How to stop overthinking?

How to stop overthinking?

Do you often feel you are reading in-between-the-lines lately when it is not required? Do you get easily stressed about small things? Do you regularly innovate fears where there is no real need? Sounds a lot like your mom, huh! But, it applies to anyone really who has been a victim of overthinking.

Sometimes it’s just the workload be it personally or professionally that doesn’t let you soak in and absorb everything that is happening around you, that leads to overthinking. Whatever be your reason we all as human are wired to worry. But more than the problem I am going to focus on the solution in this article.

Here’s what I do to unwind and calm those nerves.

1. Declutter the space around you, Dust the furniture, vacuum clean and Light a candle

If you are a Marie Kondo fan, you’d already know the benefits of a clean space but if you aren’t then let me explain. A clean and tidy space helps to organise your thoughts as well. A lot of it is to do with what you see and how that makes you feel. So a clean house, organised wardrobes and a spotless place resonate good vibes and positive energy. When you sort your physical surroundings, it helps to focus on what’s on your mind.

2. Listen to some relaxing music

Credit Juja Han @ Unsplash

Music is a great stimulant. It helps to focus on the task at hand, and as the music rolls, it helps in thinking straight, decluttering that mind and completely relaxing. There is proven research on this subject that shows a positive correlation between music and concentration – it helps in calming down and getting lost in a different stream of thoughts altogether. So days when you are down, don’t reach out for that bar of chocolate or alcohol, start with some good music to uplift that mood.

4. Take a shower

Steaming hot water helps to relax those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenates the entire body. It is also this time that allows a lot of artists to think of new ideas and also improves focus. Have you ever wondered why? Probably because a lot of your physical activities are restricted – you can’t write, read, listen, talk or do anything except for taking a shower which is a mundane activity wired in your subconscious mind. So that leaves your conscious mind to wander in those gazillion thoughts that you couldn’t focus earlier; this is precisely why meditation helps as well.

4. Dump all those wandering thoughts onto a piece of paper

I am a big fan of diarising your thoughts and writing down your those ideas, emotions, views, opinions and beliefs. It helps to slow down in your thoughts and interpret each word that you pen down.

5. Understand what is bothering you

Dig deeper in your thoughts to understand and break down each of those ideas, decisions or feelings. Try to understand what is causing that stress and what makes you feel overwhelmed. Once you recognise what the issue is, that solves half the problem there itself.

6. Do what brings joy

Today is your day. Allow yourself to do what brings joy – Binge-watch your favourite show, order food from outside, go for a run around the park, just groove to that hip-hop party song, plan your next travel, do whatever makes you feel good. These activities aren’t for the weekend or the future solely. Instead, do it when you are stressed or tired because that’s when it matters the most.

Credit – Joel Valve @Unsplash

7. Focus on one thing in that most urgent /important sort of quadrant

You’ll feel good about having thought through what matters the most to you. Even if you take one step today, you are one less step towards this most significant thing in your life. For me, it is blogging and developing on my writing skills, so when I am overwhelmed, confused and feel pressured, I write to relieve that stress. It helps me feel a sense of accomplishment.

8. Talk to someone on something unrelated

So when I am in this shell thinking (mostly overthinking) about myself and how the world revolves around me. Everyone is conspiring against me or criticising me, or the world is out to get me. But in reality, everyone is living in their shell too. So give yourself some breather and relax, not everything is always about YOU (unless you are Donal Trump or Narendra Modi). Talk to someone on something that is worrying them, and that might make you feel good and come out of this downward spiral of thoughts.

9. Vent it out

Let it out. Breathe. Relax. When you vent it out and tell someone about these gazillion thoughts, it would feel good because it is out of your system. Also sometimes at my workplace, unproductive discussions, directionless initiatives or meaningless outcomes stresses me out; I try to structure my thoughts – understand the problem, what led us to this situation, and discuss it with someone to gain perspective. If nothing at least you have let the steam off of your mind.

10. Exert physical energy

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

Be it Zumba or boxing or a weight lifting, whatever helps you to exert physical strength is a great stress buster. It is a known fact that it helps to relieve those happy hormones, improves concentration and makes you feel good about your physical self. These are the reasons why I love workouts – a great way to strengthen the mind, muscle and matter – all three.

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