1. Recognize when you are thinking excessively.
The first step in stopping overthinking is becoming aware of it. Start observing your thinking processes. Understand that your thoughts are not been beneficial when you notice yourself mentally repeating an event or stressing about things that you cannot control.
2. Challenge Your Thoughts
It is easy to let unpleasant thoughts to consume you. Recognize that your ideas may be extremely negative before you arrive to the conclusion that missing one deadline would result in you losing your house or that taking a sick day will get you fired. Before your thoughts drive you completely frenzy, learn to spot and correct the thinking mistakes.
3. Maintain Your Attention on Active Problem-Solving
Finding solutions is more beneficial than dwelling on your difficulties. Consider what actions you can take to avoid a mistake in the future. Examine what you can do about it rather than thinking as to why it occurred.
4. Engage in mindfulness
When you’re in the present, it’s impossible to think back on the past or worry about the future. Make the decision to focus more on the present moment. Like any other skill, mindfulness requires practice, but with time it can help reduce overthinking.
5. Plan Reflection Periods of Time
Long-term problem-solving is counterproductive, yet a little moment of reflection can be beneficial. You can do better in the future by considering alternative approaches or identifying potential problems in a strategy. For an example – Add 20 minutes a day to your agenda for “thinking time.” Allow yourself to worry, ruminate, or study anything you like during this time. When the allocated time has passed, move on to something more productive. When you notice yourself overthinking things outside of your scheduled time, remind yourself that you’ll think about it later.
6. Alter the Channel
It is not always a good idea to stop thinking about something that worries you. The likelihood that the thought will recur increases the more you attempt to stop it from happening. The best approach to change the channel is to occupy with an activity. Exercise, have a conversation about something completely different, or start working on a project to take your mind off the flood of negative thoughts.