How to Stop Overthinking and Find Inner Peace
Humans have this incredible ability to overcome problems, invent new tools, and communicate ideas. All of these things require us to think. Thinking plays a crucial role in man’s ability to survive and thrive, but just like any other skill, we must learn to use it correctly.
Unfortunately, many of us struggle with overthinking. We feel overwhelmed and worry about every possible detail. Suddenly, that major life event that we had been looking forward to is a source of stress, fear and anxiety.
Training your mind how to stop overthinking can help you enjoy life and finally achieve inner peace. Here's how:
14 Simple Ways How to Stop Overthinking Now
1. Find a Distraction
One of the simplest ways of how to stop overthinking is engaging in an activity you love. This could include:
- Going for a quick workout
- Tackling a new recipe in the kitchen
- Volunteering for a local organization
- Learning a new hobby, such as dancing or painting
It could be difficult to start doing something new when you are consumed by your thoughts. You can start out by setting aside a short period of time to explore potential distractions.
2. Deep Breathing to Break the Cycle
Sometimes, breaking the chain of overthinking is as simple as breathing deeply and paying attention to your breath. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by thoughts, especially if you’re going through a difficult time.
Deep breathing will help you feel centered and give you a chance to really process the problem. It may also be helpful to write down your thoughts or create a list of possible solutions to see which one will be the right choice.
3. Zoom Out and Look at the Bigger Picture
To understand how to stop overthinking, try to imagine how you would feel about the situation that’s bothering you several years from now. Will you or anybody else really care about the minor issues we experience every day? Probably not.
4. Step Back and Analyze Your Response
The way you are reacting to your own thoughts could keep you in a vicious cycle of repetitive thinking.
The next time you catch yourself going over things in your head over and over again, take note of how it reflects in your mood. What is the main emotion behind your thoughts? Do you feel guilty, nervous, or irritated?
Being self-aware is the first step to changing your mindset and learning how to stop overthinking.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
If you’re struggling with overthinking, don’t be too hard on yourself. The human brain is hardwired to perceive every possible outcome. Thinking is our greatest survival tool.
Recognizing that you have a problem with overthinking is the first step to solving it. So, don’t beat yourself up over it. Acknowledge the problem, and start taking action to overcome it.
6. Do Something Nice to Someone Else
Engaging in an act of kindness for somebody else can help you put things in perspective.
Take time to think of all the different ways you could make life easier for someone going through a difficult situation.
Is your friend going through divorce and needs a few hours of childcare? Can you, maybe, pick up some groceries for your sick neighbor?
Once you realize that you have power to make somebody else’s life a little happier, it will prevent negative thoughts from taking over.
7. Acknowledge Your Successes
If you are in the middle of your overthinking cycle, stop and write down 5 good things that have happened over the course of the past week.
These do not need to be significant accomplishments or wins. Maybe, you cleaned out your car or cooked at home instead of eating out. Once you write it down on paper, you will be amazed at how these little things can add up.
As soon as your thoughts start spiraling out of control again, refer back to your notes.
8. Stay in the Present
There are a few ways to ground yourself in the present moment:
- Get outside. Go for a walk and notice everything you see along the way, everything you smell, and everything you hear.
- Eat mindfully. Treat yourself and enjoy every single bite. Really focus on how the food looks, smells, tastes, and feels in your mouth.
- Unplug. Turn off your cell phone and computer and spend that time on a different activity.
9. Forest Bathing
Nature is one of life’s greatest stress relievers. The sights, sounds and smells of the forest bring us comfort and remind us of what’s really important in life.
In Japan, the practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is an important pastime believed to promote well-being. Now, we have scientific evidence that forest bathing provides a wealth of health benefits, including lower levels of stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Forest bathing is so effective because it helps us break the cycle of overthinking and negative thoughts. For just a short while, you can sit in silence and focus on nothing but the sounds, sights and smells of nature.
When most people search for help with overthinking, they look for actionable steps they can take today to resolve the problem. Tapping is one such solution. It sends positive messages to our primal brains and helps us shift our focus.
While engaging in this practice, we also keep our minds in the present moment, which can help prevent obsessive thoughts and fixations on the past or present.
Over time and with continued practice, tapping can help break the cycle of overthinking.
11. Declutter Your Life
The more you pile onto your plate, the more you will overthink everything. Life is an endless series of problems (that’s not meant to be depressing – it's a fact).
The question is: how many problems do you want to take on?
Decluttering your life means removing not only things but commitments that are more than you can handle. It also means learning to say no to some things in the future.
12. Take Action
If you keep going over the same thoughts again and again and can’t understand how to stop overthinking, it might mean that you are not taking concrete actions about a specific situation.
Do you keep thinking about someone you envy? Stop thinking, and get going!
Be proactive and write down ways you can reach your goals. This will help to channel your thoughts and energy in the right direction, reducing stress and improving your overall mental health.
How to Not Overthink with Hypnosis Tapping
Finding just the right balance of everything will help you learn how to stop overthinking and worrying so much, because you have the energy to face anything that comes your way.
Overthinking can be a difficult problem to overcome, but with tapping and the other solutions we’ve discussed, you can help break this overthinking habit and enjoy your freedom.