How To Stop Overthinking

How To Stop Overthinking

Living life well and enjoying happiness can be undermined or undone by many negative forces.

One of the more common happiness killers, is worry and ruminating thoughts.

It’s really hard to be happy if your mind is constantly racing, and especially if those racing thoughts are unhelpful and negative.

All of which means, that if you’re wanting to enjoy more happiness, learning how to manage this overthinking can be very helpful …

via Psychology Today by Carla Shuman


  • Many people experience rumination, or overthinking: thoughts repeating over and over in your head.
  • Trying to distract yourself or offering yourself reassurances will not make them go away.
  • Instead, you need to practice thinking about your thoughts.

Source: Khosro/Shutterstock

Most of us have felt stuck in our heads, replaying certain situations or interactions in our minds, wondering about what we should do, and weighing all the options. This is called overthinking. When working with clients who engage in overthinking, clinicians commonly use the term “rumination.” This refers to the practice of spinning thoughts in our head repeatedly, without ever coming to a conclusion. But whether we like to call it overthinking, rumination, or obsessive thinking, it’s not productive, and it can affect our mental health. Although many researchers have studied overthinking, and clinicians assist clients in attempting to overcome this challenge, it continues to plague millions of people, because when we are in the midst of it, stopping seems impossible.

Cognitive behavioral therapists tend to agree that strategies such as distraction are only a temporary solution. We can shift our focus from the topic on which we are ruminating, but inevitably our mind gravitates back to it later. Therefore, this is not a long-term solution for breaking the cycle of overthinking. Contemporary research and clinical practice emphasize the importance of mindfulness, which actually changes the way that we think about our thoughts. That’s right, we can think about the way we think, and in doing so, we will think less about thoughts that result in emotional distress and prevent the constant spin cycle that our brain creates when we overthink.

Mindfulness is the process of acknowledging thoughts, allowing them to exist in our brains, and letting them go. Often, when people think of mindfulness, they are thinking about mindfulness meditation, which is a wonderful practice, but is a specific example of how to incorporate mindful practices. We can engage in mindful thinking whenever thoughts come to us and we are tempted to run with them and imagine all sorts of scenarios.

For example …

… keep reading the full & original article HERE