3 Simple Methods to Calm Overthinking
by Tessa Brauer
Overthinking can feel like an endless spiral of possibilities, worries, and what-ifs. It can be paralyzing and prevent us from taking action or making decisions.
However, by adopting certain mindfulness practices and techniques, we can regain control over our runaway thoughts. Here are three simple methods to help calm overthinking:
Grounding exercises are designed to anchor you to the present moment, pulling you out of the past or future where overthinking often resides.
This method involves using your senses to become more aware of your surroundings.
– Identify **5** things you can see around you.
– Touch and become aware of **4** things you can feel (e.g., the fabric of your chair, the floor beneath your feet).
– Listen for **3** sounds you can hear.
– Identify **2** things you can smell.
– Focus on **1** thing you can taste.
By the end of this exercise, you should feel more connected to the present moment, and the overthinking spiral may have slowed or stopped.
Writing down your thoughts can serve as an external outlet for your internal monologue. It not only provides a safe space to vent but can also make your thoughts tangible, helping you address them systematically.
– Find a quiet space and have a pen and paper or a digital device ready.
– Write down everything that comes to mind, without judgment or the intention to edit. Allow your thoughts to flow freely.
– After about 15-20 minutes, review what you’ve written. Often, you’ll find that getting your concerns out of your head and onto paper can make them seem more manageable.
Focusing on your breath can serve as a powerful tool to bring your attention away from spiraling thoughts and back to the present moment.
**Box Breathing Technique**:
– Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes if you wish.
– Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4.
– Hold your breath for a count of 4.
– Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
– Pause and hold your breath for another count of 4.
– Repeat this cycle for a few minutes.
Box breathing can help regulate the autonomic nervous system, shifting from a state of anxiety to one of calm.
Remember, overthinking is a common human experience. By integrating these simple techniques into your daily routine, you can build resilience against the urge to overthink and cultivate a more peaceful mental environment.