People often say things like, "I can't relax. It's like my brain won't shut off," or, "I can't stop thinking about how my life could have been better if I'd done things differently."
You're not alone—research suggests 73% of 25- to 35-year-olds chronically overthink, along with 52% of people ages 45 to 55. In many cases, overthinking could show up as overthinking, which often involves perseverating on events of the past and even the present with a negative mindset.
Reuben Berger, a psychotherapist at the university hospital in the western German city of Bonn, recommends several practical steps that you could employ in your daily routine when you catch yourself worrying or overthinking.
"When the negative thoughts come or ruminations start, you say to yourself: 'Stop!,'" he says, adding that it is more effective when you actually say the word out loud. STOP!
Overthinking may worsen, don’t wait for the time to make it fall to symptoms of depression or even anxiety. There are lots of actions to end everything.
Dr. Edward Selby, a psychologist at Florida State University, has shown in a study that people try to avoid overthinking by engaging in a range of activities, he says that a much better way to overcome such distress is by distraction and shifting attention away from problems that are obsessing us.
He says many exercises can be used to distract from overthinking, and people should choose the one that works best for them. Here are some examples:
Listen to Music
Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.
Read a Book
In reading, we can actually physically change our brain structure, become more empathetic, and even trick our brains into thinking we've experienced what we've only read in novels.
Dance or Exercise
Health study shows conscious, or ecstatic, dance helps those struggling with depression and anxiety. Dancing and other movements allow a person to express themselves and let loose. When a person feels free, the body releases happy hormones like dopamine. This hormone helps lift a person's mood and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Talk to a Friend (Not About the Problem)
Conversation can lessen the weight of the thoughts of overthinking.
Watch a Movie
Movies can calm us down and soothe us. We reduce the stress within us by lowering our worries and even watching a movie may turn all negative thoughts for the better, as long as it is enjoyable.
Meditation can wipe away the day's stress, bringing inner peace. See how you can easily learn to practice meditation whenever needed. If stress has you anxious, tense, and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can help restore your calm and inner peace.
Studies show scheduling time to worry can actually decrease overthinking. Rather than worry all day every day, you can contain your worries to just 15 minutes a day.
With just a little effort, you can adjust your thinking and take steps to replace overthinking with more productive self-reflection and problem-solving. In doing so, you will reclaim your brainpower, energy, and time.
The way people perceive a situation largely influences their emotions and behavior. It is not the situation itself that determines how they feel, but rather the way they interpret it.
Let's not dwell always in the past and stop worrying about things that have not happened yet. Start living.
Source: Made for Minds