Overthinking

If you deal with overthinking, here are some strategies I have used over the years to avoid those rabbit holes our brains like to create.

Active Countermeasures

When you notice you mind wandering down a dark path of crowded negative thoughts try these:

Combat Breathing – 4x4x4

  • Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  • Breathe out of your mouth for 4 seconds.
    • This will slow down your heart rate, balance out your cortisol levels, and temporally suppress the thoughts you were having; leaving room for clarity.
  • To simplify, take one big deep breath being conscious of your inhale, hold, and exhale.

Ground Yourself

  • Assess where you are. Examples:
    • I am in my house that is located on this street.
    • I am in my living room.
    • I can see the sun is shining. I can feel the heat on my skin.
    • My feet are planted on the ground.
  • This will allow your brain to reassess threats and temporally suppress the thoughts you were having leaving room for clarity.

Workout

  • Do some form for physical exercise, even if it’s brief (moderate to high intensity).
  • This is a way to use a physical activity to overcome a mental problem.
  • This will activate your reward system, producing endorphins that can create a joyful experience.  

Focus on the Facts

  • Stick to what you know is true about the situation you are dealing with.
  • Our brains will fabricate false ideas, so it’s important to fact check them!
  • Make a list or journal about how you are feeling in the moment, and then note the facts of the what’s stressing you below.


These are just a few steps you can take to address your overthinking. When down in the moments of mental chaos, overtime you will develop a habit subconsciously, so you will automatically resort to one of these strategies.

Leave a comment down below if of these strategies has worked for you!