Whether you’re rehashing things that happened a week ago, or you’re worrying about things you cannot change, overthinking can drain and depress you. This often automatic way of thinking makes life hard living – it’s difficult to actually do anything when you can’t shut your mind off.
Studies show that overthinking is most common among young- and middle-aged adults, especially women, although nobody is safe from overthinking – it can affect just about anyone. And once it starts, it can be incredibly hard to get your mind back on track.
Fortunately, there is a cure for overthinking: a few, in fact. Here, we share four really simple, but highly effective remedies.
1. Take a walk
When we’re under a lot of stress or we’re feeling anxious, depressed or downright angry or unhappy, we tend to overthink everything we do and don’t do. Luckily, there is an antidote to that: exercise. All studies show that exercise relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression, and as a result, reduces overthinking. So, next time you feel like your mind is going into overdrive, take a nice, long walk.
2. Start writing a journal
There’s a reason why journaling has been with us for thousands of years – it helps us understand ourselves better and keeps us more calm and relaxed. If you’re someone who overthinks everything you do, try writing down those thoughts – you may be surprised how ‘releasing’ your own thoughts into paper can help calm down your mind.
3. Take up a hobby
Often, we start overthinking because we’re… well, bored. To keep yourself and your mind occupied with useful things, take up a hobby! It can be anything – from baking and knitting, to biking and dancing, to gardening and painting. What’s important is to pick something you enjoy doing – this way, not only you’ll be quieting your mind, but you’ll be spending your time productively.
4. Talk with people
If journaling is not your thing, but you’d still like to ‘release’ your thoughts, talk with someone! Talking to your friends and family members about what troubles you or simply about what’s on your mind can be therapeutic – once you unburden yourself from persistent thoughts, things become clearer and easier. And while we’re on a subject of therapeutic things, why not try therapy itself? Sometimes, all we need is a few sessions with a professional in order to feel better.