When it comes to thoughts, it’s all about perception. It’s the difference between whether you look at the glass half empty or half full. In this blog post, I will give tips on how to overcome overthinking and quiet those negative thoughts.
First, let’s talk about what overthinking is.
It’s the process of repeatedly and or obsessively thinking about an incident, relationship, a person, or predicting the future.
Now let’s talk about what causes overthinking.
In my opinion, overthinking can be caused by stress, anxiety, and unresolved trauma.
How do we overcome this?
Be in the now; Be present!
- Focus on all your senses, one at a time.
- Then focus on your breathing. Notice the air passing through your nose or mouth. (Try taking a deep breath in through your nose and slowly release through your mouth.)
- Remember, the past is already gone, and the future hasn’t come yet.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Mindfulness meditation is simply paying attention to the present moment without judgment.
- Don’t think about what may go wrong and about what’s going right.
- Don’t create a scenario that hasn’t happened yet.
- Go with the flow!
- Show gratitude for what you do have versus what you don’t.
- Heal! If you have unresolved trauma and suffer from anxiety, like me, go to therapy and work it out. Therapy has been working wonders for me. But that’s another post.
Next, on to negative thoughts…
Negative thoughts are a thought process that only focuses on the worst in situations. For example, a person that assumes or expects the bad instead of what’s actually happening. Thinking negatively is unhelpful, we know this. So what is helpful is becoming aware of the patterns that lead to this.
Types of negative thinking:
- Mind reading.
- Making assumptions about a person’s thoughts without having any real evidence to support your claim.
- This means blowing things out of proportion. For example: assuming your friend won’t like you anymore for canceling a night out.
- Taking things personally.
- For example, someone that usually talks to you is quiet today, and you’re trying to figure out if it’s something you said instead of thinking they may just be having a bad day. The moral of the story, it’s not always about you.
- Should statements.
- Imagining how you would like things to be instead of showing gratitude for what already is. For example: “I should have more friends.”
- For example, you failed a test in school, so now you assume that you will fail everything else in the future.
- What if statements.
- For example: “I’m not worthy.”
- “I’m a failure.”
- “I’m boring.”
Now that we can identify what negative thoughts are, I encourage you to challenge them. When you find yourself having one, put a gentle stop to the thought and redirect it to a positive affirmation. Also, understand that your thoughts flow freely, so don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad one. Allow your mind to do its thing but practice better ways to heal the brain.
Jolie’s I will leave you with this. Overthinking robs you of the now. Negative thoughts do more harm than good. So just go with the flow and be easy. Ralph Smart said it best: “You are not your thoughts; you are just experiencing them.” Stop and smell the roses Jolie’s.