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10 Ways to Stop Overthinking and Start Living

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.

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Overthinkers

Chronic overthinkers rehash conversations they had yesterday, second-guess every decision they make and imagine disastrous outcomes all day every day.

Thinking too much prevents the...

Destructive thought patterns

Overthinking often involves two destructive thought patterns--ruminating and incessant worrying.

  • Ruminating involves dwelling on the past. "I should have stayed at my last job. I would be happier than I am now.""My parents didn't teach me how to be confident. My insecurities have always held me back."
  • Persistent worrying involves negative predictions about the future. "I'm going to embarrass myself tomorrow when I give that presentation. I know I'm going to forget everything I'm supposed to say."
Notice when you're stuck in your head

Overthinking can become such a habit that you don't even recognize when you're doing it. Practice paying attention.

When you're overthinking past or future events, acknowledge that your thoughts aren't productive. Thinking is only helpful when it leads to positive action.

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.

The benefits of generosity

Generous people report being happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life than those who don’t give.

Generosity produces within us the sense that we are shaping the world around us into a...

Embrace gratitude

Make a list of the things in your life for which you are grateful.

Sometimes, the most important step you can take to become more generous is to consider what you already possess.

Start really small

Give, even if you start with $1 to an online charity. It does not matter what amount you choose, jump right in with something small to help build momentum in your life towards generosity.