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How Overthinking Affects Your Life (and 6 Ways To Stop)

Ways Overthinking Affects Your Life

4. You Can’t Sleep

This point is pretty straightforward. Your thoughts can be keeping you from initially getting to sleep or waking you in the wee hours of the morning and sabotaging your ability to rest peacefully. As many of us may know, a lack of sleep leads to so many other issues.

Now that we’ve discussed some symptoms that are present when we’re in our heads, let’s look at 6 practices to help rewire our thinking patterns.

6 Practices To Help Rewire Our Thinking Patterns

1. Engage with people that can help you rediscover your presence.

Having relationships in your life that guide you toward rediscovering your presence is priceless. The mere modeling of being on the other end of someone who knows how to tap into the present moment will, over time, shift you into a more present person yourself.

(Reminder: We do become more like the people who we choose to be around consistently. Choose wisely. Their habits will become your habits over time.)

Look for these present people in your world, value them and hang around them as much as you can.

Related: Why Your Friends Are More Important Than You Think

2. Focus on Facts Not Stories (This is a big one)

This one is pretty cut and dry. A fact is a fact. It’s “what is,” for worse or for better. A fact is the truth of what’s happening or what has happened; It’s not your assumption or story about it. A story is your creative twist and takes on a situation, which is not a fact. (Phew! Got that?)

Becoming more savvy by distinguishing the difference between when you’re reacting based on your story vs. the fact of the matter will greatly silence your tendency to overthink. 

How Overthinking Affects Your Life (and 6 Ways To Stop)
How Overthinking Affects Your Life (and 6 Ways To Stop)

3. Practice the Cognitive Behavioral Method of “Thought Stopping” (With Acknowledgment of Your Emotionality)

Finding awareness of when you begin to “go down the rabbit hole” with looping thoughts, rumination, and overthinking is key to thought stopping. What I’m doing in session with my clients who overthink is modeling thought stopping by guiding them away from their unhealthy habit of creating stories.

I do this by identifying the emotion (commonly anxiety or fear) leading the overthinking and proceeding to shut down the “story” that they’ve created, which is driving their looping thoughts. It’s as if I’m picking out weeds from the grass. I’m picking out what we need to work through (the emotion) while ditching the false story, which is often what’s creating the discomfort and pain. 

We usually are reacting more from our fear and story of what might be, rather than what actually is.

As you learn to do this with yourself, over time you will stop getting into destructive thinking loops that lead you to nowhere and you will learn to disengage from your assumptions. You will have so much more time for what is pleasant and true when your awareness increases around your ruminating habits. Discover more details about the thought-stopping process here.

4. Move your body

In order to be a healthy person, finding a way to be active and get your blood pumping is a must. There’s very few things that I’m ever going to tell you is a must, and this is one of them.

Through movement and breath, we can help difficult emotions and stress “push through” our system. Without movement, we become stagnant and stuck and start holding onto hard emotions that can literally make us sick. Move your bodies friends. It’s huge. 

Related: 9 Ways How Simple Morning Exercise Can Boost Your Productivity

5. Get Curious/ Get Away From What You Know

Whether it’s an intentional trip to a different part of your town that’s unexplored, a weekend trip somewhere new, or traveling outside of the country, please go toward the unknown.

This is important because when we go toward our curiosity, we simultaneously go away from our routine and what we know. Our presence is required when we’re not familiar with our surroundings, which automatically gets us out of our heads and into our lives. 

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Kim Egel

Kim has been a licensed Marriage Family Therapist for over 10 years (in the field for almost 20). Her private practice is based on the principles of authentic truth and overall wellness. She received her BA degree in Human Development from UC San Diego and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. As a former semi-professional track and field athlete, Kim recognizes and brings the concepts of the mind, body, and spirit connection into her client sessions. She continues to train and explore many different physical activities that keep her own mind/body connection strong. Kim’s involvement within her own creative endeavors adds to her offerings as a therapist and educator to personal wellness. Through her education, clinical experience, and personal endeavors Kim has created her unique and intuitive approach to therapy, which benefits and guides her clients' personal growth.View Author posts