Thinking about something in endless circles â€” is exhausting.
While everyone overthinks a few things once in a while, chronic over-thinkers spend most of their waking time ruminating, which puts pressure on themselves. They then mistake that pressure to be stress.
Overthinking can take many forms: endlessly deliberating when making a decision (and then questioning the decision), attempting to read minds, trying to predict the future, reading into the smallest of details, etc.
People who overthink consistently run commentaries in their heads, criticising and picking apart what they said and did yesterday, terrified that they look bad â€” and fretting about a terrible future that might await them.
â€˜What ifsâ€™ and â€˜shouldsâ€™ dominate their thinking, as if an invisible jury is sitting in judgement on their lives. And they also agonise over what to post online because they are deeply concerned about how other people will interpret their posts and updates.
They donâ€™t sleep well because ruminating and worrying keep them awake at night. â€œRuminators repetitively go over events, asking big questions: Why did that happen? What does it mean?â€
If you consistently focus on ruminating and make it a habit, it becomes a loop, And the more you do it, the harder it is to stop.
Overthinking is destructive and mentally draining. It can make you feel like youâ€™re stuck in one place, and if you donâ€™t act, it can greatly impact on your day-to-day life. It can quickly put your health and total well-being at risk. Rumination makes you more susceptible to depression and anxiety.
How to defeat this pattern of thinking and win your life back
Chronic worrying is not permanent. Itâ€™s a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to look at life from a different perspective.
1.Replace the thought: You need to replace the thought.â€ What if she were to tell you to stop thinking about pink elephants? What are you going to think about? Thatâ€™s right: pink elephants. If you donâ€™t want to think about a pink elephant, conjure up an image of, say, a tortoise. â€œMaybe thereâ€™s a big tortoise holding a rose in its mouth as it crawls,â€ says Pittman. â€œYouâ€™re not thinking about pink elephants now.â€
2. Talk yourself out of it by noticing when youâ€™re stuck in your head: You can tame your overthinking habit if you can start taking a grip on your self-talk â€” that inner voice that provides a running monologue throughout the day and even into the night.
3. Ask yourself : Whatâ€™s the probability that what Iâ€™m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?Â â€” Whatâ€™s the probability that what Iâ€™m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
Ask yourself â€” Whatâ€™s the probability that what Iâ€™m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
Recognise your brain is in overdrive or ruminating 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.