overthinking habit
Mindfulness,  self-care

Break the Habit of Overthinking!

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Thinking before you take action and reflecting on experiences are both important and proper ways to manage daily life. You should always consider the cause-and-effect aspects of decisions you make as well as analyze choices afterward for their merit. Essentially, thinking is a very important job, but overthinking causes problems and can become a habit.

Principal Causes for Overthinking

Overthinking doesn’t happen for no reason. Traits or experiences that cause disruptive thoughts often trigger it. Some of the chief causes include:

  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Perfectionism

When abuse or neglect occurs, it can trigger obsessive thoughts about what’s happened in the past and whether it may happen again and, sometimes, alter the way our brains develop. Living with anxiety and high levels of stress can also cause routine overthinking. Perfectionism and wanting everything to be just so can easily create an environment for overthinking since nothing is ever perfect in the end.

These triggers, and others, can create an environment for thinking about things so much that worry creeps in and before long, everything feels overwhelming. Instead of using healthy analytics, the mind goes beyond into the realm of doom and gloom. 

Overthinking May Become a Habit

Over time, thinking and re-thinking about the past, the present, and the future can become a habit. In some ways, overthinking seems to bring a bit of control to someone worried they have none. Constantly thinking about something can mimic taking charge and preparing for all the scenarios, but overthinking can include leaping to worst-case scenarios which rarely happen. That’s because overthinking is rooted in fear. Being afraid can include worries about:

  • Making the wrong choice
  • Reliving a past trauma
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Not having what it takes

You Can Break the Overthinking Habit

Like any habit, overthinking can be overcome. Awareness is the first step. Recognizing that overthinking has become routine and disrupting it helps. Once you’ve seen the pattern of overthinking, you can interrupt it and replace it with new, healthier habits.

In the beginning, you may not keep overthinking from creeping in. That’s normal! It takes time to stop reverting to old patterns. Take your time and don’t worry if you can’t banish overthinking immediately. Simply recognizing you are overthinking and trying to shift your mind is a great beginning. Over time, you will discover new ways to distract your overthinking mind and engage in a more realistic thought process.  

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Dominique

This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.

Break the Habit of Overthinking!

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