Overthinking can be debilitating, and even more so should you suffer from anxiety. Aside from increasing frustration levels, judgements can get cloudy and decisions made following that may be haste or irrational. If all this feels familiar to you, here are eight tips to free yourself from overthinking.

1. Avoid regret

There is nothing about the past you can change, and it is absolutely foolish to continue blaming yourself for not taking up that opportunity 5 years ago. You win some, you lose some, and you might as well let it go. Missing out on that opportunity may have given you the chance to learn things and meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise. Think about it.

2. There is no point obsessing over the future

The future is uncertain, so you might as well embrace the unknown. Appreciate the life, people and little things in front of you now and learn to live in the moment. Shift your attention to improving what you can about yourself and focus on being better. Treat yourself and your time with respect.

Photo: Herb

3. Stop paying attention to negativity

You have no control over what could go wrong, even if you work your hardest to avoid these things. Thus, why wait? Just do what you’ve always dreamed of. You want to start a YouTube channel? Get to recording it quick. Afraid of going on that solo trip to Europe? Take the leap. All scars fade and the only one that doesn’t is regret.

4. Seek solutions for your problems

If you aren’t feeling appreciated at work, quit and get a new job. You and your partner are having problems communicating? Talk it out rationally. Instead of dwelling on the problems, use your time wisely to seek solutions. What can you do to change it? It gives you purpose and alleviates resentment.

5. Distract yourself with hobbies

Find healthy activities you enjoy to distract yourself from your thoughts. Going on social media is definitely NOT one of them. Go for a run or cycle, do yoga, take on some DIY projects, listen to motivating podcasts while you bake. The goal here is to replace negativity with positivity, which in turn will help you feel more at ease and keep the mind at peace.

6. Let go of perfection

No matter how people glamourise their lives, nothing – and no one – is perfect. Everybody has their own story. Hence, let loose and accept that things may go wrong. You cannot control everything and forcing yourself to complete a project within a ridiculous timeframe only adds frustration. There is only so much you can handle as you are only human.

7. More often than not, you are worsening the situation

No matter what it is you are going through, there are others out there who have it worse and things may not be as difficult as they seem. It’s not the end of the world nor does it benefit you in any way to be imagining worst case scenarios that could take place. Will it be worth worrying about two years down the road? No? Then, move on.

8. Stop comparing yourself to others

Everyone peaks differently throughout their lives – just because your BFF’s time is now, it doesn’t mean yours will never come. Quit belittling yourself and your successes. Accept that you have deliver your best and reassure yourself that it is completely acceptable to be at your own pace. Your time will ultimately come.

[Source 1, 2]