Overthinking can be a mentally draining activity, constantly playing and replaying scenes inside one’s head or attempting to answer questions that sometimes can’t be answered. So how can we deal with overthinking?
What is Overthinking?
Overthinking is the activity of overinvesting energy in the evaluation and analysis of one’s own thoughts or thought processes. Overthinkers can be easily drained and suffer from multiples negative implications such as depression, lack of concentration and paranoia (Clark, 2020; Fader, 2021).
Like many other problems faced in everyday life, there are solutions. The following text will explain multiple ways which could help to reduce the activity of overthinking and influence more positive thought patterns.
With focus and patience, meditating in quiet and peaceful areas can bring the individual’s constant haunting thoughts to a halt and drive them into awareness in the present moment. Noting their feelings and sensations in the body as experienced in the here and now (Lamothe, 2019). Mediation lowers the level of anxiety and increases concentration on what is happening in the present moment. It is also known to improve sleep patterns and decreases the likelihood of memory loss (White, 2020).
- Find a Distraction
Overthinking mostly happens when we are not occupied with mood enriching activities. Therefore, distracting ourselves with exciting activities such as sports or watching a series. This could be an opportunity to develop new skills, such as learning how to cook or to paint. Being able to throw our focus in creating new skills or investing in energetic activities leaves little room for overthinking (Lamothe, 2019).
It is crucial to understand and be aware of the negative implications of overthinking and what it is doing to one’s health in general. Meditation can help with self-awareness but therapy and communicating this state of consuming thoughts can also lead to self-awareness (Daskal, 2016; Lamothe, 2019).
“Awareness is the Greatest Agent for Change” – Eckhart Tolle
Psychoeducation is the provision of information to educate the clients about their mental health conditions and help them understand the thought processes about their conditions. With regards to overthinking , psychoeducation can go in a way that it helps the overthinking focus on the present and clarify thoughts processes. For example, if the overthinker keeps on replaying scenes in their head from their past, psychoeducation can help to make the overthinker understand that past situations cannot be changed or controlled, but the power lies in what happens in the present moment to change the future (Drake, 2021).
As mentioned before, like many other problems we face every day, there are solutions that can help and resolve these problems. It all lies on the person facing the problem, each and every overthinker has the potential to work on their problems in overthinking and move towards healthy and less obsessive thinking patterns.
Lyon Vella is a Psychology graduate at the University of Malta, currently pursuing a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy and a Volunteer within Willingness Team.
Clark, D. A. (2020, January 18). Are you an overthinker? Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-runaway-mind/202001/are-you-overthinker
Daskal, L. (2016, January 4). 10 simple ways you can stop yourself from overthinking. Inc.. Retrieved from: https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/10-simple-ways-you-can-stop-yourself-from-overthinking.html.
Drake, W. (2021, May 27). What is psychoeducation and why does it matter? Betterhelp. Retrieved from: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-is-psychoeducation-and-why-does-it-matter/.
Fader, S. (2021, February 26). What is overthinking disorder? Better Help. Retrieved from: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/personality-disorders/what-is-overthinking-disorder/?utm_source=AdWords&utm_medium=Search_PPC_c&utm_term=_b&utm_content=118051369647&network=g&placement=&target=&matchtype=b&utm_campaign=11771068538&ad_type=text&adposition=&gclid=CjwKCAjwvMqDBhB8EiwA2iSmPLSyCq-u7Rk8R1Z2hyFfDnhWslCUt4w_dfqLspAIYf4JmQjCKw-nXxoCaVQQAvD_BwE
Lamothe, C. (2019, November 4). Keep it simple: 14 ways to stop overthinking. Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-overthinking.
White, M. A. (2020, October 27). 12 science-based benefits of meditation. Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation.