Let’s be honest sometimes, our negative inner voice can get pretty loud. It tells us that we’re not good enough, that we’ll never be successful, or that everything is going to fall apart.
Whether your anxiety and overthinking show up as a criticism of yourself or your situation, it can become overwhelming and even paralyzing.
And while it’s normal to feel anxious at times, it’s important to understand how to handle and manage these feelings before they take control of your life.
Thankfully, there are many helpful strategies for shutting off that negative voice and calming our anxious minds. I’m going to share some of my best tips for helping you break free from anxiety and overthinking.
Together, we’ll look at how you can re-frame your internal dialog and achieve better emotional well-being.
How do I stop constant overthinking and anxiety?
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you might feel like your life is constantly being run by a negative voice that just won’t shut up.
All of us experience fear and worry, but when it becomes excessive and starts to interfere with our daily lives, it’s time to take action.
Even scripture affirms that “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
So, how do you stop the constant overthinking and anxiety? Well, the first step is to acknowledge that this is an issue for you recognizing that it exists helps you to be more aware of it and begin to take control.
Second, try to understand your triggers: what situations or kinds of thoughts bring about feelings of anxiety for you? Understanding your triggers can help you identify patterns in your thinking, allowing you to create strategies for avoiding them or responding differently in the future.
Third, make sure that you are taking care of yourself physically. Eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep will help lower stress levels and keep anxiety at bay.
Additionally, engaging in regular physical exercise can help release hormones such as endorphins that can lead to a positive outlook on life.
Is overthinking an anxiety disorder?
Overthinking and anxiety can often go hand in hand. If you find yourself caught in a downward spiral of stress and worry, it’s important to understand that overthinking is both a symptom as well as a cause of anxiety.
The good news is that, while overthinking may be linked to an anxiety disorder, it’s also something that can be managed with the right guidance and self-care practices. Here are some helpful tips:
- Identify your thought patterns: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and really look at your thoughts. What kind of thoughts triggers negative emotions? Try to take an objective approach and observe how these patterns play out in any given situation without judgment or criticism.
- Reframe your thinking: Once you become aware of your thought patterns, begin to recognize the language you use when communicating with yourself. Do you find yourself using words like “should,” “must” or “need”? Replace these words with more realistic language like “would like,” which can help put things into perspective.
- Challenge irrational beliefs: Next, challenge any irrational beliefs that may be driving your thoughts. Ask yourself if there is any evidence for it or if it’s just an assumption about what might happen then reconsider the idea based on facts rather than fear. Remember FEAR means False Evidence Appearing Real.
How do I train my brain to stop overthinking?
Recognize your thoughts
The first step to overcoming anxiety and overthinking is to become aware of your thoughts. When we can recognize that we are feeling anxious, it gives us the opportunity to stop the negative spiral before it gets worse.
It is important to try and become familiar with different thought patterns, rather than reacting automatically. Recognizing how our mind works helps us to take control of our own thoughts, instead of allowing them to take control of us.
Once you have identified your own thought patterns, mindfulness can help you gain clarity and achieve a sense of peace in relation to these feelings.
Mindfulness allows you to observe your thoughts without judgment and gives you the power to choose which thoughts you want to keep and which ones you would like to discard.
For example, when a negative thought arises, instead of automatically believing it or getting caught up in it, just observe it without judgment.
This will help you break free from any limiting beliefs that might be preventing you from taking action or making progress toward achieving your goals.
Embrace positive affirmations
Affirmations can also be incredibly helpful in shifting your mindset away from negative thinking. Positive affirmations are powerful statements that can help reprogram your brain into thinking more positively and rationally about any situation. Affirmations can be as simple as I am capable of I am strong whatever resonates with you!
What can overthinking and anxiety cause?
You might not realize it, but overthinking and anxiety can have a huge impact on your mental health. Here are some of the things it can cause:
- Constant worrying and intrusive thoughts that can be hard to turn off
- Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out
- Increased depression or feelings of worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing on tasks
- A sense of being out of control of your own thoughts
- Disruption of sleeping patterns
Anxiety and overthinking can also have an impact on physical health, causing symptoms such as increased blood pressure, headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, and more.
It’s important to be aware of the potential consequences so you can take steps toward managing your anxiety on a daily basis.
It’s easier said than done, but with some practice and dedication, it is possible to break free from the negative spiral of anxiety and overthinking.
It will take time, but by identifying when your mind is leading you down a negative path, and taking the right steps to calm yourself and change those thought patterns, you can free yourself from that cycle and begin to focus on more positive solutions.
Start by simply being aware of when your thoughts become negative and, instead of focusing on why it happened or what you should have done,
think of ways to positively redirect your attention. Speak kindly to yourself, and with patience and practice, you’ll find yourself more able to manage to overthink and recognize more useful ways to combat it.