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Your Key to Calm: How to Stop Overthinking and Worrying

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Last updated on May 18, 2019

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Overthinking. Overanalyzing. Worry.
Ugh, be very careful, all of the above are just terrible to deal with and they can completely consume your thoughts and make you believe certain things that aren’t real.
So, how to stop overthinking and worrying?

First, let’s take a look at examples of overthinking and worry.
Overthinking and worrying comes in many forms.

Do you find yourself lying awake at night because you can’t stop thinking and worrying about what happened yesterday, today, or even about something that has not yet happened and probably never will?
Then you might be an overthinker.

Another common example of overthinking that many of us do is where you may exchange some words with someone and then go home replaying that conversation over and over in your mind. You keep thinking about what you could or should have said instead of something else or you replay certain parts of the interaction and worry that you came across as too strong/too weak, you get the drift?

Because ridiculous thoughts are endless. And the accompanying worrying is not good for you.

Another example would be that you perhaps find yourself experiencing a form of discomfort in your body somewhere. You immediately start analyzing and making up the worst case scenarios – you must be dying or have symptoms of a terminal illness! 
In reality, the cause could just be something small and natural like your body adjusting to a new medication or it may just be a natural symptom of getting older … 

AnxietyPanda Warning!
Always consult with your doctor if you are really worried!

Over-thinking, over-analyzing separates the body from the mind. Withering my intuition, leaving opportunities behind ~ Lateralus.Tool

Of course, not all overthinking is bad.
Thinking a lot about what makes you happy or things that you enjoy doing can be really good for you. Overthinking comes in many forms and there are many ways to “train” yourself to stop falling into negative overthinking and worrying patterns.

The simplest answer for how to stop over-thinking and worrying is actually quite simple, and easier than you may think:

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You need to stop worrying about things you can’t control!

Repeat this to yourself once or twice a day: “I don’t have to worry about things that I can’t control”, and every time you are in a situation where you find yourself overthinking or worrying, just ask yourself: “Is this something that I can change? Is there something that I can do about it?”
And if the answer is no, take your attention elsewhere and move on.
No use dwelling on the mistakes of the past or dwelling on what could still happen in the future.
Live for the now – your thoughts included.

Are you an over-thinker? 5 Warning Signs to look out for

Everybody overthinks once in a while, but if it gets to a point where your daily tasks and thoughts are consumed by it, you should consider doing something about it.

Here is a short video clip of 5 of the many warning signs you need to look out for.

Why do we worry?

It’s a classic case of Pavlov’s dog or classical conditioning.
Never heard of Pavlov’s dog? Learn more about it by clicking HERE.

Usually, you worry and worry and worry and nothing bad ends up happening.
You have wasted hours worrying and overthinking situations, but at least everything turned out great.

Every time this happens, your brain connects worry with a happy ending, thus you want more of it on a sub-conscious level.
Consciously, you may be telling yourself that worrying motivates you to do something about a problem or that worrying is a way of showing someone that you care or even that worrying helps you to solve your problems.
All of these thoughts need to be re-trained as soon as possible whether via professional channels or self-help attempts.

Overcome overthinking with these 6 handy tips

Be Grateful

This is probably the simplest and most effective step to not only help you stop your overthinking and worrying but to also help enrich your entire life and perhaps those of the people around you as well. Attitudes can also be contagious, you know?
We often take so many things for granted not realizing that there is always someone who is worse off than ourselves.
A simple “thank you” sent out to the universe will attract goodness to you and perhaps bring you into a situation where you will be fortunate enough to help uplift another person or persons in their struggles.

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Give thanks, even for the things you don’t yet have, but would like to have. Say thank you as if you have already received it, on a daily basis, and watch what happens!

Live in the Moment

We often fall into the trap of pondering for hours on how we might have done something that happened in the past differently or about what the outcome of a future event might be.
It really does us no good if these thoughts cause us any stress.
Of course, it is perfectly fine to reflect on past and future events that make us happy and content with our lives, as this breeds positivity.
A positive attitude brings much more joy to your life than the other way around, right?

Ask yourself, “Will it matter a year from now?”

This could go two ways.
It will help you to stop worrying about the little, mundane, every-day-life things that you beat yourself up about.
But, it could also make you worry more about important things that will be beneficial for your well-being in the future if you implement the necessary changes now. It’s a win-win, really.

You can also try approaching this the other way around.
Try to think about something that you were worrying about a year ago. Can you still remember? Does it matter now?

Don’t try to read minds

Don’t assume that you know what others are thinking.
This is where your own thought-monster will come out and take control of the situation for you.
You will end up in a completely fictionalized fantasy world where people have said things they’ve never said or meant.
It’s bad news.
Just ask them about their intentions and if you’re too afraid to ask, let it go.
Easy as that.
Their thoughts are their own.
Private.
They are not your business to worry about.

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Accept the worry, acknowledge it, and then focus elsewhere

Don’t try to fight your anxious thoughts, ’cause if you’re gonna fight your feelings, they’re gonna come fighting right back at you with full force.
Instead, let those thoughts come and go, acknowledge their existence, thank your brain for bringing them up, but refuse to entertain them and just connect back with the present moment.

Get a second opinion

Sometimes it helps to raise your anxieties to a trusted friend or family member.
They may help bring perspective to the situation and the extra support will surely help to ease your mind.
If you’re too afraid to open up to your loved ones, open up to a professional like a therapist or psychologist.
Did you know that online therapy is also an option, and much more affordable than face-to-face consultations?

You’re an over-thinker. Now What?

So, you think you’re an over-thinker?
Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone and there are many, many techniques and solutions that will help you out if you put your mind to it.
Be wary, though. There are certain cases where self-help will not be enough and you will have to consult the advice of a professional.
You can do this online at places such as Online-Therapy.com as well.
Over-thinking can be an underlying problem of many other disorders and it’s best to cut it short sooner rather than later!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

In the words of Richard Carlson, “Don’t sweat the small stuff … and it’s all small stuff”.
Remember that.
Before you know it you will be looking back on your life and hopefully, you will be able to look back without being disappointed about the amount of time you spent worrying and overthinking things for no reason at all.

Panda-love <3

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  1. Mahin Al Banna Mahin Al Banna

    Hey there,

    This is an unique and informative article I must say. Overthinking and overanalyzing a topic is really a great problem in our life. Sometimes I can not get myself rid of a bad thinking and eventually I hurt myself with my own thinking. And it also hampers my daily work. I need to get rid of this bad habit and I think there your tips will be so helpful for me. So I will try to keep them in mind.

    Thank you for writing such a helpful article.

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Hang in there! You will get through this 🙂
      Remember you are in control of your thoughts. 
      Glad this article helped you out.

  2. Dominic Dominic

    Wow, this guide contains very useful nuggets I could apply to my own life. In my opinion, there’s really no way to avoid worrying and overthinking because every second of our lives, we’re in total control of the thoughts we’re thinking.

    One day we might be totally relaxed, the next day we’re super anxious!

    Interestingly though, as I do an introspection of my own life, I tend to overthink thoughts which have yet to manifest in real life. Like for example, when I’m planning to implement something new in my business, my emotions would be quick to tell me that it’s not gonna’ work…

    Even if I haven’t tried it out in the first place!

    It’s concerning because this worry makes me feel bad from within and in the end, STOPS me from doing what is necessary to move forward.

    As I look over your tips, I realized that I might be able to use tip number 2, “Live in the Moment”, since I’m too concentrated on the failure my plan might bring in the future.

    How about you, what advice would you give me for my situation?

  3. Akshay Akshay

    Awesome post. Over thinking and worrying are the common issues, experienced by everyone these days. I believe, we over think, because we feel that we will get some extra ordinary solution to our problem by doing so. 

    Your analysis is very well detailed, I get to learn a lot from it. Also, I’ll follow the solution provided by you to eliminate worry pattern. Worry makes us very slow, it’s harmful. 

    Thanks a lot for sharing this useful post. 

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Wow, that is so true and I agree with you when you say that we overthink because we feel that we will get a better answer to our predicament this way! 
      I’ve never thought about it in that way, but I think you might be right!
      And it’s so silly because everything will be as it should be anyway… so why worry?

  4. Pentrental Pentrental

    Great post! I know some people who are overthinkers, so I will definitely refer them to your page. Overthinking negative thoughts certainly is not a good thing, so I appreciate that you have pointed this out as well as provided ways to over come these thoughts. It’s important to be grateful, to ask yourself certain questions, to live in the moment, to remain positive. Don’t sweat the small stuff! I couldn’t agree more. You’ve provided very helpful information, much appreciated, well done!

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      So happy that you agree and really hope that your friends might find use from this post as well.
      Overthinking isn’t a nice condition to live with, and it’s important for people to know that there are simple and easy ways for them to start overcoming it 🙂

  5. Joe Joe

    Hi. I worry about a lot of things myself. And it does keep me up at night on many occasions. Always thinking about how things don’t turn out the way I expect them to or always worried about what others might think of me if I do this or do that. I find your methods really helpful and will certainly give them a try. I’ve also started meditating recently and hope that works out too.

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Meditation is another great way to calm your mind! Thanks for adding this.
      It sure has made a big difference in AnxietyPanda’s life, and I know it will for you too! 

  6. Caro Caro

    Hi! Just read your article and I recognized myself. I’m always worried about what everybody is thinking and it drives me crazy. I always excuse myself too, and I know it can be annoying for people. But it’s very hard to let go that habit but I will certainly try your advice.
    Thank you for the sharing!
    All the best,
    Caro

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Dear Caro, AnxietyPanda understands exactly what you are going through. Try not to worry too much, and remember the quote from Dr Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

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