If you wonder how to stop overthinking, you may want to consider the following solutions, which may sound obvious but are actually effective.

Everybody overthinks. It’s human nature. Whether you consider yourself a positive or negative person, an introvert or an extrovert, a worrier or a calm soul, chances are you overthink from time to time.

For some people, this can become a bad habit that causes anxiety and stress or adds to mental health issues such as depression, and for others, it can simply be an annoyance that they wish they could stop.

Well, here are some tips on how to stop overthinking and live a more carefree life:

1. Pinpoint your overthinking

If you’re like me, you usually overthink at certain times of the day. For me, it’s when I go to bed. Once all of the business of the day has calmed down and I’m settling down to sleep, my brain goes into overdrive and I begin to overthink things that happened throughout the day and conversations I had.

Identifying when you are overthinking is one of the first steps to overcoming the habit. If you only overthink in certain situations, pinpoint exactly what those situations are, what they have in common and when you feel yourself overthinking, remind yourself that you need to simplify things in your mind.

2. Think positive

Being an overthinker can often mean you’re hard on yourself and end up kicking yourself for things you’ve done or haven’t done.

When you feel this happening, force yourself to think of a positive from that situation and focus on that one thing, instead of the negative things you’re overthinking about. If you overthink about potential situations that haven’t happened yet, force yourself to think about the best possible outcome instead of the worst.

At first, it may be hard to realise you’re doing it and purposefully think positive, but if you do it often enough, it will become a natural habit that won’t require any thought.

3. Stay busy

Staying busy is one of the most helpful things to do when you’re overthinking, although it can sometimes only be a temporary fix.

If you just can’t stop thinking about something in particular and you’re dwelling on it, do something that will make you think instead. Try reading a book, doing a puzzle or watching a movie.

If none of these things help, try putting on some music and sorting out your closet. Anything to keep your body and mind busy will do the trick.

Are you an avid overthinker like me? Do you have your own recommendations on how to stop overthinking? If you found these tips helpful, I’d love to know in the comments.

Christina Lawson, B.A.

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