delicious meal in front of you!
- Increases stress levels – your brain is a machine and when it goes into overdrive things can go wrong. We all deal with stress differently, yet if you’re finding yourself in this constant state – it can (overtime) become injurious to your health!
Here are some things you can do to prevent overthinking
1. Awareness – Know what triggers you to overthink in situations. You might feel like you overthink everything – from relationships, family, career, lifestyle, parenting styles, calorie intake, email/text replies, to selfie angles. This list may seem insane to keep track of but the more you become aware of what your overthinking – the more cautious you can be! Educate yourself to move past it.
2. React positively – Finding something positive in negative mindset can be difficult and seem impossible in the moment. Yet, think of the situation in a positive light & shift the focus from what went wrong to what didn’t go wrong. This will increase your mindset and reactions to be more positive!
3. Focus & be mindful – Stop the overwhelming thoughts immediately! Focus on the evidence directly in front of you, avoid overanalyzing, or trying to connect the dots emotionally that clearly don’t exist. Take a moment and focus on the evidence again. Being mindfulness is also a great tool to practice and it allows you to become more present in the moment (be aware of your surrounds, check your heart rate, check in with your body temperature, take in some deep breaths) without lingering in the past (that you cannot change) or the future (that you can’t predict). Note: here’s some good books that I found online that may help with learning more about mindfulness.
4. Reflect – Journaling is the best method to get your thoughts down and out of your head. Set a daily timer for 3-5 minutes to generally collect your thoughts mentally and then journal your thoughts and leave it in your journal. If you forget to write down something – go back and jot it down 🙂
5. Eliminate Perfectionism – Sometimes we get in the way of ourselves because we want to ensure we’re absolutely perfect in what we deliver, say, or do. If you find yourself spending too much time on something because it has to be “perfect”, then you’re slowing down your success. Remember, consistency triumphs perfection any day. Practice and continue making progress by doing your best everyday because that is what really counts! 1X better everyday!
6. Take care of yourself – Self care is important and you are required to take care of yourself everyday. Eating healthy (treating yourself to cupcakes), exercising, and doing things you love is a daily requirement. Make yourself a consistent priority 🙂
Overthinking is connected to our feelings and there is a reason behind every feeling we experience. It is important to recognizing what you’re feeling to help identify the “what?” and “why?” to truly understand yourself.
I get it! Overthinking is a hard habit to shake off and I still bounce back to this space every so often. However, don’t ignore how you feel and continue to work towards growing from it so you can focus on a on healthier, better, and happier life!
Do you have some other tricks that work when you’re overthinking? Do share! We’re all here to help and educate one another on what worked for us and share our experiences to help others!