Now that the world has come to an economic standstill, stressing about finances just adds to our pre-existing worries. It’s important to understand our own mind and console ourselves. Worrying and overthinking is not the lifestyle we’re wired for. But how do we trick our brain out of this situation? Let’s talk about that.
Worrying and overthinking are slow toxicants. We already know mental health is as important as physical health. Some simple ideas have been shared through the social media a lot these days are :-
- Can you do something about it? No then don’t worry.
- If you can? Then stop worrying and start working.
Overthinking is a wild imagination and causes tons of troubles. We suffer far more in our imagination than we do in reality. We live every moment with fear, fear of doing well, fear of getting a job, fear of known, fear of unknown, fear of losing people, fear of losing help, fear of not earning enough money and so many more.
We are scared all the time. Just once, pin down all your fears and then you will realize that half of your fears don’t even exist. We just create them and start chasing them without giving it a thought that is it even necessary to do all of this ? Facing your real fears is a sign of progress and achievement but when you overate your fears you to think about them again and again which destroy you piece by piece.
Worrying is wanting to predict the future. It involves negative thoughts about things that might and might not happen.
- They’ll not like me in the interview; they’ll not give me the job.
- I haven’t heard back from other employers. How long will I be unemployed?
Worrying is not permanent. It’s a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to look at life from a different perspective.
To overcome overthinking, you shall try and replace the thought. “Telling yourself not to have a certain thought is not the way to prevent the thought. You need to replace the thought.” What if I were to tell you to stop thinking about pink elephants? What are you thinking right now? That’s right: pink elephants. If you don’t want to think about a pink elephant, conjure up an image of, say, a tortoise. “Maybe there’s a big tortoise holding a rose in its mouth as it crawls.” “Are you thinking about pink elephants now ?”
A better way to overcome distress is by distraction and shifting attention away from the problems that are obsessing us. There are many activities that can be used to distract from rumination, and people should try to choose the one that works best for them. Here are some examples :-
- Listen to music
- Read a book
- Take a hot shower
- Dance or exercise
- Talk to a friend (not about the problem)
- Watch a movie
- Mindfulness meditation
It is rightly said an idle mind is a Devil’s workshop. Negativity fills in if we allow our mind to think about something for too long. As I said earlier worrying solves no problem so stand up and look out for solutions , look out for what you can do, Keep saying yourself “This too shall pass, just wait, relax and keep patience”.
You never know what opportunity life may present to you at any point. Keep an open mind and think positively to make the most out of every opportunity life throws at you.
Several practical steps that you could employ in your daily routine when you catch yourself worrying or overthinking
One effective remedy, is the thought-stopping technique.
“When the negative thoughts come or overthinking starts, you say to yourself: ‘Stop!.” It adds more effectively when you actually say the word out loud.
Wear a rubber band around your wrist to ping against yourself while saying the word. Adding a visual component by imagining a stop sign also makes the technique more powerful.
The main idea here is conditioning yourself to stop the loop of worrying (making future predictions) or overthinking(obsessing over something).
This technique could take up to two weeks to take effect and its needed to be practiced every day. “Consistency is very important,” to turn this into a successful technique.
Thoughts Are Just Thoughts
Whenever overthinking sets in, just ask this question to yourself : Is that real? Did that really happen? What is the worst thing that could happen?
Flight anxiety is one example where untrue thoughts are accepted as facts. Although air travel is the safest way to get around, people suffering from fear of flying accept their thoughts and fears as reality, then act upon them by refusing to fly.
The use of mindfulness techniques, in which attention is paid to experience the moment without judging them, as a way to reduce worrying.
“Mindfulness helps you to distance yourself from your thoughts and to be more present in the moment.”
Several studies have shown that mindfulness has a positive impact on reducing stress-related behaviours such as rumination and worrying, as focusing on the moment fades away anxiety.
Mindfulness can be practiced during routine activities by paying attention to your body and your surroundings. For instance, when you leave for work in the morning, you can focus on sensing the breeze, listen attentively to birds, feel the gravel under your feet and monitor your breath. This helps the most to the over thinkers.
Over thinkers are people who are buried in their own obsessive thoughts. Imagine being in a large maze where each turn leads into an even deeper and knottier tangle of catastrophic, distressing events — that is what it feels like to them when they think about the issues that confront them.
Everyone overthinks their lives or options every once in a while. Some people, however, can’t stop the wheels and halt their train of thoughts.
Find a constructive way of processing any worries or negative thoughts.
You can cultivate a little psychological distance by generating other interpretations of the situation, which makes your negative thoughts less believable. This is called cognitive restructuring.
Ask yourself — What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
If it’s a problem you keep overthinking about, rephrase the issue to reflect the positive outcome you’re looking for.
You can control your overthinking habit by connecting with your senses. Begin to notice what you can hear, see, smell, taste, and feel. The idea is to reconnect with your immediate world and everything around you. When you begin to notice, you spend less time in your head.
You can also notice your overthinking habit and talk yourself out of it. Becoming self-aware can help you take control. Pay a little more attention, Say something like: I’m feeling kind of anxious and uncomfortable. Where am I? Am I all in my head? Maybe I should go take a walk around the block and breath some fresh air.
Recognize your brain is in overdrive or overthinking mode, and then try to snap out of it immediately. Or better still, distract yourself and redirect your attention to something else that requires focus.
It takes practice, but with time, you will be able to easily recognize when you are worrying unnecessarily, and choose instead, to do something in real life rather than spending a lot of time in your head. For example, convert, “I can’t believe this happened” to “What can I do to prevent it from happening again?” or convert “I don’t have good friends!” to “What steps could I take to deepen the friendships I have and find new ones?”
If you are suffering from serious emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help.
Don’t get lost in thoughts about what you could have, would have, and should have done differently. Mental stress can seriously impact your quality of life. An overactive mind can make life miserable. Learning how to stop spending time in your head is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
A quick reminder:
Remember to be thankful for how lucky you are and how easy your life truly is.
Do not think you are alone, you will always have your inner circle standing right besides you supporting you, being a strength in your hard times. Your friends and your family make difficult and hard times pass smoothly.
Liked this article? Also read: Why Is Self-Care An Absolute Important?
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