How to stop overthinking when it’s your natural reaction

Written by Deborah Carbone

If you believe you’re the kind of person who finds it impossible to switch off, and has a hard time reacting appropriately to situations, then this article is for you. I’ve been there too. I know how much something that worries you can cloud your judgement. It’s like your brain is against you. I know how it can be hard to know how to stop overthinking, when it seems like it comes to you naturally. But there are ways to overcome this if you’re willing to learn, and it’s not as hard as you might think. It’s a way of taking control and attacking negative vibes you might be creating for yourself. It may take time, but it’s guaranteed to work if you follow these simple steps.


    How to stop overthinking: Think in a logical manner

    It’s important to challenge problematic thoughts and irrationalise them. This means that when you find yourself overthinking, you need to figure out if your reaction is logical. For example, if you believe that your partner is cheating on you, consider whether you have any solid evidence to suggest this. Has he been distant, or texting another girl? If not, where is the fear coming from? If you’re feeling insecure then it might be that you’re projecting a fear on to a situation, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. You need to make sure your feelings are justified before thinking about acting, and learn that your brain is often creating these negative scenarios from thin air. You have to work against your own self, which can feel strange at the start, but in the end, it will help fend off your demons and let in the good. Simple? Maybe not. But the next step will solidify your new-found strength permanently.

    How to stop overthinking: Express your thoughts

    Chances are, if you’re overthinking, something is really bothering you. It’ll consume your every thought and influence your every action. This is when you know you need to talk to someone about it. You have two options – you can confront the person who is part of the issue, or you can talk to someone who is separate from the situation. The second option might be best, since they can tell you that you’re being irrational, and try and tell you how to stop overthinking. However, talking directly to someone is open and honest, and revealing your insecurities will make them more aware of how to handle them. Being active in taking on your fears is the best way people use to gain control.

    How to stop overthinking: Question every fear

    This is similar to step one, but it focuses more directly on questioning each thought. Getting to the root of the problem can be hard, but if you ask yourself why each time a doubt springs to mind, you’ll eventually get to the bottom of it. Knowing what’s going on in your own head can really help to change your mindset. For example, if you’re afraid that someone is lying to you, ask yourself why. If, for example, the answer is they’re being distant, ask yourself why. Have you pushed them away? Have they got a new job that just takes up a lot of their time? Often, the irrational behaviour isn’t linked to the issue at hand at all. People have lives of their own, and sometimes it’s just difficult to judge where they’re coming from until you question it yourself. A question demands an answer, and if you’re never willing to ask, you’ll never get the peace of mind you want.

    How to stop overthinking: Make time to think

    If you find yourself being taken over by your own thoughts, shut them down completely. Tell yourself that you can think about your problems at the end of the day, or first thing in the morning. Then, for the rest of your work day, push them to one side and get on with things. It’s easier said than done, but the only answer to how to stop overthinking is often to cease thinking at all. Give your tired mind a rest – lend your time to something more productive than worrying. That way, you can spend time on good things that you like with a sound and peaceful mind stopping you from being held back. It’s okay to feel negative at times, but the important thing to take away from this is that it shouldn’t take up more of your time than it needs to.

    How to stop overthinking: Stay in the moment

    The past is history and the future is a mystery. There’s nothing you can do to change that, so it’s best to look forwards to what comes next. Constant over-analysing can prevent you from living your life to the full. Don’t dwell too much on the things you’ve done, or the things you will do. Focus on what you do each day, and then forget the blips you had and move on. It’s part of human nature to make mistakes, and you don’t need to feel overwhelmed by them. Leave them behind and tell yourself today is a new day, and you can start all over again tomorrow if you need to. The happiest people in life can leave the past in the past, and propel forwards instead of retracing their steps to the same walk of life each time.

    How to stop overthinking when it’s your natural reaction

    About the author

    Deborah Carbone

    I'm a Life and Relationship Coach with 5 years experience of coaching and training. I work with overwhelmed women guiding them through all kinds of life and career transitions so that they can make big changes in their lives.
    Writing is my passion and I am here to help you through every phase of your life. I hope you'll enjoy.