Scientifically speaking, we, women tend to overthink because we can’t help it. We have a predisposition to overanalyzing any unfamiliar situation or event. Researchers at Amens Clinic in California concluded in their studies that our brains are “significantly more active” than men’s brains.
We lose on average 2-4 hours every night due to overthinking.
November of 2017 my brother passed away suddenly in Stone Mountain, GA exactly one month before his 50thbirthday. Three months later, my father passed away 2 weeks after his 74thbirthday in Atlanta.
Uncoincidentally, I have only been able to sleep at night for about 12 nights since then.
This led me on a search to find out how to stop overthinking. My research has taken me across multiple journals, cities, consciences, and countries.
To understand how to stop overthinking, we have to first comprehend the ‘WHY’.
We overthink because of anxiety over things that we cannot control and fear from not taking action on the things that we can control. We create problems that don’t even exist. Some of us live with regret over things unsaid, things we should’ve done, things that didn’t go our way.
We let negativity and doubt creep in and overwhelm us to the point that it causes us mental, emotional, and physical illnesses. It destroys our interpersonal relationships and we allow.
We overthink the fact that we overthink and the next thing you know we’re in a full-blown anxiety attack or shit fit!
STOP! Breathe. You’re okay. This is normal.
So how do we stop this insanity?
LMFAO!!!! First of all, don’t think it’s possible to just stop overthinking. You of all people know that’s the bullshit we see in the Hollywood movies.
It’s a gradual process with multiple steps and sometimes calls for seeking the advice of a physician like I did. We tried Prozac but that seemed to my make OCD symptoms worse. We tried a couple of other medications including Zoloft, but they did nothing for my anxiety.
Finally, my awesome doctor switched me back to Paxil which I was on after my divorce in 2008. It’s been doing the trick for my anxiety and depression and I seem to be handling the overthinking and OCD better because of what I learned from my research.
I still don’t sleep some nights; that’s by choice now. I do my best writing at night. 😉
Well, let’s get into some things you do to help you not overthink so much. Shall we?
- Start every day by writing down 3 things you’re grateful for before your feet even hit the floor. I also write down 3 things I’m grateful for at the end of the day as well. You can use a gratitude journal, write it in your daily planner, use a notebook, or even put it in your phone’s notes app.
- To do list. At the end of your workday, make a list of things you need to do the following day. Write down any questions that you need to ask and who you need to ask. If there’s research to be done, write it down.
Do the same at night for your home life. Write it down. Don’t be so arrogant to think that you can remember everything because you can’t. If you could, you’d be reading a fashion, travel, or makeup blog right now.
- Avoid triggers. For this one to work, you have to come to a deeper level of understanding about your overthinking and anxiety. Pay close attention to your thought processes. When you notice things, thoughts, and situations that cause you anxiety, write them down in a journal. Periodically, go back through and read them and reflect on those situations. You’ll begin to understand yourself in a way that you never thought you would. In time, you’ll:
- understand these situations better
- learn how to deal with them better
- avoid doing the things that trigger your anxiety
- figure out how to fight the negativity with positivity and understanding
- Positive Affirmations. The Law Attraction author Katherine Hurst website using the following daily affirmations when you feel the anxiety of overthinking come on.
- “I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me.”
- “Right now, I release my obsessive thoughts and let them go.”
- “I refuse to allow my imagination to show me disastrous futures.”
- “We all live in the present moment and appreciate the beauty of what’s happening now.”
- “I am more than my negative thoughts. I can and will be happy.
- Live in the now. The most important thing I learned from all of this is that I can’t worry about tomorrow, the next day, 3 months from now, or even a year from now. You have to treat every single day like it’s your last and there is no tomorrow. Once I go through the first four items, this one is the easiest.
I could tell you to try these activities but if I do, I’ll overthink it. To put it quite simply, I’ve given you enough information and sources that if you truly are ready to overcome this disorder, you will take action. It’s out of my control. I wish you love, light, and restful night’s sleep.