I recently had a huge favor to ask a dear loved one last week. I needed a short paragraph written that would verify that pieces of information about my personal life were true. This sweet family member of mine froze as if Elsa zapped her with a block of ice. “Write something? That someone else will read?” The tasks sounds simple for most writers, but for those who don’t write professionally or creatively, this could be intimidating and cause you to overthink.
And that’s exactly what she did.
Overthinking is a common problem that can be difficult to tackle. It can be hard to stop yourself from worrying about every little thing– including simple tasks– and constantly create different scenarios in your head. Here are some tips to help you break the cycle of overthinking and start living in the moment:
- Write down your thoughts. Sometimes it’s difficult to make sense of the swirling thoughts in your head. Writing them down. Seeing them on paper can help you gain perspective and distance yourself from your thoughts.
- Identify your triggers. What are the situations or conversations that cause you to start overthinking? Once you know what they are, you can start to take steps to avoid them or prepare yourself for them.
- Practice mindfulness. Focusing on the present moment and your breath can help you to stay out of your head and be in the moment. Taking a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness can help you combat overthinking.
- Talk to someone. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can be a great way to gain perspective on your thoughts. Keeping a journal to document your thoughts can also be helpful.
- Take a break. Sometimes the best way to stop overthinking is to walk away from the situation and do something else for a while. Go for a walk, listen to music, or watch a movie – whatever will help you take your mind off your thoughts.
By taking the time to identify your triggers, practice mindfulness, talk to someone, and take a break, you can start to break the cycle of overthinking and live in the present.