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Stop Thinking, Start Doing Already: 10 Tips for Overthinkers to Get Out of Their Own Way

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Many people admit to being overthinkers. They become obsessed with a certain situation and feel frozen in thinking mode. This can cause a lot of anxiety and stress, plus it makes it hard to get things done! Moms are notorious for this, and it just makes life hard. (I can speak from experience, it’s hard to break the cycle for sure!)

If you’re an overthinker, these 10 tips are for you from fellow overthinkers on Reddit. Get out of your own way and start taking action rather than feeling stuck in a cycle of pondering all of life’s “what-ifs.”

1. Write it Down

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One Redditor offers his favorite solution: journaling and jotting things down. “For me, overthinking is usually thinking the same thoughts in a useless cycle. So writing down the thoughts helps me stop from thinking them again.”

This can help a ton with processing what’s going through the brain on repeat.

2. It Is What It Is

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Practicing “it is what it is” is easier said than done for an overthinker. One man reports what helps him most.

“Practicing mindfulness, self-control, and acknowledging that worrying about something ultimately will not change the outcome. I’m so envious of people who have the “it is what it is” mindset.”

3. Keep Busy

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There’s nothing like an active mind to make the days drag on and nights impossible to sleep.

One writer suggests, “get busy, get distracted, do distracting things, but also make sure you give yourself time to think about it. Otherwise you’ll be stuck thinking about it in bed and cant sleep for hours.”

4. Get Your Heart Pumping Outside

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One user has some great advice: “I know it’s different for everyone but for me, swimming, running or mountain biking or hiking has such an effect on me that it’s almost like a reset. Much of the time what ever is bothering me, by the end of a session or number of sessions, I’ve got a solution to my problem and or processed and dealt with my issue mentally.

Over the years I’ve noticed if I stop with the exercises my mind becomes messy again.”

5. Repeat After Me

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Keep in mind the following words, “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.” Every time you start to overthink remember this.

6. Take Deep Breathes

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When stuck in a loop of anxiety, it’s easy to start breathing shallowly without even realizing it. To combat this, follow this writers insight:

“Serious answer…take double breathes…like inhale normally like you usually do and then inhale once again… you’ll realise we don’t use our lungs to their full capacity…now keep it in for a 2 to 3 seconds and slowly exhale…repeat it a couple time and you’ll find yourself more calm and relaxed and less anxious.”

7. Stop Caring so Much

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In certain situations, there’s only so much you can do. In that case, try this: “Learn not to give a fu**. Honestly if you are overthinking means you are bothered too much, or even start getting paranoid. Laugh and sh** on the problem and when the time comes, gather courage and just face it.”

8. Accept What You Can’t Control

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“Trying to distinguish what you can and can’t control about a situation and getting to a point of acceptance with what you can’t control is important.” Another one that is easier said than done but very valuable as a skill.

9. Practice Mindfulness

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One man reports getting some great advice recently, “Practice mindfulness: Focus on your breath or engage in a grounding exercise to bring yourself back to the present moment. For example, you can try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique: Identify five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.”

10. Keep Your Eyes Still

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One user offer unique advice he learned. “Stare straight without moving your eyes. This overrides part of your limbic system and brain that is responsible for over thinking. Found this out last year and it has been a game changer for ADHD.

Try it next time you are overthinking. Pay attention to how much you move your eyes when you are overthinking and then stop moving them and the thoughts stop. Blew my mind.”

Need more ideas? See the full thread here.

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