by Kyle Beard on Monday, September 30th, 2019
One of the most common symptoms of anxiety is having a tendency to overthink everything. We tend to think our way out of problems and out of danger. It is important to find ways to relax your mind from overthinking before it can ruin your day and cause you to miss out on new opportunities.
It is hard to overthink things if you realize that you are doing it. You could be thinking about that facial expression your boss gave the last time you saw him or her or you could be overthinking a worst-case scenario for fifteen minutes. Try to notice the physical symptoms that come from overthinking like back tension or stomachaches. By realizing that you are overthinking too much, you can catch yourself better and try to stop.
Be cautious of what your thoughts are telling you. If your thoughts are saying that you are a bad student, change the thoughts and think to yourself, “I am noticing that I am thinking I am a bad student.” Observe your thoughts instead of believing that they are true. Try to challenge your thoughts and see if they are true and what would happen if it was true. For example, if you are thinking you are a bad student but you look back at your latest grades, you are clearly not a bad student. If you realize that your thoughts are true about being a bad student, then you need to tell yourself to push harder to acing your exams.
If you really feel like these thoughts are not going to go away any time soon, set a timer for how long you are allowed to overthink. Tell yourself gently that you are only allowed to overthink for another ten minutes and then find an activity to distract yourself with. If you continue with your overthinking for a long time, it will be easier for your brain to return back to overthinking later.
We tend to overthink because we want everything to be perfect. We do not want to miss any mistakes we could make. We need to accept that no one is perfect and that anything we create will also not be perfect. Instead of overthinking, take more risks and do what feels right to better enjoy the opportunities that you take.
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