Why do I think so much? 9 ways to stop thinking
Thoughts and worries race through your head… Although this crazy thought pattern has many names, it describes one common experience: rethinking or rethinking.
Overthinking is defined as repetitive and unproductive thought patterns. It is often a disturbing experience when the mind is overwhelmed by the idea that it is too important to rethink an existing problem. Because “thinking” often leads nowhere.
Licensed therapist Kimberly Martin says rethinking can manifest itself in many ways:
- Rumination: Do not dwell on repetitive thoughts and negative thoughts and feelings.
- Hypervigilance: Continuous assessment of potential hazard.
- Catastrophization: Assuming the worst will happen.
According to Chai Tanchanko, another licensed therapist, there are evolutionary reasons why people think so much.
“Our survival as humans once depended on our ability to anticipate danger. When our ancestors could foresee where and when their lives were in danger, they could plan a safe escape or prepare for conflict by better seizing the opportunity to see the next day.”
So rethinking was a survival mechanism that was really beneficial to our primitive ancestors. But that doesn’t seem very useful in today’s world…
“Why do I think so much?”
There can be many different reasons why a person may experience overthinking. Here are some great reasons:
1. You may experience strong emotions.
When we have strong feelings about events, we may overthink things. So, if a situation triggers a strong emotional response in you, you are likely to start overthinking it.
According to experts, some of the emotions that can lead to overthinking are: irritability, stress, sadness, excitement. Of course, these are extremely common emotions, so in this sense, overthinking is a natural response to certain life experiences. But when it becomes unmanageable and affects a person’s daily life, it can become a mental health issue.
2. It could be a sign of other health problems
Overthinking is linked to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, and eating disorders. So it’s actually a common symptom of many mental disorders. Thus, you can consider overthinking as a warning sign that something might not be right. If you think it makes your daily life difficult, see a specialist.
3. You learned while you were growing up
Some of us think too much because this thought pattern has been modeled by adults from an early age. Therefore, if you notice a tendency to overthink in the people who raise you, you are more likely to develop these thinking patterns.
4. Possible reaction to trauma
People who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events may be especially prone to overthinking due to fear and anxiety that the same events might happen again. This triggers extreme vigilance as our brain’s way of keeping us safe.
Besides all this:
- Your culture and environment may also encourage overthinking.
- Some professions require multi-dimensional thinking before acting, which can lead to chronic rethinking. The conditions of your environment shape how you think.
- Some people’s minds are programmed to jump from one idea to another without hesitation. For example, a certain type of personality that can be prone to overthinking is smart people.
Proven Ways to Stop Thinking
If you also suffer from overthinking, you can try the following tips to help ease it:
1. Watch when you think too much.
Rethinking is a habitual way of thinking that is unique to you. For example, you tend to think a lot when you are alone at home. However, realizing that you think too much is the first step to changing this behavior.
2. Recognize your patterns
Once you realize that you are thinking too much, start practicing mindfulness. Once you learn how to use mindfulness, you can begin to observe the cycle of your hyperthinking pattern.
- What triggers the overthinking cycle?
- How long does it take?
- Where do you feel it in your body?
Once you understand all the parts of your overthinking pattern, you can gently move yourself out of this overthinking cycle.
Experts recommend engaging in activities that involve physical activity when you find yourself starting to think too much. For example, you can try doing the following:
- Get up and go to another room or do something useful like cleaning the house.
- Drink a glass of water or engage in health-related exercise such as exercise.
- Dance or do fun moves like jumping.
4. Turn to Other Mindfulness Practices
Practicing mindfulness has been proven to help deal with overthinking and destructive thoughts. It can be any healthy activity/skill that allows you to shift your thoughts to the present instead of the past or future. For example, you can try doing mindfulness activities like:
- breath work
- body scan
- Progressive muscle relaxation.
- power training
5. Don’t Suppress Your Thoughts
Suppressing negative thoughts can lead to more thinking. Like someone is telling you not to touch anything. Ultimately, this will make you want to touch him more.
6. Keep a diary
Journaling is a useful tool for opening your thoughts to the physical world. Because once thoughts can be processed and released on paper. You can start by writing down your thoughts and then gradually move into a gratitude journal.
7. Change your location
Sometimes being in a certain area can make you think too much. Thus, moving to a new area or a change of scenery can help stop thinking.
8. Talk to a therapist
Regardless of what your tendency to overthink is related to, talking to a professional can help you spot habits and patterns that you may not have noticed on your own. The therapist can guide you as a neutral third eye that can help you move forward in overcoming your overthinking.
9. Be understanding
Overthinking is not a weakness. It’s a natural byproduct of being smart and living in a world full of confusing things. So be patient with yourself and don’t be afraid to take small steps to organize your thought system.
You might be interested in: Functional Thinking vs. Overthinking: Can Overthinking Be Turned into a Useful Tool?
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