How to stop overthinking: 3 strategies

Image by Elia Pellegrini

We all know the carousel of thoughts, which usually starts exactly when we want to sleep. We imagine the worst horror scenarios and catastrophize every single situation. Unfortunately, worry and fear of the future are part of everyday life for many people. Once you’re in it, it can be hard to get out of it. This is why we have three tips for you that can help you worry less.

Most of the worries we have center around possible scenarios in the future. You probably know that – “What if…?”
The brain quickly starts to come up with a lot of answers that we don’t like, scare us and don’t let us sleep. But how will we know the outcome? Nobody can see into the future. (at least we don’t know anyone :))

But why do we worry so much anyway? Well, our brain is responsible for our survival. Only by regularly evaluating possible sources of danger it can ensure our survival. When we’re worried, we have the feeling to have everything under control and the hope to find a solution for our problem. But let’s be honest with ourselves – how often have days of ruminating about a possible outcome of a situation helped us find a solution?

Just like the future, the past can also give us a headache. Situations that could have been handled better, a conflict that shouldn’t have been started, an opportunity that should have been seized. But the past is the past. This moment cannot be repeated. And every moment, bad or good, has made us who we are today. So why should we worry about it?

1. Come into the now

As soon as we worry or think about the past, we are no longer in the now. In such situations, we recommend that you consciously bring your attention to the present. Notice your surroundings – what do you hear? How does the ground feel under your bottom/feet? Notice how your upper body rises and sinks when you breathe. Relax your muscles and feel where they are tense. Notice with each of your senses. When your head comes around the corner with a new thought, say to yourself, “Stop!” and imagine the thought moving out of your head like a cloud in the sky. In our app Evano Everyday, we have short videos for you that aim to bring you into the present moment. Why not give it a try?

2. Leave the thoughts out of your head

Don’t keep your thoughts in your head. Let them out. Talk to a good friend or write them all down, unfiltered. Take your time, turn off your cell phone and start writing down everything, really everything. What are you afraid of? What feeling is the strongest? Why might you have these worries?
Recent studies1 found out that writing down our feelings can help us better manage stress and overthinking.

3. Make a decision

Our worries and fears can paralyze us. We are trapped in our thoughts and do not know what is right and what is wrong. In such situations, it has been proven to make a decision. Ask yourself: Can I do something right now to solve the problem? If your answer is no, then redirect your focus to something else and use your time for something positive. For example, go for a walk, exercise, do something creative, or get together with friends.
If the answer to your question is yes, get active and address the problem. Even if it scares you, you can do it!

We really hope that our tips can be of some help to you. Please remember, all feelings want to be heard. It’s okay. Accept. The most important thing is always not to repress anything.

Did you now? Our app Evano Everyday can help you find your inner peace and be happier. All you need is a few minutes a day and the curiosity to work on yourself. Discover small daily impulses of mindfulness and simple exercises for less stress and more joy in everyday life. Available for iOS. Just click on the image below to get the app.