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"How to Finally Stop Overthinking and be in the Present"


Is that conversation you had with your partner replaying in your head like a bad song? Do you keep thinking and rethinking about your teacher's reaction to your presentation? Is it hard to make decisions because you keep weighing your options over and over again?


Overthinking is when you become so worried that you freeze. It is when you rethink past events or possible future outcomes so much so that it is difficult to do anything else. You get stuck on the worst case scenario possibility and it's hard to see past that.



Everyone overthinks from time to time, but if you do it regularly it can steal the present moment from you. Have you ever been overthinking something so much that you completely checked out of the conversation you're currently having with a friend? OOPS!


A fallacy within anxiety is, "if I can think of every possible outcome, then I can plan ahead, and I will be safe." But is this realistic? Can you really plan for everything your boss might say during your evaluation? And in trying to do so, you just lost hours, or even days, worrying about something that may not even happen!



The good news? You can learn to control your thoughts!


Journal

Journal about what is causing you to overthink. Get all your thoughts out onto paper. Something very powerful happens when you no longer have to hold your worry thoughts in your head, because they are somewhere real.


Learn something new

Try out a new recipe, go on a hike on a trail you've never been on before, or learn to play a new game or sport. The process of learning something new can be very engaging (and fun!) and force you out of your overthinking cycle.


Deep breathing exercises

Deep breathing can be very calming and soothing, especially for the anxious brain. Take a few minutes and practice a few slow and deep breaths.


Grounding exercises

Grounding exercises can help you come out of the overthinking cycle and into the present moment. A favorite of many of my clients is the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise. With this exercise, you describe the following:

5 things you see

4 things you hear

3 things you physically feel

2 things you smell

1 thing you taste


Seek therapy

Therapy can help you learn skills to challenge automatic negative thoughts that might be triggering your overthinking. It can also help you learn to have healthy and present-oriented thoughts.



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3 Comments


Thank you for this very helpful advice. You wrote everything down perfectly. I will definitely be using this to help cope with my anxiety and share it to others. Very good.

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Gary
Gary
Feb 29

Thank you so much for sharing this insightful resource! It sounds like an incredibly helpful resource for anyone struggling with overthinking. The tips on journaling, trying new activities, grounding exercises really resonate with me. I appreciate the recommendation and will definitely be considering therapy in the future!

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Hello there,

Your breakdown of the detrimental effects of overthinking, coupled with practical solutions, is truly beneficial. It's refreshing to see such a comprehensive approach to tackling this common issue. Your emphasis on taking proactive steps, such as journaling, learning new activities, and seeking therapy, highlights the importance of self-care and mental well-being. Keep up the excellent work of spreading awareness and providing support for those struggling with overthinking! Thank you

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