How to Break Yourself From the Shackles of Overthinking
Overthinking. It is something that we all do and something that many of us struggle with each and every day. If you aren’t familiar with overthinking, it is actually much more overwhelming and frustrating than it seems. It involves having your mind so focused on one idea or principle that you simply can’t clear your mind and you start to get in a habit of “excessive thinking.”
One idea can lead to another and thinking can eventually lead to over-thinking and the feeling of being overwhelmed with thoughts and ideas. It can create an endless cycle of thinking, cause you to feel stressed or overwhelmed and prevent you from focusing on the task at hand and what you actually need to focus on.
For some people, this excessive thinking eventually goes into excessive worry. You may try to clear your mind, but your efforts may seem futile. It is almost like a snowball running down the hill. One thought can eventually turn into something bigger, and something even bigger, until your thoughts get completely out of control.
It can be overwhelming and it can make you feel out of control and make your feel imprisoned by your thoughts. There are actually many experts that have found that thinking, or over-thinking can be an addiction and that people can actually get addicted to these feelings of overthinking and stress. If you feel imprisoned by thinking or overthinking, then there are several things you can do in order to break yourself from the shackles of overthinking and start finding the freedom and mental clarity that you have been looking for.
- Start With Awareness
The sooner you understand your problem and are aware that you are trapped by feelings of overthinking, the better off you will be. Acknowledge your feelings and that you are having issues breaking the cycle. From there, you can start making change.
- Address the Fear
Many times, when people are overwhelmed by the shackles of overthinking, there is one main issue at the root of their problems—fear. We fear or worry about what may happen and in turn it starts spiraling into more issues, thoughts, worries and problems. What is the fear that is at the eye of this storm? Think about it, address it and only then will you be able to move on.
- Find a Distraction
Whether it is running, working out, mindful meditation , reading or anything in between… you need to find something that can help distract you when overthinking occurs. It needs to be something that can relax your mind and something that makes you happy, this is the only way it will actually work to distract you from the cycle of overthinking.
- Help Yourself Put Things into Perspective
Sometimes, taking a moment to stop, breathe and put things into perspective is all that you need in order to help you break free from overthinking. The next time you are overwhelmed by overthinking take a moment to ask yourself how much it will matter a few years down the line, or even next week. Ask yourself: Are you making a mountain out of a molehill or is it worth all of the stress you have caused yourself?
- Add Gratitude to the Equation
A great exercise that helps many people break the cycle of overthinking, is stopping to be more grateful of what they have in their lives. Make a list everyday of one thing or a few things that you are grateful for. The more appreciative you are of what you have, the easier it will be to snap yourself out of the shackles of overthinking.
- Consider Meditating
There are so many studies that have been done on the power of mindful meditation. Mindful meditation can help clear the mind, help you focus and help you hone in on what matters most. If you want something that will actually help you ward of stressful or anxious feelings, then mindfulness is it.
You don’t have to succumb to the stress caused by overthinking. Take some time to really take control of your mind and your thoughts, and you can find yourself breaking the cycle and breaking the shackles sooner than you ever thought possible.