You know those peaceful and serene moments, where you just seem to have no real cares in the world, and you’re completely content to just bask in the present moment?
Well, if you said “no, not really,” then you’re certainly not alone. For many of us, habitual stress and overthinking are constant companions over the course of everyday life, and in many cases it ends up being our own thoughts about things that generate a lot of the stress we face.
If you’re always worrying about the future and how it’s going to play out, or are always ruminating on the past and thinking about what you could have done differently, and are trying to weigh up all the different variables that exist in the present moment, there’s a good chance that you are going to feel pretty unhappy and overwhelmed, even if things are generally going pretty well from a third person viewpoint.
Here are a few good ways to reduce overthinking, so that you can enjoy a more positive and balanced experience of everyday life.
Rely on certain systems and services that help you to worry a bit less about the future
Since a major part of overthinking tends to be in the form of worrying about the future and trying to account for issues that might arise, utilising and relying on certain systems and services that help to alleviate some of that stress may make it easier for you to experience a bit of mental calm.
Having a good home warranty in place, as well as things like a good health insurance plan, can certainly be very beneficial in this regard, as they will help you to deal with future issues and developments as and when they arise, without you needing to be quite so nervous in the here and now.
Keep your to do lists minimal and focused primarily on the short-term
Every time you set yourself a series of detailed long-term goals, and create extravagant to-do lists for yourself that encompass the next several years, you’re basically training your mind to overthink and to be constantly distracted from the present moment.
At first glance, this can seem to create a bit of a Catch-22 situation. On the one hand, we all need to get certain things done on a regular basis, and to have a sense of the direction we want to head in, in life. On the other hand, getting caught up in this kind of ambitious and long-term planning naturally tends to generate stress, and to preoccupy our thoughts so that we find it increasingly difficult to enjoy the here and now.
A good way of establishing a bit of balance here, is to keep to-do lists, but to keep them minimal, and to focus primarily on the short term.
If you have a sense of the kind of direction you want to head in – such as being an entrepreneur, or an artist – then you already know what you need to in order to create daily habits and steps that can lead you in the right direction. And with each step along the way, a bit more of the path ahead is likely to reveal itself.
So, keep track of the things you want to get done today, tomorrow, and maybe this week. As for long-term obligations, put reminders on your calendar. But if you want to reduce the prevalence of overthinking in your life, it’s a pretty good idea to skip the long-term lists and elaborate goals.
Regularly engage in pastimes that absorb your attention
Whenever you get caught in a state of overthinking, the solution is not likely to be more thinking. In other words, you probably won’t be able to think yourself out of a state of overthinking.
So, what do you do? Well, one good option is to engage in pastimes on a regular basis that absorb your full attention, and that naturally distract you from your own ongoing thought loops and spirals.
Those activities might include anything ranging from writing, to playing sports, to dancing to music. Just make sure that you have some activities to engage in regularly that help to break the cycle of overthinking.
Unplug from the constant stream of information at regular intervals
When you’re constantly being bombarded by information from TV, from social media, from advertising, from casual gossip, and from all sorts of other directions, it’s hardly surprising if you end up constantly overthinking.
From time to time, it’s important to unplug from the constant stream of information and to experience a bit more peace and quiet – maybe while going for a stroll somewhere scenic.