10 Ways to stop overanalyzing everything and finally calm your mind

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You don’t have to overthink everything, there is a way to stop overanalyzing and put those worried thoughts behind you.

“Hmm, that response was a little more hostile than normal”

“Am I walking too fast?”

“Maybe the way I worded that in those text messages was too harsh.”

Do you blow situations out of proportion and then they turn out to be no big deal? Going through all the possible outcomes for it to turn out to be nothing.

Ahhh, the wasted stress.

If you can relate to any of these, you probably struggle with overanalyzing situations.

But try not to start overthinking what that means too much. It is something that I struggle with as well.

The good news is it is part of being human. After all, we wouldn’t want our brains to stop thinking. We just want it to stop thinking all these negative thoughts.

Your brain is technically doing its job. It is trying to protect by using past experiences as a point of reference. Whether that was bullying, your upbringing, or society and its crazy standards.

It definitely doesn’t hurt to retrain your brain to think more positively and with less destructive thought patterns. To find that calmness in your own head.

There is hope my friends. We can stop overanalyzing every situation, which leads to a more happy, more fulfilling life. Which is what we’re all striving for after all.

What is overanalyzing?

Overanalyzing, or overthinking is when you worry too much about something that may or may not happen. It can be a form of procrastination as you think through different scenarios in your head.

Or it can cause you to focus on a past situation that you felt uneasy about, even though there is nothing you can do about it now. It can be a really vicious cycle especially when you analyze every little interaction or move you make.

What causes you to overanalyze?

There are many reasons why someone might overthink things. Maybe you experienced a trauma in your past relationships or past experiences that have made you more anxious.

Or maybe you have perfectionist tendencies and want everything to be just right.

Or you have a lack of self-esteem and you look for the hidden meaning in everything (which is a really bad habit).

You might even have an overthinking disorder like anxiety or OCD.

I personally believe that a lot of us become overthinkers because of the perfectly curated content that we see on social media nowadays. That is why people are craving authenticity in their feeds nowadays but it is still at the creator’s discretion what they choose to post.

We never truly see everything that is going on in people’s lives online but our brains convince us that they are perfect or have it all together.

Signs that you overanalyze

If you find yourself frequently worrying about things that are out of your control like the past that you cannot change or how your friend is going to react to some bad news, you are probably an over-analyzer.

Some signs include:

  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constantly thinking over past scenes in your head
  • Thinking of all the hypothetical situations for a future event or conversation
  • Worrying about other people’s opinions
  • Feeling like you need to have everything under control
  • Perfectionism

If you’ve experienced any of these things, you know it makes it really hard to act. You get frozen in this analysis paralysis where you’re afraid to do anything because it might prove that you aren’t perfect or that Suzie from high school might judge you.

But let’s be real. Does it really matter? No. (I know that was something I had to constantly tell myself and still do from time to time.)

However, I know that is easier said than done. When you’re stuck in that overanalyzing cycle, everything feels so real and so bad. You start going down the rabbit hole into your deepest fears and regrets. But it doesn’t have to be this way, you can get out of this cycle.

Do I have an overthinking disorder or something else?

If you’re struggling with constant overthinking, it might be a sign of an underlying mental health condition.

Anxiety disorder and OCD are two examples of disorders that can cause someone to overthink things. Having anxious thoughts circling around in your head all the time is no fun.

I am not a psychologist so I can’t make that call for you. If you think you might have a disorder, I would highly encourage you to talk to a mental health professional.

Someone that can give you the tools to cope with these things. There is no shame in asking for professional help so don’t overthink it and go for it if you have a gut feeling that you need the help.

How to stop overanalyzing

If you want to stop overthinking, there are a few things you can do. It isn’t going to happen overnight but with consistent practice, you will stop overthinking situations less and less.

And trust me, that is a beautiful thing. Then you can really be present with your loved ones and have inner peace.

Instead of being wrapped up in your own thoughts and hurting your own feelings.

1. Get out of your head

One way to stop overthinking is to distract yourself with activities that take up your mental energy.

Exercise, read, or spend time with your best friend and family. Doing things that make you happy can help take your mind off of whatever is causing you to overthink.

If you take the time to get out of your head then the situation may happen and you didn’t waste time stressing about it (and as a bonus, you prove to yourself that overthinking doesn’t help).

Instead, you had fun at brunch with your girlfriends or you escaped to a new world in that new book you’re reading.

2. Practice gratitude

Another way to stop overthinking is to practice gratitude. When you focus on the things you’re thankful for, it’s easier to let go of the things that are stressing you out. Make a list of things you’re grateful for, and refer to it when you start to overthink.

I also have this 30 day gratitude challenge if you’re interested in making gratitude a part of your daily routine. Repetition is key when you’re trying to rewire your brain and practicing gratitude is one of the easiest things you can do to get a quick mental boost.

3. Let go of the past

If you’re struggling with overthinking, it might be because you’re holding onto something from the past.

You can’t change the past, no matter how much you want to. Replaying situations in your mind, how you should have handled that conversation, or how you should have been brave and approached that guy, is just going to bring you down.

Life can be full of should ofs. If you regret something, learn from it, forgive yourself, and move on. We’re all humans, learning as we go.

You’re going to make mistakes. It is just part of life and it is the only way to grow into that awesome version of yourself.

4. Practice self-care

It is important to take care of yourself. You may be wondering how this is going to stop you from overthinking but self-care is a form of self-love. If you take that well-deserved me time, you are proving to yourself that you matter and you deserve to take care of yourself.

Which is an instant confidence booster. If you take the time to do your favorite self-care activity then you will feel better about yourself, reduce stress, and be more in tune with your needs.

So make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and find time to relax.

If you are looking for ways to incorporate self care into your daily routine, check out my self-care planner.

It has everything you need to learn how to be more in tune with your emotions and take care of yourself physically and mentally.

5. Work on your mindset

If you want to stop overthinking, it’s important to change the way you think about things. Overthinking is usually tied to some sort of self-esteem issue and typically leads you down a path of negative self-talk.

You’re trying to be perfect, make the right decision, or impress someone in some way. This can lead to irrational fears and hinder your relationships with others.

So focus on the best-case scenario. Take everything at face value instead of looking at the worst possible outcome or that hidden meaning that doesn’t exist.

Challenge your thoughts and work through them so you can improve your thought process to one that isn’t wrapped up in made-up situations or nit-picking everything you do.

Do the inner work to figure out why Suzie’s opinion matters. Confront that shadow of yours so you can fully accept yourself.

I was surprised how much my overanalyzing problems decreased when I started doing the inner work and working on myself.

6. Journal

Writing down your thoughts can help you process them and let go of the things that are causing you to overthink. When you have thoughts circling around in your mind at a million miles, it can be hard to make sense of them or to tell yourself that they aren’t true.

Journaling is a way to get those thoughts out of your brain and onto paper so you can make sense of them.

One technique is to have ‘worry time’. It may sound counterproductive but the intent is to have a designated time to worry, get all that worry out on paper then move on and not worry for the rest of the day.

It can be a great exercise especially when you’re first trying to reduce the amount of time you are overthinking because worrying is going to come naturally to you.

It is like when you’re dieting and you’re told you can’t eat the cupcake. Then all of a sudden you start craving the cupcake.

So instead of telling yourself, you can’t have the cupcake, instead, you plan it into your calorie count so it doesn’t ruin your process but you still get to indulge in it. The same goes with worry time.

7. Stop trying to be perfect

One reason why people overthink things is that they’re trying to be perfect. But the truth is, there’s no such thing as perfect.

Accepting that you’re imperfect can help you let go of the need to overthink everything.

I know when I started this blog, I was so afraid of making a mistake or that my blog posts weren’t valuable enough or my Instagram Reels were silly.

But I did it scared and slowly realized that no one is perfect. It gave me the confidence to start showing up more as I left my perfectionism comfort zone and started posting things that I didn’t think were perfect.

Stop chasing perfectionism, you can’t get better if you don’t make mistakes and learn from them.

8. Accept the things you cannot change

There are some things in life that we just can’t control. A big one is what others are going to think of you. No matter what you do, someone is not going to like it.

You could say all the right things and if someone is having a bad day (that has nothing to do with you) they may react negatively.

It is hard to rationalize that people are illogical but they are. The only person you can change is yourself.

Learning to accept these things can help you stop overthinking. Focus on the things you can change, and let go of the rest.

9. Rewire your brain:

With time and practice, you can change the way your brain responds to stress and anxiety. This process is called neuroplasticity (more on neuroplasticity from psych central).

There are many ways to rewire your brain even something as simple as video games can help change the way you think (crazy I know, don’t let my fiance know).

I think positive affirmations can be a powerful tool because it is a way to consistently tell yourself that everything is as it should be. It is something that you can add to your daily rituals and the first step to a more positive outlook.

10. Make a decision

When you’re feeling stuck, try to make a minor decision about something. A lot of the time it is easier to make a small decision and then it can give you the momentum to make a bigger decision.

I always worried and overanalyzed so I could avoid making the wrong decision but the bad thing is that it led to not making decisions at all. I was the most indecisive person you knew because I was so worried about the consequences of that decision. The funny thing is that not deciding was worst because it led to a lot of frustration in my relationships because I relied too heavily on the other person to decide for me, which isn’t fair to them.

So listen to your gut feelings, make the decision that feels right to you, and don’t regret it.

11. Just Breathe

Whenever you start to overthink, one of the best ways to calm down is to take a few deep breaths. This will help you relax and focus on the present moment which can lead to better decisions. It really is a little thing that can make all the difference.

So the next time you are making catastrophic predictions about the way your boss answered your ping, take a moment to pause and just breathe.

If you’re struggling with overthinking, know that you’re not alone. As human beings, everyone overthinks something at one moment in their life. However, if you’re a chronic overthinker there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a way to calm that worried mind of yours.

There are things you can do to change your thinking patterns and live a happier, more fulfilled life. Follow some of these tactics and you’ll be able to make better decisions and stop getting stuck in the vicious cycle of what could go wrong.

Until next time,

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10 Ways to stop overanalyzing everything and finally calm your mind

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