Guide to Turning Down the Overthinking Volume
If you are prone to overthinking, you will also know that it can be exhausting… there is plenty out there to overthink! It could be ruminating on the past, it could be anxieties about the future, it could be something relevant to your current circumstances that you play out in every single scenario possible. Overthinking is often linked to our fears and it can creep up on you at any time, but particularly when there is less to distract us. It could be when you are trying to sleep, it could be if you wake early or if you have a long journey in the car. The focus of overthinking tends to fall on the negative side and the vibe that this brings with it can affect our wellbeing, and the worst of it is, we often do not realise at the time that we are slip sliding our way down the overthinking helter skelter. So, if you are prone to overthinking, what can you do to bring yourself back to the moment? We have put together a simple guide with some tips that may help.
The OutdoorCure Guide to Turning Down the Overthinking Volume
1) Develop an awareness! Having an awareness is often the first step to making a change. Next time you find yourself feeling anxious, angry or fearful, take a step back and reflect if overthinking is the cause. Note how your body feels in this moment and start to become aware of when this is happening.
2) Make a choice. If you catch yourself on the slippery slope of overthinking or become aware it is happening, choose something different. Tell yourself a different line – say it out loud if you need to and use a firm voice: “I am in control of my emotions/thoughts and I choose to do something different.”
3) Look at the bigger picture. If you are stuck on one thought or moment and keep replaying it ask yourself how it will affect you in 5 or 10 years from now. This can give you an entirely different perspective. Don’t let minor issues turn into massive hurdles.
4) Realise that you can not control everything. Trying to do so does not work because no-one can predict all the possible scenarios in advance (yes, even if you give it a REALLY good go!). It may be that you are doing this so you don’t make a mistake or fail. Those things however, are a part of living a life where you truly stretch your comfort zone. We often learn invaluable things when we make a mistake and this helps us to grow!
5) Become a person of action! If you tend to overthink to the point that you paralyse yourself, this can really help. Set small goals to complete through the day. Task yourself with having 5 minutes to consider a decision, make it and act on it (practice this with small decisions first!)
6) Change the channel. If you’re sat in your bedroom or living room and notice that you are overthinking, change what you are doing – exercise, work on a task, get outside or engage in conversation. This will distract your mind from being overrun by thoughts.
7) Set an overthinking time. This is great if you are struggling to stop overthinking. Give yourself 10-15 minutes a day to overthink, to worry and to let your anxieties out. Set a timer and when the timer goes off stop and go and do something else. It can be a good idea to write them down and to rip the paper up when the time goes off!
Let us know how you get on,
The OutdoorCure Team x