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Some days ago, I found myself in a social media sharing thread and several people were asking for clues on how to control overthinking. I felt their anguish and pain. Your self-esteem and a general sense of wholeness and wellness are thrown off balance if you feel like you have no control over your own mind.
Before I gained control over the course of my life, one of my many battles was overthinking. I tell you sometimes I would overthink myself to insomnia and/or tears. I almost overthought myself to my own destruction. And like many people who can relate, I often agonized about how one could control overthinking.
What is overthinking?
Overthinking involves pondering on something over and over or dwelling on a problem for a long time without coming up with a solution. It is quite common but becomes a nuisance when one feels stuck in thoughts. Overthinking may cause you to lose the reality of issues, lose friends, or appear weird.
Most often, it makes one petty and causes you to amplify small matters or overreact over simple issues. You may be the “silent treatment” kind of partner and this is very frustrating in a relationship. During your silence, your mind is magnifying and amplifying the issue at hand in such a way that it’s hard for you to forgive and forget. You may also be in the habit of sulking for prolonged periods during which your mind is busy ruminating or arguing and this makes you appear moody.
Overthinking may also cause insomnia and other mental health issues which may interfere with your sense of wholeness and quality of life. And because of your reactions resulting from overthinking, it may also interfere with your personal and love relationships. Which is why you may need to learn how to control it.
What causes overthinking?
- Low self-esteem
- Traumatic events
- Personality type A
- Perfectionist and obsessive tendencies
How do I stop overthinking?
I read every article I could get my hands on. And practised every advice given to tame my mind and place brakes on the overthinking speed meter but to no avail. The more I tried, the more I ruminated, coming to conclusions like I have a useless mind and other self-degradation thoughts. If you are or have been in my shoes, you know how this sucks. When your mind is your worst enemy and you can’t help but loathe it.
Overthinking is not a good thing because it often results in rumination. But what about if you have tried all the techniques in the book and just can’t tame or win your mind? What if the more you try to stop, the more your mind travels a trillion miles to places you may not like?
What if it is who you are and you cannot depart from it?
I’m sorry, I may not give you a guide on how to stop overthinking in this article; I may never do so because I failed to stop it myself. There’s no way I am going to lie to you that I conquered and eliminated overthinking from my life. If you really want to get rid of overthinking, click here and learn from someone who may have an idea.
However, what I can teach you is how to turn your tears into joy. Because that is how I fought and won this battle.
How to control overthinking
When I did a series of introspection, I realized it is who I am. And overthinking is in line with my passion. I find purpose in writing. If my mind was not overactive, how else would I come up with four chapters from one single idea or concept? How else would I come up with an article from a fleeting one minute experience?
If you can’t get rid of your overthinking tendency, make the best of it. Create.
An artist is a unique and peculiar being whose asset is the mind. The reason why we always marvel and say, how on earth did he do that? Is because his/her mind goes places that other minds cannot go.
There are various kinds of artists such as those that draw, paint, sing, write, dance, act, poets, craftsmen, etc. All these are able to do special things because of a great mind. I write and that is my passion; good use for my overthinking, not so?
Using your overthinking to your advantage does not mean you will automatically eliminate the adverse effects that come with it. There will be times that you will find yourself on an undesired prolonged mind trip. It happens to me sometimes too.
And this is because while you can tame your mind, you cannot tame life situations and bad things happen all the time. So what do you do?
Take control of your thinking
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Overthinking will take you down if your thoughts are negative. On the contrary, positive overthinking will make you a legend and an achiever.
Avoid ruminating over one thing over and over again in circles. Seek, create solutions, and act on them.
Worrying has never fixed or changed anything. It’s just a pitiful waste of time. Sometimes, accept things that you can’t change and work hard to change things that are within your power.
Write it down
Sometimes, in the past, I would find myself having conversations and arguments and reasoning with a particular person in my head. And this would go on the whole day or for days whenever I think about the person and what they did. But I would find that if I got a pen and paper and wrote down my side of the argument, I would somehow relieve my mind of the pressure and create room for other thoughts. Try journaling your thoughts.
Learn to let go
This is life, bad things happen all the time. You can’t move in circles around an issue that may not have a solution. If you have no control over something, let it go. If you do have control, act on it immediately instead of planning and plotting and scheming without any actions.
Currently, I am running three blogs and three social media platforms. This is not an easy task and so I had to apportion particular days for each blog. Trust me, I have no time to ruminate. My mind is so busy coming up with articles, planning, and creating. Get your mind busy. An idle mind is a fertile ground for rumination.
Start a blog
You can do this for free with just one click at wordpress.com. You can share your thoughts and contribute positively to humanity by helping other people with your ideas. It has been proven that journaling enhances your sense of wholeness by creating a stress-free zone in your mind. And what better way is there to journal than to start a blog?
So instead of crying daily about your overthinking, make something beautiful out of it. And in whatever you do, be compassionate and patient with yourself.
I would love to hear from you, please leave your thoughts and comments below. Remember to subscribe to receive new articles in your mailbox.