We live in a world of reaction, and rarely do we stop to seek out the truth behind our actions. For the anxious types, each and every thought can seem like a preview of what is about to manifest in their lives. But the truth is, rarely do those anxious thoughts and continued beliefs ever come true. We push our mind and bodies to the limit day after day, and when complete exhaustion strikes we become confused as to why we feel the way we do.
The truth is that overthinking can exhaust your emotions and your physical body
I remember my old high school days where I spent many night awake overthinking about the morning exams. Little did I realize at the time I was only hurting my chances of getting the results I truly wanted. A great tennis player named Ivan Lendl once came up with a great quote that we can put towards the cycle of overthinking, and that was:
If you have prepared well, there is no reason whatsoever to become anxious
What he means is if you equip yourself with the proper tools, than you can quickly stop the cycle of overthinking before it gets going. I want to equip you with those proper tools starting today. If you begin implementing these tools into your daily life, you’ll begin to stop giving such respect to those thoughts that do nothing more than hurt you. The 3 keys to ending the overthinking cycle are:
1) Challenge Your Thoughts
Through the end the anxiety program I continuously mention the importance of challenging your thoughts. Ask yourself if you are falling into a thinking trap, what is the evidence that this thought is true, and what would I tell a friend if he/she had the same thought? Nothing ends the cycle of overthinking faster than challenging your thoughts.
2) Re-Direct Your Attention
As soon as you begin to challenge your thoughts, it’s time to turn your attention elsewhere. There’s no reason to keep dwelling over something, and looking over your shoulder to see what might happen. It’s already done, you’ve dealt with it, and now it’s time to move forward. Remember to re-ditrect your attention to something that brings you joy, whether that may be playing with your kids or pets, a certain hobby, or some relaxation time for yourself in the form of deep meditation.
3) Set A Worry Period For Each Day
Give yourself about 15 to 20 minutes each day to put all your worries on paper. The best to to set aside this worry period is in the evening before bed. This will comvince your subconscious that once this worry period is over, you can easily move on with a good nights rest. If you begin overthinking throughout the day, remind yourself that you’ll get to this worry during your worry period in the evening. This is a powerful exercise that you can begin implementing today.
Overthinking can lead to much more stress and anxiety than we truly need in our lives. In the beginning it’s a really good idea to write these 3 tools for overthinking on a sticky note or card. Carry it around with you throughout the day. When you feel like you’re headed down a path that does nothing for your positive mental and physical health, take the card out and begin implementing what’s on that card. Soon you’ll be able to switch on your three steps in an instant, and with it overcome the destructive habit of overthinking naturally.