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5 Ways To Stop Overthinking

Man thinking about ways to stop overthinking

Mental health care plays an enormous role in overall life satisfaction and function, as well as the capacity to remain addiction-free. Sadly, mental illnesses like depression, OCD, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder very often correlate with drug or alcohol abuse. If this is the case for you or a loved one, consider contacting Northpoint Seattle today. Our caring staff is available at 888.483.6031. We’re eager to tell you more about our Washington State programs that can help with a host of mental illnesses and substance abuse concerns. Now, let’s take a closer look at one aspect of a mental health condition: overthinking. What are ways to stop overthinking?

How Can Managing Overthinking Improve My Life Over All?

There are two major subsets of overthinking, rumination and worry. Rumination entails dwelling on the past, oftentimes in the form of replaying events or conversations over and over with a critical eye toward your performance. Worry is future-focused and often involves projecting worst-case scenarios about how upcoming events will go. Neither activity is productive or pleasant and when a person becomes stuck in one of these mental patterns, it can wreak havoc on their well-being. Everything from mood and attention to sleep and neurochemistry can suffer a negative impact.

For these reasons, it’s important to find ways to cope with overthinking so that you can return to a healthier and more present-moment-focused life. This change offers many benefits, including increased performance at work and in your hobbies. Being able to stay focused on the task at hand is a game-changer to productivity, collaboration, and the ability to enjoy what you’re doing.

Relationships tend to improve substantially as well when you reduce overthinking. No one is perfect and nobody can know the future or change the past. Because overthinking creates a false sense that these things are under your control, it can reduce your empathy and compassion for yourself and others. Getting free from overthinking patterns can reduce unnecessary judgment, build patience, and grow your resilience in the face of the uncertainties inherent to being alive.

What Are Five Top Tips on Ways to Stop Overthinking?

Needless to say, everyone’s brain is different, so you’ll likely have to do some experimenting to figure out what methods work best for you, but here are some evidence-based strategies for quelling rumination and worry:

1. Distraction

Whether it’s engaging in a conversation, doing a challenging puzzle, or tuning into a podcast, shifting attention is the foundation of changing mental patterns. Especially if you shift your focus to something you like, such as creative work or enjoying a good piece of entertainment, it can be easier to coax your mind to move along too.

2. Mindfulness

Essentially defined as the practice of bringing awareness back to the present moment whenever the mind strays, mindfulness certainly takes practice. Over time, however, it increases calm, keeps mental content in perspective, and increases decision-making power.

3. Designated Thinking Time

Giving yourself a set time each day to reflect on what’s habitually troubling you can be helpful. Sitting down and thinking for 20 or 30 minutes or engaging in reflective freewriting can be a powerful act of self-honoring as well as an opportunity to identify patterns in your thoughts. Moreover, productive problem-solving is different from overthinking. You can use some of your scheduled time to plan realistic contingencies for dealing with possible negative outcomes.

4. Self-Inquiry

Many worries and ruminations are overly negative. Question the facts of what you’re asserting to yourself and if they don’t hold up to scrutiny, gently remind yourself that the evidence doesn’t support being so harsh.

5. Movement

Exercise is proven to help release stress and reduce overthinking. Increasing blood flow, raising your heart rate, and drinking in new sights and sounds of nature can all help you get out of your head.

Find More Ways to Manage Overthinking and Find Help for Addiction Recovery By Contacting Northpoint Seattle Now

If you or your loved one could use help with addiction recovery or a mental illness associated with overthinking, such as generalized anxiety disorder, contact Northpoint Seattle today. We’re standing by to answer your questions and help with intake to our Washington State facility. Call 888.483.6031 or use our online contact form to get started.