Overthinking is something that many people in today’s world struggle with. They become consumed by their thoughts and are unable to let things go. Sometimes this can go as far as analyzing and building upon thoughts to the point of physically breaking down.
This behavior unfortunately can lead to ruined days, weeks, and even months sometimes. Feeling like you are a prisoner in your own mind is possibly one of the worst ways to live your life because you really aren’t living.
You are living in your mind, in the past, in regret, in fear, but you aren’t living in the present moment. It is exhausting and agonizing.
Instead of accepting this as the way life is, choose to grow and overcome these obsessive thoughts. Believe in yourself that you can overcome overthinking. Use these five steps to begin the process and finally become the person you want to be.
1. Accept That You’re Having These Thoughts
The first step in overcoming this is to accept that it is an issue you have. If you are constantly distracting yourself from this or refusing to admit that this is an issue for you, you really aren’t helping yourself in anyway.
Allow yourself to be okay with the fact that this is something you struggle with. Realize that if you don’t even acknowledge it, it will be nearly impossible to stop it.
2. Deep Dive To Identify The Source
Once you’ve accepted that this is an issue for you, start to really dive deep into your thoughts and past to identify what may have caused this to start in the first place. For most of us, this will be the hardest step because this needs to be constructive.
Sitting around dwelling is what you’re already doing, but it’s mostly on the surface level and allowing yourself to wallow and feel bad about it. You need to consciously sit down and think back to when this started, what could have sparked it then, and figure out what sparks it now. Once you identify this, be strict with yourself when those triggers come up and remind yourself that this is a trigger and that you will not allow yourself to go down this mental road.
3. Change Your Focus
When you are triggered, switch your focus to something new.
When you’re unhappy with different parts of your life, it escalates thinking and makes it impossible to clear your mind. Mind numbing work leads to idle time and therefore unwanted thinking and obsessive thoughts.
If you cannot escape obsessively thinking about something, you absolutely need to change your focus to something that excites you. If you dislike your job, go get a new one that you like. If your friends make you feel bad, stop hanging out with them and make new ones. Whatever negativity is in your life will without a doubt prevent you from moving forward and changing your perspective.
4. Allow Yourself Time To Grow and Evolve
Changing long lasting habits won’t happen overnight. It’s important to remind yourself of this and not get discouraged or disappointed with yourself when the thought pops into your mind again.
At this point, you’ve allowed these obsessive thoughts to become a habit, and humans love habits. Habitual behavior is comforting, even if it is bad. It is scary to change or start something new. We don’t know what it will lead to or if we can handle it. Therefore, we continue to live miserably with these existing habits.
5. Don’t Look Back, Stay In The Now
Forgive yourself for the time you’ve wasted obsessing and don’t look back. Don’t dwell on the past or too much on the future. Think about the now. Start mediating and focusing on being mindful throughout your day. If the negativity comes back, tell yourself you will not allow yourself to focus on it anymore and bring yourself back to the present moment.
Letting go of these obsessive thoughts is tough work, but necessary in order to live a healthy, happy life. If you spend hours of your day worrying about something, you are in a constant state of instability. This causes stress on your body, lack of productivity, excessive exhaustion, and for what? Absolutely nothing.
Generally, we are overthinking something we have no control over. We analyze the thought all day long, but the bottom line is that nothing we can do now can change what has occurred. The only thing that we do have control over is not allowing ourselves to let it occupy our mind incessantly.
This is certainly a process and will take time so do not get discouraged, but believe in yourself and believe in the possibility that you can overcome this because by doing the hard mental work and dedicating yourself to changing, you will one day wake up and realize that which bugged you so much before is no longer a burden in your life.