“Does this outfit look okay, should I change again?”
“Did I sound too rude in that text?”
“I definitely failed that exam, I knew I should’ve studied more, but I already studied all week.”
“He hasn’t texted me back all day, do you think he’s mad at me?”
“I don’t think we’re going to get there on time, I knew we should’ve left earlier.”
Do any of these sound familiar?
I can honestly say that I’ve experienced ALL of these because I have the unfortunate habit of overthinking…constantly. It’s such a normal thing to overthink because well, we’re human. We have the ability to make our lives enjoyable or not so enjoyable because we’re in control of how we react to situations. Personally, whenever I overthink, I experience so much anxiety that it’s hard to control myself. Unfortunately when those times happen, it often causes arguments with the people that I’m with. I remember a time when my boyfriend and I were going downtown to see my friend’s art show. There was a certain time we had to be there because it was only open so long. We had already left later than I wanted to (so naturally I was already stressing because I’m such a control freak), then the subway stopped for a good 10 minutes because of delays. I was hyperventilating, tearing up and so irritable. Not to mention that my boyfriend is super “go-with-the-flow” so he was getting kind of annoyed that I wouldn’t just relax. But I couldn’t help the fact that I wanted to make the show on time. Looking back I can only imagine what I looked like. L-O-L.
I’m constantly trying to rid myself of this awful habit and I think I’ve come a long way from where I used to be, but it’s still difficult at times since I like to be in control. If you’re like me and are looking for a way to stop overthinking everything, the next 5 tips may help.
1) Let go
I know what you’re thinking, “this is my whole problem!!” Trust me, I know. Letting go is literally the hardest thing to do when you like to be in control. Letting go would mean that you have to be okay with how things work out, even when it’s not the way you want. I have tried for so long to make my motto “go with the flow”. I even considered getting a wave tattoo to remind me of it, but when you have a specific mindset, it’s really hard to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying being in control is a bad thing because your life is probably super organized and tidy (which is a great thing!) but sometimes it feels good to just let loose and have things happen the way they do.
2) Limit your stress
I used to be the person that stressed about everything UNTIL I found some techniques that worked to help me de-stress.
· Try starting your day with a positive thought. Waking up with a pleasant mindset will help you get into the right frame of mind to take on the day
· Surround yourself with positive and uplifting people. If you’re constantly around negative and angry people, their attitudes will start to rub off on you
· Don’t create stressful situations for yourself. When you feel a sense of stress coming on; step back, take a breath and start over
· Take breaks throughout the day!! There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re constantly on, whether that be at school, work or even at home. You need time for yourself, even if that means running to the washroom and checking your Instagram. It’s so necessary to give yourself little pauses during the day
3) Understand that you can’t control everything
I know it sounds like the impossible, but if you can really try to teach yourself that you can’t control every single thing, soon enough your brain is going to start to realize that. I’m telling you, you will feel so much lighter when you know things are gonna happen the way they’re meant to, even if it’s not the way you would’ve liked it. It comes down to training your own mind.
4) Get enough sleep
Sleep sleep sleep!! You need to make sure your body is well rested so that you have enough energy to take on the day. I’m the type who absolutely loves my sleep, so I’m pretty disciplined at getting to bed at a good time, especially if I know I have something important the next day. Remember, your mental health and physical health are connected. In order for one to be healthy, the other has to be as well.
5) Stay in the present
A huge part of overthinking is constantly worrying about what’s to come next. In the next hour, the next day, the next week, even the next year. Try your hardest to stay in the present and stop thinking about what’s to come. If I haven’t said it enough and because I’m extremely cliché, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to!! If you just have trust in that, there’s no reason to worry. So stay in the present, enjoy what’s going on around you and take in every single moment.
I hope these few tips can help you if you suffer from the unfortunate habit of overthinking. Honestly, I’m not sure if you can ever fully get rid of the habit, but something is better than nothing. Any progress you make, even if it’s a tiny little bit, know that I am proud of you.