Overthinking life?(5 ways to cope)

From the article below, you will be knowing about what to do when you are overthinking life.

Too much thinking about life?

In a movie named “Nights of Cabiria” there is a dialogue which says “ too much thinking will explode your mind”.

Our mind has its own way of expressing itself. What goes inside is a deep and unexplored phenomenon. Our thoughts can range from utter grief to extreme happiness. Unfortunately we don’t have control on what we think. Overthinking comes from lack of control on our thoughts. Overthinking may also have grave consequences. It may damage our health and mental condition. It may exhaust us and even cause symptoms of anxiety and depression in us.

Side effects of overthinking

We all have a short period of time to enjoy life. Overthinking takes a part of your enjoyment for life. Let us look at the side effects:

Lack of concentration and productivity 

The habit of overthinking keeps people occupied in a vicious circle of utter hopelessness and complicacy. It can make you suffer from concentration issues. You may not focus on your work or studies. Even if you focus, you have your mind overthinking about something in the back. This degrades your productivity at work and may reduce your level of performance. 

Lack of motivation 

You may not feel like working or doing anything serious. You may suffer from fatigue and boredom. 

Affects mental health

Too much overthinking can lead to problems related to mental health such as anxiety and depression. If you overthink about things you cannot control you may suffer from anxiety. If you cannot find a solution to your problems and keep on overthinking, you may also become depressed. 

Affects physical health

Overthinking may cause physical problems too. People who have a habit of overthinking also show signs of headache, indigestion and fatigue. 

How to not overthink?

Distract yourself in various ways possible

Keep your mind engaged in things which you love doing. You can also take up new hobbies to beat the monotony. 

Watch fun tv shows 

Find shows that you will really enjoy. Shows like Big Bang Theory and Friends are classics that you can watch anytime to lighten your mood. 

Specifically, limit your TV viewing to shows that make you think, and shows that make you laugh. Here are a few shows that will make you laugh:

Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, The Good Place, Bojack Horseman, Schitt’s Creek, Sex Education, Big Mouth, New Girl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Shows like these will serve as a good distractor thus making you feel lighter.

Watch stand-up comedies

YouTube is an abode of content full of fun stuff. Try watching stand-up comedies which will absolutely make you laugh. Usually stand-up comedians make puns on very simple issues and experiences we have in our daily lives. That will make you relate to those puns and get humour out of it.

Some extremely famous YouTube videos and comedians are linked here :

https://youtu.be/88bD9f2MivI ( Trevor Noah is my favourite)

Breathing exercises 

According to a recent study published by the APA, it has been found that overthinking is a psychic defense we use to fight off a stressful situation. It sends our body and mind to the survival mode and makes us hold our breath and panic.

Simple breathing exercises can help us practise concentration and generate a control on our breath. This will help us nurture mindfulness thus gaining mental clarity. With mental clarity we can get over our state of dissociation. 

Physical activity

Even if you may not find exercise pleasurable, it will help you stay fit and healthy. Your lack of motivation can be ruled out with physical activities which will keep you fit and motivated too. 

Set goals either in the morning or the evening to get yourself engaged in any sort of physical activity, be it yoga, cardio, walk, skipping or any other form of physical activity. 

It is very important to commit to yourself and carry on with your physical activity on a daily basis. Discipline will keep you hopeful and determined. 

Practise self-love

The purest form of love is experienced in your own self. Self-love can be practised in any way among all these listed below:

  • Follow a skin care routine : you can frame your routine with simple things like applying moisturizer on a daily basis after washing your face in the morning. Scrubbing your body once a week. Going to the salon for a clean-up, manicure, pedicure or haircut. Take care of your nails. You will get a glowing skin after a week, I assure. 
  • Have healthy food: To make yourself healthy and glowing, you should check upon your eating habits too. Control sugar intake, junk and oil, hog upon fruits, veggies and set a cheat day once a week. A proper well thought diet plan will help you feel healthy, energetic and fall in love with your skin.
  • Remind yourself how good you are: take out some time everyday to list those things you love about yourself. For example, “I like the way I talk to people, I am a good listener, I have good communication skills, I am beautiful no matter whatever the world thinks.”- I am sure you will love this session.  
  • Go for a movie: keep the weekends solely for yourself. Dress up good, book a ticket and go out for a movie date with yourself. You can also take yourself out for dinner dates, coffee dates, stationary shopping or a short trip away from your locality.

Self-love is an intrinsically motivated emotion. If overthinking is making you experience no feelings of motivation, try out anything that you like doing the most all by yourself. The above self-love activities I prefer the most. You can try out anything that is closer to your heart. If playing games or painting trees makes you happy do that, or you can even try out finding interest in new activities. For example, I discovered I am really good at doodling in the recent past when I was bored in the midst of the pandemic. Likewise you should cultivate love in yourself through activities and habits (new or already existing) and find a suitable distraction.

Therapy or counseling

Overthinking can affect your daily life and make you trapped in a vicious circle of worthlessness and misery. 

If you think self help can no longer help your condition, please do consider therapy or counseling. They will help you out with either medication or talk therapy or a combination of both based on the severity of your condition.

Smile more often

We all know, we smile when we are happy. Did you know it happens the other way around too?

Dr. Isha Gupta a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explains, a smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.

Studies show a smile induces happiness. Even if you are not happy and nothing is making you smile, broaden your face muscles up, lift your cheeks and give yourself a dose of happiness with a simple smile.

Overthinking can lead you to a cycle of pessimism and unhappiness. Smiling more often can make you feel lighter.

Letting Go

To hold on to bad experiences is the most deadly habit one person can ever have. Life is so short. If you spend half your life just holding onto things, you can never enjoy it. With every step you will get stuck at some point in your past and never come back. Life will become a place filled with negativity and darkness. 

With clarity and letting go you will start learning how to not hold on to the old ideas and beliefs which are no more working. You will broaden your mind towards new ideas, people, opportunities, talents and experiences. As you empty your cup, so to speak, you fill it back up with stuff that you actually want, instead of accepting what was unconsciously passed onto you. Life hands you a fresh cup of reality.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusion

From the article above, you got to know about the topic “overthinking life”. It can be concluded that overthinking as a habit can affect a person’s mental and physical health. To overcome it, simple self-help coping techniques can be applied. 

FAQs: Overthinking life

How Do I Stop overthinking in my life?

Here are six ways to stop overthinking everything:

  1. Notice When You’re Stuck in Your Head. 
  2. Keep the Focus on Problem-Solving. 
  3. Challenge Your Thoughts. 
  4. Schedule Time for Reflection. 
  5. Learn Mindfulness Skills. 
  6. Change the Channel.

Is overthinking a mental disorder?

It is not a mental disorder. It is a habit.

Can overthinking kill you?

A study from UC Santa Barbara suggests that thinking too much about something leads to poor judgement and decision-making.

How can I beat anxiety?

How to beat anxiety in 5 minutes

  1. Try a relaxation app.
  2. Listen to a song.
  3. Get your body moving.

Are Overthinkers more intelligent?

Constant rumination could be a sign of intelligence.

How can I be positive in life?

  1. Focus on the good things. Challenging situations and obstacles are a part of life. …
  2. Practice gratitude. 
  3. Keep a gratitude journal.
  4. Open yourself up to humor. 
  5. Spend time with positive people. 
  6. Practice positive self-talk. 
  7. Identify your areas of negativity. 
  8. Start every day on a positive note.

How can I be a happier person?

  1. Be with others who make you smile. Studies show that we are happiest when we are around those who are also happy. .
  2. Hold on to your values. .
  3. Accept the good. 
  4. Imagine the best. 
  5. Do things you love. 
  6. Find purpose. 
  7. Listen to your heart. 
  8. Push yourself, not others.

What are the side effects of overthinking?

Side effects of overthinking

We all have a short period of time to enjoy life. Overthinking takes a part of your enjoyment for life. Let us look at the side effects:

Lack of concentration and productivity 

The habit of overthinking keeps people occupied in a vicious circle of utter hopelessness and complicacy. It can make you suffer from concentration issues. You may not focus on your work or studies. Even if you focus, you have your mind overthinking about something in the back. This degrades your productivity at work and may reduce your level of performance. 

Lack of motivation 

You may not feel like working or doing anything serious. You may suffer from fatigue and boredom. 

Affects mental health

Too much overthinking can lead to problems related to mental health such as anxiety and depression. If you overthink about things you cannot control you may suffer from anxiety. If you cannot find a solution to your problems and keep on overthinking, you may also become depressed. 

Affects physical health

Overthinking may cause physical problems too. People who have a habit of overthinking also show signs of headache, indigestion and fatigue. 

References:

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