Do you find yourself thinking about all the things you could have done differently? You might be thinking how to stop overthinking and relax at home. You must first realise when you are overthinking before you can stop. Here is how to tell when you are thinking too much.
- Not focusing to find a solution.
- Having recurring thoughts.
- Cannot sleep because of your worry .
- Having a hard time making decisions.
- Doubting your decisions.
How to Stop Overthinking and Relax
People who overthink may get trapped in their worries and make it difficult to take decisions or actions. It is natural to become caught up in your thoughts. Overthinking however might start to disrupt your sleep, job, relations, health, and other parts of your life. It is also linked to mental illnesses. Thus it is very important to break the cycle of overthinking.
Here are some tips to help you stop overthinking while relaxing at home.
Keep Track of Your Routine and Stressors
A little awareness and attention might help you get a hold on your thinking. Keep a notebook and make notes about instances when you worry. After some time you will start to see patterns and detect signs of worry and recurrent thinking. This will help to create a coping plan for worrisome instances.
Make a “Worry Time” Schedule
You may be consuming most of your time in thinking a lot. It can be difficult for you to completely stop worrying about future or past events. So you can set a specific time to worry and think about all the stressful instances. Even if it seems strange to pay some attention to your worry. Research has shown that it helps to stop overthinking and relax.
Following guidelines can be followed for worry time
- Set a specific time, lets say about 15 – 20 minutes
- It is advised to set worry time in evening, for example 6pm to 7pm, so that
- you can release all the day’s worry before going to bed.
- Set a fixed time for worry.
Challenge Your Thinking
You do not need to trust everything that your mind tells you. Overthinking may be reduced by questioning your worrisome and recurrent thinking . For example, look for the facts to verify if a thought is logical or useful. Such if you are thinking a lot that you might not do well in a presentation, then challenge your negative thought. Look for facts that you are well prepared for it and think alternative that your presentation will help others to better understand the topic.
Talk to a Friend
Your friends might be telling you that you think or worry a lot. Other can sometimes suggest you solutions from different perspective that you might be missing out. You can ask a close friend to think about your problem and help to give you a solution when you seem to be lost in your thoughts.
However do not discuss your problems with every friend as research has shown that discussing problems among friends can increase mental tension and repeated thinking as well.
Practice Detached Mindfulness
You may feel detached from the present moment when you are overthinking. It also have effects on mood. Detached mindfulness is a technique for stopping and taking a step back from overthinking. It allows you to be aware of the thoughts that arise in your mind without attempting to suppress or control them.
For example you may think that what if you don’t do well at your new job.
If you are overthinking you might think: you will get fired, you will not be unable to pay your bills or you will lose your house.
Using detached mindfulness to reply to this same thought
- Step back from the first triggering thought in your mind. E.g. I will not do well in your new job.
- Notice your thinking and consider yourself as separate from it.
- Allow the thought to move through you like clouds in the sky.
- Observe you thought rationally while not controlling it.
It is a “do nothing” approach, the exact opposite of coping. It is also called observing thought technique. Which is similar to just watching clouds flow across the sky as they appear and disappear without your action. For instance let the thought of not doing well to come and pass by. Acknowledge it but do not act on it.
Stop Thinking and Practise
Being Present in the Moment Mindfulness can be a lifesaver for people who overthink things. It promotes self awareness and inner peace by learning to manage your attention to the present moment.
There are different techniques to practice mindfulness and stop overthinking while relaxing at home. Some of them are
Body scan meditation
It will shift your attention from the repeated thoughts to the present sensations in the body. Hence it will help to stop overthinking. You can do it while relaxing at home.
- Get into a comfortable position.
- Do deep breathing. (Inhale slowly via mouth, hold for 3 seconds, and then exhale)
- Take notice of your body and feel yourself physically.
- Start a scan of your body and feel where your notice any tension or pain.
- Continue deep breathing. Focus your breath on the area where you feel pain. Oxygen flow will provide calmness and relaxation to the body. Grounding exercise
The five senses exercise might help you in quickly bringing awareness to the present moment while relaxing at home. It will help to stop overthinking and relax.
- Five things that you can see.
- Four things that you can feel.
- Three things that you can hear.
- Two things that you can smell.
- One thing that you can taste.
The self compassion pause
Overthinking is tiring and self critical. It will give a brief overview of the importance of self in maintaining wellbeing.
- Take a moment to pause your thoughts and actions, while focus awareness on present moment.
- Put your hand on your chest, hug yourself, or make any physical contact with yourself.
- Continue deep breathing.
- Appreciate your hard work and feelings.
- Say coping statements such as “this is a suffering” and “sufferings are normal part of human life”.
By shifting your attention inside, you may help clear your mind of restless thoughts by making a regular exercise routine. A walk in nature or nearby park can be helpful. Or you can do any convenient exercise while relaxing at home.
Focus on What You Can Control. Stop Procrastination! Overthinking is time consuming. So by allowing yourself to engage in your problems will not solve anything. You cannot control a problem by continuously thinking about it. But you can control it by planning for it and also implementing that plan timely as well. Make short term goals to avoid negative outcomes hence will help to stop overthinking.
Be Kind to Someone
Overthinking can make you irritated and feel helpless. Try to be kind to someone who is going through tough time e.g. give someone a meal. Knowing that you have the ability to help someone might help you to stop overthinking about your own problems. It also provides you something to focus on other than your recurrent thoughts.