Guide helping people who struggle from overthinking.
| Matthias Fiore|
Many of us have a hard time sitting by ourselves alone in our room and reflecting upon our actions. Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves and end up overthinking a situation too much. These destructive thought patterns stem from intense periods of loneliness or early childhood trauma. When this isn't the case, overthinking develops at a later stage in our life whether it's being decisive with finalizing important decisions or whether it's obsessive-compulsive thoughts on an act you've done that you thought you could do a different way. Here are some direct and straight-to-the-point ways to improve your thoughts and not be so hard on yourself:
Learning to sit back, and reflect on yourself and why you're thinking these thoughts is one of the first steps. Look at how you're responding to it. The way you respond to your thoughts may lead to a cycle of rumination. Rumination is when you have obsessive thoughts which gives you a disability to think and process emotions, alongside a prolonged period of depression. Impulsive behaviours, sleep problems, aggravating anxiety, and stress are also a factor of this.
Distract yourself: Whether it's seeking company from friends, watching videos, or working would be beneficial to you. The key thing to understand here is not that it's a way to not make you reflect, but rather a way to keep your brain occupied with better tasks and not dwell on the past or actions that have already been done. Finding a hobby like reading writing and physical activities is super beneficial as well.
Meditation: Some people say that meditation does not work, but you are simply just not doing it correctly. If you follow a tutorial on meditation it will help you clear your mind out and stop the repetitive loop of thoughts.
Taking action: Speaking to people that you care about whether it's family or friends is a very good way to help. It is important to let your partner know about your overthinking and they must understand that reassurance and helping reflect on your thoughts is important. What must they know? How do you fix it? Giving time and speaking about it, could help fix the overthinking.
Understand your triggers: Why are you acting that way? Is it controllable? We find ourselves battling things that aren't controllable. Many of us seem to be stuck in the past and the way we can fix it is by believing in ourselves and setting our expectations:
Work on enhancing your self-esteem: The reason you may be hard on yourself is due to a lack of self-esteem, this can stem from many reasons, but you can focus on the controllable things. Set yourself expectations, and complete your goals. Distract yourself from studying and researching knowledgeable subjects. We always try to seek perfectionism which is a reason for our suffering. Nobody is unattractive, everyone has their own thing. Look at yourself and say: "I have blonde hair, that's unique!" or "I am tall that's rare!" or "I know how to love people that are rare!" or "I have a special skin tone" or even "My eyes are a nice color" or "My body has its special characteristics" even "I am quite tall for the average person". Stuff like this simply makes you feel better and forget about your problems, think about what you have that most of the population doesn't. If you still find yourself unsatisfied, work on yourself! Find a sport, or do daily exercise! Set yourself a goal every day like 10 push-ups a day, and keep the discipline up until you start being able to do more! Reward yourself for these simple activities. We also tend to be so hard on ourselves and tend to criticize ourselves and be so harsh, you should instead praise yourself for being a good friend or for being so good to yourself. Learn to appreciate the world around you, learn to feel pride in your goals, and do something that other people don't do! Thank yourself for working so hard. Forgive yourself for these mistakes, in today's world, overthinking won't ever fix a thing. Overthinking just makes a situation worse, and makes you not appreciate the moment! Let it go. You made mistakes, so what? You are still a beautiful person and many people appreciate your presence. You can help someone's day by just being in it.
Practice: Be more positive, think on the bright side. Dwelling on negative thoughts won't ever make them any better. You could also write down your thoughts and what bothers you, if it's a person who doesn't appreciate you, who cares? Many more people deserve you and your presence.
Gratitude: In psychology, practicing gratitude can increase our happiness.
What is gratitude? It is the quality of being thankful, appreciative, ready, and also kind enough to help someone and show support back as reciprocation.
This can help us contextualize our frustrations and help us connect more to ourselves and what we love. Be grateful for the people who show you love every day, tell your parents thank you or give them or your friends a compliment and see how they react! Give weird compliments, like complimenting someone's shoes, eyes, or foot, no one ever gets that compliment, but it's quite funny. Learn to laugh with others and find fun in yourself. Everyone has their kind of humour and that's what makes us happy!
Think of what can go right: Visualize all the things that can go right in your life and stop paralyzing yourself with stupid emotions, all these negative emotions may stem from a single fear you have to multiply but that shouldn't stop you from thinking about what could go right.
Acceptance: Accept your best, accept that you tried, except that you even gave yourself a right to feel this way. You can't predict the future; you can only make yourself feel worse. If you've failed, who cares, try again. If you're too scared of aiming big, then you're not aiming high enough. Everything should scare you but if you're disciplined enough to even think that far and try your best, nothing can stop you. Go for that subject, go for that role, try it, if it goes bad, it doesn't matter, you have learned from it. If you have fears in your relationship, change your views, and feel more confident in yourself, speak better to yourself. Don't just dwell on how another person feels about you, if they were good enough, they'd be able to talk about it properly, open up to them, and if they leave then they weren't right for you. If you're feeling inadequate or that you're too harsh on yourself, you shouldn't. Your parents worked so hard to get you and you are incredibly lucky to have been born. You are so beautiful and have your special characteristics which make you unique and settling for less won't make you feel any better. You deserve all the support you need but you need to support yourself otherwise you won't get it. Learn to live on your own, learn some skills, learn to cook, learn to clean, learn to drive, learn! Strive for achieving goals and learning. Don't keep feeding your negative thoughts more time, you have better things to do! Improve yourself, the cycle will just keep on repeating. Find something else to do. You are in control of your thoughts and don't let anyone make you feel that you are not good enough or that you're doing anything wrong. Don't let anyone make you feel down just because you need boundaries and time to yourself. Don't let anyone disrespect you, and most importantly, don't let anyone make you feel like you should apologize for your feelings.
Give yourself a timer, about 10 minutes or the night, to think about your actions, and then the next morning, wake up and do something good for yourself. You can allow yourself to feel but limit them! You have the present to worry about. What happened in the past stays in the past. If you know that you are a good person, then don't let anything tell you that you're not. Question yourself on what you like and dislike, and fix them.
Identify what you truly want, and identify whether it's attainable and in your control. Take a rest, recharge, and care for yourself even more. The most important thing is to be patient with yourself, change won't happen overnight but it will get better. If you did something and tried so hard and it didn't work, try again.
Don't be so hard on yourself. You are worth it and you are deserving of love. Understand, how important it is to love yourself before anyone can love you.