How to Stop Overthinking and Overcome Anxiety Now
When you suffer from chronic anxiety or depression, overthinking can be your worst enemy. It is not easy to turn off the negative or painful thoughts, and they can lead to destructive behaviors, added stress, and a decrease in our quality of life.
Let’s talk about a few different things you can do to stop overthinking and kick anxiety as you start to experience an attack.
Set Time Limits for Decisions.
Giving yourself a limited amount of time to decide on a solution to a problem keeps your mind from spiraling out of control. Too much time can cause our brains to keep running with our thoughts until we are so overwhelmed that even a small decision feels like a life changing event.
When you set a specific time period, you are giving yourself a deadline to come up with an answer, and keeping your thoughts contained to a predetermined window of time. Your deadline can be as little as 30 minutes or as long as one or two days, depending on the problem you’re trying to solve!
Plan your Day the Night Before.
Stress happens to all of us at some point. If you are prone to anxiety in stressful situations, it is incredibly important to set yourself up for success the day before.
Give yourself plenty of time in the morning. If you run around looking for clothes to wear, making a lunch, showering, etc. in the morning it is incredibly important to streamline your routine. Plan out your outfits the night before, make a lunch prior to going to bed, etc. Anything that can be done the night before – do it! It will make your morning less hectic and give you a great start to your day.
For professional life, make a to-do list before you leave the office. Start with the task you want to do the least, then work your way down until it’s complete. Seeing a clear picture of your day written in a list can show us that things aren’t a dire as we may believe!
Give Up Control.
Overthinking is the product of trying to stay in control of everything in your life. Once you realize that things are not in your control, you can start to relax a bit more since you are relieved of some pressure.
Here’s the thing, there are hundreds of outcomes to various situations that you will encounter during your day. You have no control over the actions of other people, or the way they choose to conduct themselves.
This means we have no control over the outcome of any scenario where we must work with others! Once you realize that you can only control your own thoughts and reactions to others, you will feel lighter and less compelled to be perfect.
Remove Yourself from Stressful Situations.
There are many times when you simply can’t get up and walk out of a room in the middle of a conversation. However, if you start to feel anxiety or panic setting in, you can ground yourself (even during a professional meeting). Place your feet firmly on the floor and concentrate on your breath.
Focus on where you’re seated, feeling how sturdy and supported you are.
If you are in a position where you can leave the room, do so. Walking, even a short distance, is a great way to clear your head and return your mental state back to one of calm and protection.
Anxiety is something many people struggle with, and it is important to remember that you are not alone. Reach out to family and friends that you trust to discuss any ongoing issues, and even seek medical attention if you feel it is necessary.
The ideas above are not to be a substitute for professional help, but rather a tool to assist you with dealing with anxiety attacks. Consult a doctor for additional treatment.