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10 Ways to Stop Overthinking and Start Living

Plan for conscious distraction

When you know the time of day rumination will begin, you can plan to remove that spare time with an activity that engages your full faculties.

But be picky about what you distract yourself with, and make sure it fosters positive emotion and psychological wellbeing.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

10 Ways to Stop Overthinking and Start Living

10 Ways to Stop Overthinking and Start Living

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-ways-stop-overthinking-start-living/

tinybuddha.com

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Key Ideas

Over-thinking doesn't lead to insight

You want an understanding of which decision will be best. For this, you need a level of insight into what each decision will lead to. Thinking this through, however, is futile.

Acting, therefore, leads to clarity. Thought doesn’t. Why? Because you never, ever know what something will be like until you experience it.

Your decision will never be final

You must be aware that however much critical thinking you apply to a decision, you may be wrong.

Being comfortable with being wrong, and knowing that your opinions and knowledge of a situation will change with time, brings a sense of true inner freedom and peace.

Why over-thinking is harmful

Studies have shown rumination to be strongly linked to depression, anxiety, binge eating, binge drinking, and self-harm.

Keep active throughout the day

... and tire the body out. 

One of the reasons for over-thinking may be the fact that you have time to do so.

A mind rests well at night knowing its day has been directed toward worthy goals. So consider daily exercise—any physical activity that raises heart rate and improves health.

Become the ultimate skeptic

If you think about what causes thinking to be so stressful and tiring, it’s often our personal convictions that our thoughts are actually true. Ask yourself: “Can I be 100 percent sure this is true?

By seeing the inherent lack of truth in your beliefs, you will naturally find yourself much more relaxed in all situations, and you won’t over-think things that are based on predictions and assumptions.

Seek social support, but don’t vent

Research has long shown the powerful impact of social support in the reduction of stress. But even better than that is getting a fresh, new angle on the topic.

Better than confining your decisions to your own biases, perspectives, and mental filters, commit to seeking support from loved ones.

The skill of forgiveness

Forgiveness can induce the ultimate peace in people.

Forgiveness has also been shown on many occasions to help develop positive self-esteem, improve mood, and dramatically improve health. It’s a predictor of relationship well-being and marital length, and it has even been shown to increase longevity.

Plan for conscious distraction

When you know the time of day rumination will begin, you can plan to remove that spare time with an activity that engages your full faculties.

But be picky about what you distract yourself with, and make sure it fosters positive emotion and psychological wellbeing.

Get perspective

Solve another person’s problem first. 

Helping others puts your issues in order by reminding you that we all go through tough times, some much more than you ever will.

That’s not to discount the struggles you’re going through, but helping others will restore balance and harmony in your life.

"Perfect" decisions

Don’t worry about the perfection of your decisions. Be swift to move forward, even if it is in the wrong direction. Boldness is respectable; carefulness has never changed the world.

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The only way to stop identifying yourself with your thoughts is to stop following through on all your thoughts ✋ . Instead, decide to live in the present moment—where you don’t have time to think, only to experience.

4 Steps to stop overthinking 🧠

1. Raise your awareness throughout the day. 

2. When you raise awareness, immediately start observing your thoughts

3. Only limit your thinking to specific moments that you need it.

4. Enjoy your life! Let go of all your thoughts about yesterday and tomorrow. 

Observe your emotions

... without judging. However you feel is fine. Emotions are attention-getting devices that the mind uses to help you observe your thoughts. 

Notice, especially, when you don’t fe...

Notice thoughts behind the emotions

Feelings are caused by thoughts. You can access these thoughts by asking “Why? I feel this way?” 

The thoughts behind the emotion can show you your mind’s misunderstandings, because any thought that causes an unpleasant emotion is likely caused by an assumption. And assumptions can be redefined.

Channel your inner toddler

Question everything. Ask yourself what you might be assuming.

Dig deeply, and look at every facet of that assumption. It might be helpful to type or write this out.

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Write a vision

Write down exactly what you want your life to look like. Put it where you can see it every day. However, it is not set in stone. You can change it along the way.

Examine your current life

See how much of your life already matches your vision.  

You want to keep those things and remember that part of your vision is already happening.

Define your core values

Every decision you make about your life should reflect those values.

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