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How To Stop Overthinking? A Few Tips To Help You Calm Your Mind

My thoughts are often so loud, messy, and tangled that they often keep me from falling asleep (unless I’m super exhausted), and even when I manage to do so, they often wake me up at 4 am.

I tried a lot of different things to silence them and make them disappear into thin air.

I’m also a worrier and perfectionist by nature so this means I stress a lot about all the unresolved ideas and issues in my head.

I think you just can’t tell your brain to stop thinking if it’s organized that way. Even less to turn it off. If someone managed to do it, please let me know!

What we can do though, on the other hand, is we can stop listening to our thoughts so much and give them much importance by making them more discreet or redirecting them.

We can also learn to turn our focus and mental energy toward other things.

Here are a few of my best tips to do just so.

1. Redirect your thought to something else (e.g: a distraction)

It all starts with this.

For you to get out of your head and out of yourself you need to bring exterior factors to the mix. Focus on the exterior environment as opposed to your inner world.

The following three tips should guide you on how to do that better.

2. Put the focus on something outside oneself (a person, an object, an element of Nature)

For example, focusing fully on others and listening carefully to someone else takes us out of our own heads.

You can also practice contemplation, mindfulness, or guided meditation, especially the one that uses white noise and beautiful natural sounds. This way your senses are focused on something else, something exterior.

Try to schedule time slots where you try to be aware of your surroundings.

Learning meditation and mindfulness can be really tough at first. But I believe it is something that is truly worth spending your time on. In the long term, you’ll see huge benefits from better focus to being more present and self-aware. Three qualities that definitely go a long way in helping with overthinking

3. bring the attention back down to one’s physical sensations (being in the body)

This can be done through activities that require great focus and concentration: sports, artistic creation, or through manual activities: gardening, cooking, DIY, and small routine tasks.

The idea is to occupy the hands or the body whole in a task or activity.

In this sense, a workout is a great way to bring your attention back to your back.

Physical activity releases endorphins which make you feel crazy good and overall more focused on the feeling rather than the thoughts.

Sometimes, a walk in the middle of nature is enough. And if you can combine nature and sport, it’s a winning combo

4. Channeling thought into something creative and constructive (creation)

May often walk hand in hand with the previous one but only focuses on creation.

Immerse yourself in creative work that both demand your full concentration but also pleases your senses.

This point is very important.

Practicing something that brings joy to your senses makes you more present in the moment and in the feeling. You’re more focused on the sensations invading your body as opposed to the ideas trying to pop their head into your mind.

So find something creative and constructive that works for you. It could be both creative and physical, a work of labor. Whether it’s writing fictional stories, dancing, coming up with new recipes to cook (work for me!), or flipping furniture, to each its own.

A couple of other things that work for me:

  • The 5-5-5 rule: If it doesn’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter now. Use this to gain perspective, when worrying about the little things. I take it a step further by asking myself if it’ll matter in 5 days or 5 weeks.
  • What if: Instead of thinking “what if it goes wrong?”, and focusing on the worst case scenario, flip it over and try to think of what if it’s okay and all the different ways it can be okay.
  • What’s the worst case scenario: this is great if you’re also a worrier and a bit of a control freak like me. Think of the worst thing that can happen, then decide if its really that important. You’ll often find yourself realizing that even if the worst happen you actually have all the tools and skills needed to deal with it.

I sincerely hope, these few tips will help you calm your mind or at least redirect your restless mental energy toward more constructive and joyful things.

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