Overthinking is like a looter. Who stole all our peace and happiness. And left sorrow and frustration in our life. So here a question arises: how to stop overthinking? But before you know how to stop overthinking. You have to ask yourself some questions. To know whether you are a victim of overthinking or not. These questions are as follows.
Are you also a victim of getting stuck in your thinking? Do you also think too much about any issue? Is it causing you sleepless nights and frustrated days? Are you also unable to ignore small incidents that happen in your life? And because of all these things, your stress level is increasing. If your answer will be yes. Then maybe you are also a victim of overthinking. And because of this many questions must be arising in your mind. Like, after all, what is overthinking? Is it a mental disorder? Why do we overthink at all? And how do we avoid or stop overthinking? So let’s try to find the answer to each question. The first one is.
What is overthinking?
Our thinking is a natural process. We have no control over it. And we cannot stop it. But it is also not right to get stuck on any thought or to sit on it. And your getting stuck is called overthinking. Means when we start thinking about any person, situation, and thing. And keep thinking for many days. So it means that we are overthinking about that person, situation, and thing. In simple words, overthinking is the process of continuously thinking about anything. So here a question arises. Whether overthinking is a mental disease or a natural process.
Is overthinking a mental disorder or a natural phenomenon?
So far overthinking has not been proven in any research. That it is a mental illness. Even doctors do not consider it a mental illness. But it is proven that the prolonged problem of overthinking definitely gives rise to serious problems like anxiety and depression. Doctors have a very simple logic behind not considering it a mental disorder.
They say that whenever we see such an incident. Which is either happening for the first time in our life, or which has some relation with our past, or all the things which we are afraid of, and either anything which we want to achieve. So it is a natural process that we will think more about that. Like when our dear one leaves us, or when we wait for our result. So we all do overthink. Therefore it is not correct to consider it a mental disorder. But getting stuck on a thought for a long time. Invited many other mental diseases into our life. So now here another question arises. How does the problem of prolonged overthinking lead to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression?
How overthinking causes mental disorders like anxiety and depression?
There is a very famous saying that worries end only with the pyre. But I look at it in another way, that worry also burns, and so does the pyre. The only difference is that one burns us alive, the other our lifeless bodies. So just think that when the same worry takes a formidable form. It will turn our brains into a pile of ashes. One study found a two-way relationship between overthinking and other mental health issues. Sanam Hafeez who is a neuropsychiatrist in New York. calls it a “chicken-and-egg” situation
She says that: High levels of stress, anxiety, and depression can contribute to excessive thinking. Meanwhile, overthinking can lead to an increase in stress, anxiety, and depression. So in a way, both are synonymous with each other. So now after explaining these 2 questions. Let us now know what is the reason behind overthinking. Why do we keep overthinking?
What is the reason behind overthinking?
Our two types of mindset are responsible for overthinking. First our ruminating nature and second our worried nature.
1. Ruminating nature.
The mentality of chewing thoughts is called ruminating nature. Yes, like cows and buffaloes save some food for chewing later while eating. Because they sit comfortably and later keep on chewing. Similarly, many of us have this mindset. Whenever they get free time. They pull out many forgotten memories from their subconscious mind. And starts chewing or thinking. And gradually this habit of ours creates depression inside us.
2. Worried nature.
Our worried nature or worrying mindset is responsible for our overthinking. Overthinking is the result of our fears, apprehensions, and expectations. It is a product of our distracted mind. Which creates distraction and confusion in us. These are some unresolved questions of our past, some painful incidents, and regret for not being able to do something. Which our analytical mind tries to solve by thinking. But it can’t do it.
The other thing is our imagination of tomorrow. Our future is like a blank paper. On which we try to write thinking about our destiny. But we can’t write anything. We keep getting worried thinking that if only we had done this, everything would have been fine. And if I do this then everything will be fine. But neither do we have the power to fix the past. Nor to know tomorrow. Then such thinking is a way of roasting your mind.
The same, overthinking can be of two types, one problem based or the other solution based.
In one we only think about the problem. Questions like when to study, how to study, and where to start, keep distracting our minds. Same in other circumstances we only think about the solution. But one thing you note is that. Thinking too much is dangerous for us. Even if it is a solution or a problem. Because too many solutions confuse our minds. So we are unable to decide. Which solution will be right or which is wrong?
Our mind works just like that child. One who builds a fort of sand and then breaks it with his own hands. And then build it. Because he gets confused, about which one is better and which one is worse. In the same way, our overthinking mind itself picks up the problem, and finds its solution, then dismisses it, and picks up the new problem. And this process continues continuously. That’s why we cannot reach any conclusion. And because of this, our overthinking goes on increasing. So now we’ve come to our last stop, and know about it. How to avoid overthinking? or how to stop overthinking?
How to stop overthinking?
1. Come out from past and future worries-
Here I ask you a question. Have you got anything from thinking too much about your past or thinking too much about the future? Please answer in the comment box. What do you think about it? Because thoughts grow by sharing. According to me, Whether you are overthinking because of fear or regret of your old memories. Or because of the apprehension of the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of your tomorrow’s expectations. Both your thoughts are meaningless in themselves.
Because we do not have the power to change the past. Nor to be able to see our future. So thinking too much about these two things is futile in itself. It just fills our minds with garbage. And increases depression inside us. So the best solution for this is that. You come out of the vortex of the past or future. Because
Every beginning is impossible, but the end is possible.
2. Come out from over-worried nature-
As much as we want to stay away from worry. But we can’t stay away. Because our worries are going to go with our pyre. But excessive worry can be reduced. Because we have many such worries in life. Which is unreasonable. Like what will I do if I lose my job, what will I do if I don’t pass this time, if there is a breakup then I will die, and if I had done this work, I would not have to regret today.
And our “if” is our biggest reason to be worried. It is natural to have such thoughts sometimes. But it is futile to think too much about all these things. Because no one can answer you “if”. As much as you can imagine. More and more new questions will keep flying into your mind. So why don’t you change your ‘if’ to ‘is’? And because of this, a lot can change in your life. That’s why I always say.
Come out from IF and BUT and enter into Do and CAN
3. Track your triggering thoughts and situation-
Grab a notebook, or if you want to work on a computer. So you can use Excel Sheets or Google Sheets. In this, you will note down the thoughts that arise in your mind. On which you think for a long time. You will also note down the situation that led to, this and the time when this thought comes to your mind. After this, you will think logically about that idea, and what should be your reaction or answer in that situation.
When you start doing this work slowly. Then you will know to what extent your thinking is correct, or to what extent it is wrong. What you are thinking affects you negatively or positively. Because writing something gives us two benefits. First, we have a written document. Second, it helps you in memorizing. Which we can review. In regular intervals of time. Because we do hundreds of things throughout the day. And we don’t even know what we thought and what we were doing.
4. Meditation and exercise-
Meditation not only helps to keep your mind relaxed. But also trains your mind. It thickens the prefrontal cortex. Which manages higher-order brain functions. Which helps you in awareness, concentration, and decision-making.
It enhances higher-order brain function and reduces lower-order brain function. In a study conducted by Harvard Medical School. The same amount of gray matter was observed in a 40-50-year-old meditating person. As much as in a person aged 20 to 30 years. So it is scientifically proven. Meditation is good for increasing our awareness.
Much research shows that exercise can improve depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Exercise can also help reduce chronic excessive thinking. Even if you walk 5 minutes to your terrace or balcony. Which releases feel-good chemicals and hormones in your brain like endorphins. You can do one more thing for a positive mindset. You can use the Law of Attraction to stop overthinking.
5. Chanting therapy-
You may not have heard the name of this therapy. It is a therapy made by me, which I use on myself. Whenever I suffer from negative thoughts or get angry with someone. I quietly go to my room and scream loudly. And if I can’t scream, my recorder screams. So that I can take out that negative energy from inside me. And at that time you can jump, if nothing else you can do push-ups. Because of this, your energy decreases. And the tired body and mind are of no use. And because of that gradually your stress starts reducing.
So, when you stop anything in its initial stages. It will not get a chance to grow. On the other hand, you can also stop by the ISKCON temple for this. There are many such rituals where you release your negative energy through song and music. Thirdly, you can stop overthinking by listening to affirmations.
6. Come out from negative people & situation surroundings-
This is found in people prone to overthinking. That their negative mindset makes them think more. And this can happen in a person’s life for only two reasons. The first is either the negative situation around him and the second is either his association with people with a negative mindset. What kind of situation will come in our life, or in which family we will be born, or how we will be brought up? It is not in our control. Bad situations or negative situations are not going to stay with you forever. One day it ends automatically.
But the company we choose is created by us. That’s why we have to end it. Staying with a good company is in our control. A couplet of Kabirdas fits here.
When a gentleman meets a gentleman, a solution comes out. When a donkey and a donkey meet together, they will get two kicks.
It means that when two gentlemen meet, good things happen. But the same when two evil people meet, they will definitely do such a thing. That they have to face shame or get beaten up. And this is what happens by living with negatively biased people. He will neither do any work of his own, nor will he allow you to do any work. He will just keep humiliating you. You will be scared of the fear of defeat. Their job is to stop you from doing any work. If there is such a person in your life too, then come out of his company. To stop overthinking.
So these six points help you to solve your question of how to stop overthinking. If you want to get rid of the problem of overthinking. So you have to follow these six points. But if still your problem persists then do visit a medical practitioner.
Best of luck.