Friday, July 21, 2017

HOW TO STOP OVERTHINKING

HOW TO STOP OVERTHINKING- with these four steps, you'll be closer to a clearer mind in no time | caileypearl.blogspot.com


Picture this: you’ve just crawled into bed after what seemed like a great day. You turn off the light, close your eyes, and prepare for a peaceful doze into sleep.

And then the overthinking begins.

You obsess over everything you said that day and beat yourself up over everything that you didn't. You replay conversations over and over again in your mind, agonizing over the smallest of details and analyzing all the ways in which you could've been wrongly perceived. You spend hours ruminating on these thoughts, rehashing the past until everything that seemed good at first now becomes nothing more than a place for worry and distress.

Such is the problem of over-thinkers.

While everyone experiences bouts of overthinking every now and then, some of us are stuck in a perpetual cycle of these destructive thoughts. They seep into our minds with every social interaction we make, leaving us in an exhaustive state of anxiety for the days to come. It’s as though we need an off-button to our brains, something that’ll allow us to stop the internal chaos for even just a second.

Even though said magical button does not (unfortunately) exist, I’m here to tell you that with time and determination you can put an end to this constant barrage of thoughts.

Over the past few months, I’ve picked up a routine that I employ whenever I find myself spiraling into the overthinking trap, and it’s helped me a ton. So, in hopes that it’ll help you as well, here are the top things I do to stop overthinking:


  1. PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE WITH THE 5 BY 5 RULE

When obsessing over a past event/conversation, we often get so caught up in our heads that we lose sight of how insignificant the thing we’re obsessing about really is. For example, while that slip up in conversation you had today may seem monumentally important right now, take a step back and look at it in the bigger picture- is it going to matter in a week? A month? A year?

Most likely, the answer is no.

That’s why it’s so crucial to put things into perspective before you spend your energy thinking about them. Once you realize that something holds little importance to your future, you’ll be way less inclined to overthink and overanalyze it.

An easy way that I like to do this is by following the five by five rule. With this, I’ll ask myself whether the thing I’m obsessing over will matter in five years. If the answer is no, which 99.9% of the time it is, then I’ll allow myself no more than five minutes to think about it. What would be the point of spending my mental energy on something that doesn’t even matter?

  1. GIVE YOURSELF LESS CREDIT

Many of the things we overthink and worry about stem from our concern of what other people think of us- whether they think we're weird, what they would’ve thought about us if only we said this instead of that, how they judged our clothing, whether they took offense to something we said, etc.

But here’s the reality- these people are spending no time thinking about you. People have much more important things to think about (namely, themselves) than that one thing you said to them that one day. They’ve probably even completely forgotten about what it is that you’re obsessing over.

Constantly reminding yourself of this is key when trying to stop overthinking something. Why spend your time analyzing what someone thinks of you when they themselves aren’t even thinking about it?

  1. USE A VISUAL TO BLOCK OUT THOUGHTS

Once it reaches a certain point, trying to rationalize with yourself as to why shouldn’t be overthinking will only lead to more overthinking. So if you’ve gone through the first two steps and still can’t shake away those thoughts, it’s time to try simply blocking them out of your mind.

To do this, I use the help of a visual that I’ve created in my mind. It may sound a bit silly, but bear with me- actually envisioning the thoughts leaving your mind makes it a lot easier to keep them out.

What I do personally is envision an extremely high-up cliff with miles and miles of nothingness beneath it. Whenever an unwanted thought creeps into my brain, I immediately picture it being thrown off said cliff into the nothingness. I then imagine the cliff being covered up by a beautiful grassy field, with the bad thoughts nowhere in sight. If the thoughts ever come back, I just repeat the process.

Believe it or not, this one little step has proved to be super helpful in enabling me ward off unwanted thoughts. By continuously pushing these thoughts out of your mind before you get the chance to actually ponder them, they'll eventually just start to fade away.

  1. LET GO AND LET GOD

I know this last tip isn’t applicable to everyone, but it’s played such a crucial role in my own overthinking journey that there's no way I could leave it out.

The wonderful thing about having a relationship with God is that we’re never alone in our struggles. He tells us to come to him whenever we're burdened and weary, to cast all our anxieties on him, to not worry about anything but instead rely on him for strength and peace of mind.

How comforting is that?

The God who created the universe and knows the stars by name cares for you more than you could ever imagine, and is always there for you to depend on. He wants nothing more than for you to surrender your worries to him and trust in his control, so that he can finally let you experience his all-encompassing peace that is unlike anything we've felt before.

Just read through these verses to see what I mean:

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Psalm 55:22 - Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.

Now, this is all easier said than done. Wanting to be in control of everything is in our nature, and it takes a pretty high level of faith to truly hand a situation over to God. But faith is a constant journey, and with every prayer and attempt at trust we make, it grows that much deeper and stronger. Always remember that no matter where you're at in your faith journey, God will always be there for you.


I truly hope these tips help you as much as they've helped me. If you liked this content and want to see more, be sure to subscribe so that you never miss a future post (just scroll up and enter your email on the right, or scroll down if you're on mobile). You can also connect with me on Instagram or Pinterest.

And as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments below. I wish you all the best!

Until next time,


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