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How to Stop Overthinking: Four Ways to Stop Constant Negative Thoughts

by Roveen Anyango
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  • Overthinking affects our lives
  • Overthinking always leads to negative thoughts
  • Through identifying the pattern, you can stop overthinking

While worry and sometimes, overthinking, are a normal part of being human, when the worry and overthinking become too much that they become overpowering, then we have a problem.

Overthinking is the constant, negative thinking about events, whether they are in the past or in the future. Overthinking can stop you from moving forward, and when not put in check can even affect your mental and emotional health. So, how do you stop it?

Become aware of the issue

The first step to curbing overthinking to is to become aware of the problem first. Here is how to identify it:

  • Do you constantly worry about past events?
  • Do you always make things that happened or could happen as negative?
  • Are you always overanalyzing everything?
  • Do you find that these thoughts affect how you are living your life?

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then you are an overthinker.

Identify your triggers

Once you have become aware that you are an overthinker, then identify what triggers them? Could it be a word, a place, an event? Knowing what makes you overthink then helps you narrow down to how you do the next step.

Take a deep breath

Once you have identified your triggers, each time you are around them, take a deep breath. Deep breathing helps calm you down. You can find a comfortable place to sit, and have one hand over your heart and the other on your belly. Then breath in deeply through your diaphragm until the negative thoughts pass.

Practice positive self-talk

Overthinking will always inevitably spiral into negative thoughts. So, when you are aware of your triggers, also become aware of the negative thoughts that accompany them. Then talk yourself out of that thought. Sure, you regret the past, but you cannot change it. So, tell yourself ‘I cannot change the past, but my actions now will shape my future’.

Let your brain know that whatever previously happened is no longer important enough to distract you from the present.

Overthinking will probably not go away completely, but you can reduce them greatly with consistent habit.

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