When You Can’t Stop Overthinking, Fight It With Self-Love

Overthinking has the perplexing ability to be simultaneously terrifying and soothing. Ruminating allows us to feel both powerful and foolish. It can feel like an out of control method for finding some semblance of control. Alas, when you take the time to lovingly interrupt overthinking, you allow yourself to live in the present without a mind clouded by thoughts of what could have been or what might be coming. 

Address why overthinking entices you

Overthinking allows you to win arguments, impress people in suites, confront authority, and enjoy a gathering—all before these events take place. When you mentally fast forward, pause, and replay parts of your life, you have more agency than when you are operating in and interacting with the chaotic world around you. However, the process of experiencing life in your thoughts pales in comparison to allowing yourself to be present. 

Often, we overthink to feel in control. There is comfort in having everything go your way or preparing yourself for the worst-case scenario. It is no question why overthinking makes such a comfortable home inside of our heads; however, identifying why and when you overthink has the benefit of allowing you to be more lovingly grounded in what goes on around you. 

Interrupt the cyclical trap

Once your thoughts choose a genre for the day, it can be tough to reroute your mind. It requires loving interruption to remind yourself that all of the stories your brain is telling you aren’t true. In order to have clean drinking water, you need a filter to catch the gunk. Your mind needs a similar filter to ensure your hours and days are not spent letting the gunk circulate through that beautiful brain of yours. Find what works for you to catch yourself before the thoughts do. 

Create mindful rituals

A loving way to interrupt the spiral of overthinking is to create mindful rituals. Perhaps when a rabbit hole presents itself on your path, you count your fingers and toes or turn on a song or notice five interesting things in your surroundings. The rituals you create will depend on what works for you and your ability to stay present depends on finding them. 

Ask yourself questions

Efforts to meaningfully address patterns of overthinking can be strengthened by an approach of curiosity. If you consistently find yourself ruminating over what you say in the presence of certain company, maybe look into why their presence causes you to feel self-conscious about how you express yourself. If you feel the need to rehearse conversations, ask yourself what would happen if you spoke from a place of more genuine expression. If you are caught in a cycle of future-tripping, get curious about what elements of your present self you would most like to prepare for the future. Ask yourself when overthinking has benefited you and when it has eaten away your time. Find your patterns, and carefully examine why these patterns came to be. Pay attention to what you are fixating on and you will find clues about what parts of your life might need a bit of extra loving attention.