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10 Simple Ways to Stop Overthinking

Here are 10 simple ideas to help overthinkers stop spinning their wheels.

Overthinking doesn’t sound so bad on the surface–thinking is good, right?

But overthinking can cause problems.

When you overthink, your judgments get cloudy and your stress gets elevated. You spend too much time in the negative. It can become difficult to act.

If this feels like familiar territory to you, here are 10 simple ideas to free yourself from overthinking.

1. Awareness is the beginning of change

Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it’s happening. Any time you find yourself doubting or feeling stressed or anxious, step back and look at the situation and how you’re responding. In that moment of awareness is the seed of the change you want to make.

2. Don’t think of what can go wrong, but what can go right

In many cases, overthinking is caused by a single emotion: fear. When you focus on all the negative things that might happen, it’s easy to become paralyzed. Next time you sense that you starting to spiral in that direction, stop. Visualize all the things that can go right and keep those thoughts present and up front.

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3. Distract yourself into happiness

Sometimes it’s helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like mediation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, knitting, drawing, and painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the overanalysis.

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