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Five ways to stop overthinking

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

-  /  Tue, September 11, 2018  /  05:01 pm
Five ways to stop overthinking

Giving yourself too much time to make a decision, or not setting up a schedule at all, can lead to overthinking. (Shutterstock/File)

Thinking extensively about an issue or exhausting all possible angles of a scenario can eventually trap the brain in a continuous state of worry. 

Here are several tips by Reader's Digest on how to stop yourself from getting lost in a never-ending train of thought.

Be aware of when it starts 

An important first step to put a halt to overthinking is to know when you are doing it. Take note when you notice yourself starting to feel stressed or anxious. In that moment, try to stop and take a step back to survey the whole situation. 

By learning to become aware of when you begin to overthink, it will be easier to stop it from continuously happening.

Get a second opinion

If you are used to figuring things out alone, it tends to be easy to forgo the opportunity of asking for a second opinion. However, the old adage of two heads are better than one has stuck around for a reason.

Do not hesitate to talk to others about what is going on in your mind, and see what they have to say about the issue.

Read also: How stress affects your brain, and how to calm down

Try to stay positive

Often times, overthinking stems from being scared or worried, which could lead someone to think of all the possible things that could go wrong. 

When you notice this happening, try instead to picture all of the things that can go right and maintain a positive outlook.

Don't be a perfectionist

Things not going according to plan is something that everyone has to get used to. Avoid thinking that everything has to be perfect or as expected. Instead, try to find satisfaction in making progress.

Set a time limit

Giving yourself too much time to make a decision, or not setting up a schedule at all, can lead to overthinking. Without setting boundaries, you could end up viewing the situation from too many angles and imagining numerous possible outcomes, eventually stressing yourself out.

To avoid such situations, try setting a time limit about how long you have to think about something before coming to a decision. It is also possible to adjust the time depending on how big the decision is. (liz/wng) 

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