Tuesday, September 20, 2022

How To Reduce Stress And Overthinking

What Is Focused Meditation

How to Stop Overthinking | Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Meditation is the practice of becoming self-aware through breath and attention to connect the mind, body, and spirit.Meditation as a whole can change the structure and function of our brain. That being said, focused meditation or a guided meditation for focus is by far the best one. Meditation for focus and concentration can come in different forms. Experienced meditators use the following:

  • Mindfulness this meditation involves us to be focusing on your breath and observing thoughts. This allows us to focus on our feelings without becoming too absorbed in them.
  • Concentrative a meditation that gets us to focus on a particular point be it a word, breath, object, or a point in the space youre meditating. This is meant for us to pay attention to that point and prevent our minds from getting distracted.
  • Moving this meditation involves gets us to focus on slow and repetitive movements similar to yoga or tai chi. The goal is again to be focusing on your breath while relaxing your body and mind with the movements.

Focused meditation, also known as concentrative meditation, is the practice of meditating and bringing your attention to one single object. This object can be something practical and tangible, such as a mandala painting or a candle flame. It can also be something abstract, such as a phrase or a sound .

The Link Between Stress Overthinking And Emotions

Women tend to be overthinkers. For instance, a 2002 meta-analysis suggests that women are 42 percent more likely to ruminate than men are when they’re feeling down. This may be because women are more attuned to their emotions and try really hard to understand what causes them. Your individual tendency to overthink may also be linked to how you were raised. Having critical parents may set you up to do it, perhaps because such mothers and fathers try to overly stress about mistakes, according toresearch published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

No matter what causes overthinking, everyone can relate. “We spend most of our time in the past or the future,” says Hilt. “It’s very hard to be in the present moment. Our minds are always racing.”

Take my slow-pitch problem: my failure to hit the ball can be considered “choking under pressure,” according to Sian Beilock, Ph.D., the author of Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To. When you have too much time before you have to perform, the conscious mind takes over what should be an instinctive reaction and assesses every possible action or solution until it sputters and fades, Beilock explains. “We tend to think that having a lot of time is beneficial and that paying more attention is a good thing, but often it adds the opportunity for error and disrupts performance,” she says.

Notice When Youre Stuck In Your Head

Overthinking can become such a habit that you dont even recognize when youre doing it. Start paying attention to the way you think so you can become aware of the problem.

When youre replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you cant control, acknowledge that this isnt productive. Thinking is only helpful when it leads to positive action.

Related:10 Simple Ways You Can Stop Yourself From Overthinking

Don’t Miss: What To Do If You Are Stressed And Depressed

Give Yourself Permission To Take Time Away

While its great to take time away from decision-making, you have to hold yourself accountable to that decision so that you can come back to it with a fresh mind. You can accomplish this by giving yourself permission to take time away from your decision-making.

Giving yourself permission is saying, Its good to stop thinking about this so that I can revisit it with a fresh perspective. Therefore, Im giving myself permission to ignore it for now knowing I will revisit it later.

Then, whenever your mind cycles back to the problem during that away time, you can say, No, Im not focusing on that now. Ive given myself permission to ignore it until later. I will revisit it at the specified time. Im not being irresponsible.

Giving yourself permission can make it easier to ignore the problem for the short-term, especially when you know you will revisit it at a predetermined time in the future.

Keep Track Of Triggers And Patterns

How To Stop Overthinking and Reduce Stress: Science Based ...

A little mindfulness and attention can go a long way toward getting a grip on overthinking. Keep a journal and write down specific moments that cause you to overthink or worry. After a while, youll begin to notice patterns and recognize overthinking triggers before they happen. This will help you develop a coping strategy for situations you know will lead to overthinking.

Read Also: What Is The Difference Between Stress And Depression

Ways To Stop Overthinking Everything

Now that weve covered what overthinking is, what it looks like, and where it comes from, lets dive into the main event: How to stop overthinking!

If you want to stop overthinking, the key thing to realize is that overthinking is a habit. This means that it will not happen overnight and will take a sustained effort. It also means that your progress will be messysome form of two steps forward one step back.

Also, it means that theres no one size fits all formula. You will need to experiment with a variety of approaches and strategies and figure out which works best for you given the unique characteristics of your history, personality, current environment, etc.

That said, lets dive in!

Solutions Are At Hand

Try to find ways of avoiding worrying, rumination and overthinking that make you feel most comfortable.

Incorporating any routine in your life when you’re stressed isn’t an easy task, but you can do it! If you feel overwhelmed, you can always seek professional help.

If you are suffering from serious emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can find information on where to find such help, no matter where you live in the world, at this website.

The benefits of physical touch

Read Also: What Is Stress Urinary Incontinence

An Increased Sense Of Feeling

Today, work is being done to create sensory-enabled prosthetics so that amputees can get the same health benefits from touch. Psychological well-being has been shown to increase for those who used such prosthetics. Other researchers are also working on developing electronic skin technology that can feel hard surfaces, soft fabrics or sensations like heat.

Learning To Be Mindful

How to STOP overthinking, to reduce stress and anxiety

Worrying

Worrying is wanting to predict the future. It involves negative thoughts about things that might and might not happen.

– They’ll not like me in the interview they’ll not give me the job.

– I haven’t heard back from other employers. How long will I be unemployed?

These thoughts are energy-draining and distressing. They could happen to anyone under stress. But when you reach the point where your thoughts and worrying are preventing you from doing what you want to do from living your life to the fullest then you should take action.

Recommended Reading: Is Genexa Stress Relief Safe

Become A Person Of Action

When you know how to get started with taking action consistently each day then youll procrastinate less by overthinking.

Setting deadlines and a good tone for the day are two things that have helped me to become much more of person of action.

Taking small steps forward and only focusing on getting one small step done at a time is another habit that have worked really well.

It works so well because you do not feel overwhelmed and so you do not want flee into procrastination or lazy inaction.

And even though you may be afraid, taking just a step is such a small thing that you do not get paralyzed in fear.

Massage: More Than Just Relaxing

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that full-body massage relieved pain and increased mobility in patients with arthritis in their knees. Therapeutic touch has also been shown to decrease pain and increase the quality of life for fibromyalgia patients. Not just those getting a massage see benefits, either: Giving a massage also offers positive improvements to personal well-being.

The benefits of physical touch

You May Like: Can Stress Affect Blood Sugar Levels

Tip : Practice Mindfulness

Worrying is usually focused on the futureon what might happen and what youll do about itor on the past, rehashing the things youve said or done. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present. This strategy is based on observing your worries and then letting them go, helping you identify where your thinking is causing problems and getting in touch with your emotions.

Acknowledge and observe your worries. Dont try to ignore, fight, or control them like you usually would. Instead, simply observe them as if from an outsiders perspective, without reacting or judging.

Let your worries go. Notice that when you dont try to control the anxious thoughts that pop up, they soon pass, like clouds moving across the sky. Its only when you engage your worries that you get stuck.

Stay focused on the present. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment.

Basic mindfulness meditation

Click here for a free mindful breathing meditation.

Use Positive Daily Affirmations For Anxiety

Stress management : 7 effective ways to stop overthinking ...

Affirmations are statements that help you overcome negative thoughts. They are particularly useful if you want to learn how to stop overthinking at night or want to set yourself up for a great day first thing in the morning.

Here are some good affirmations for anxiety:

  • I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me.
  • Right now, I release my obsessive thoughts and let them go.
  • I refuse to allow my imagination to show me disastrous futures.
  • We all live in the present moment and appreciate the beauty of whats happening now.
  • I am more than my negative thoughts. I can and will be happy.

You can also design your own positive daily affirmations. There are no set rules for the form they must take. In addition, try saying them into the mirror, looking straight into your own eyes. And smile, if it feels natural.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure

Take A Step Toward Solving A Problem

Look for problems, challenges, or worries that keep coming up.

Take one or two of the challenges on your list and determine one step that you could take toward solving that problem. Its important to note that you arent fully solving the problem or developing the ultimate solution. You are simply looking to take one step forward.

Lets say that you are concerned about arranging childcare for the upcoming school year. Thats a big problem to solve, and it would be impossible to solve in one single step. An example of a single step toward solving that problem could be calling childcare agencies in the area to find out more about their school year plans, posting in a local Facebook group to learn more about what other people are doing, or calling a former nanny to see if they are going to be in town for the school year.

I understand that these are really small steps.

That is the point.

You are looking to move in the direction of a solution.

Often when we are worried about something, we spend a lot of time thinking about the problem, but we take very little action toward a solution.

The goal of this activity is to start taking action.

Try To Take Things Less Seriously

When you overthink, its easy to start taking everything too seriously and this can sometimes lead you down a dark path. It is so important to remember that life is not always serious & you need to learn how to laugh at yourself from time to time because laughter really does help with so many things.

You May Like: How To Prevent Stress Headaches

Dont Take Everything Personally

When you overthink, you frequently take everything personally, which is not ideal. People think and act differently than you, so dont get upset or angry when someone does something that offends you because no one intends any harm.

Remember, you cannot control everything. You live in a world where there are so many things that you cannot control. For example, you cant always predict what other people will say or do and you may not even know why theyre saying/doing it because everyone has different upbringings which means everyone will think differently than the next person.

Other Types Of Relaxation Techniques

How to Stop Overthinking Reducing STRESS and ANXIETY

Many de-stressing therapies have common goals. They aim to help you pay attention to your body and focus on aspects of your breathing or other exercises that will lower your blood pressure and increase feelings of well-being. You can try:

  • Biofeedback, which measures body functions and helps you learn to control them.
  • Self-hypnosis, in which a practitioner teaches you to relax when you hear a phrase or get a nonspoken cue.
  • Massage therapy, which can include Swedish, sports, Shiatsu, or other types of massage.
  • Music therapy, when a therapist uses music to accomplish health goals.
  • Art therapy, which uses art to enhance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  • Aromatherapy, or using essential oils as a type of treatment.
  • Hydrotherapy, which can include soaking, compresses, or even steam baths.

While relaxation practices are mostly safe for heathy people, there have been reports of negative impacts, such as increased stress, bad thoughts, or a fear of losing control. Talk to your doctor about what practice might be best for you, depending on the relaxation technique you want to try and your health.

Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Stress

Be Your Own Best Friend

When your friend tells you about her Tinder date ghosting her, your first reaction is probably to let her know how awesome she is and that her date missed out on someone amazing, right?

You would likely not tell your friend, Well thats what you deserve, how could you think it would work out?

If youre stuck in that feedback loop, pretend youre talking to your best friend. Give yourself the same kindness you would give a loved one. You deserve love too!

How Does It Differ From Other Meditation Styles

All meditation styles and practices overlap and build on each other. Their basic foundation is the same: to bring the practitioner insight and introspection.

There is no right or wrong way to meditate, however, the various types of meditation can enhance particular qualities. Based on your personality and needs, one type of meditation may be more useful to you than the other. The 9 types of meditation are:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Loving kindness meditation
  • Visualization meditation

Focused meditation, specifically, is the practice of focusing on one single object for the duration of the practice. How this differs from other meditation styles is that it gives the practitioner something tangible to do: focus. Its almost like giving your mind an action to performlisten to this sound, repeat these words, watch this flame, etc. This is also one of the reasons why this particular meditation style is great for beginners!

One of the biggest challenges in any meditation practice is that the mind gets carried away and we lose ourselves to random thoughts. This obstacle is actually a style of meditation in and of itself called Vipassana. However, in focused meditation, we give the mind something to do so that its not simply left to its own devices. This type of meditation is beneficial for beginners and for practitioners who prefer some structure and guidance to their meditations.

Read Also: Where To Purchase Stress Balls

If All Else Fails Get Out Of Bed

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, youll have a bad night of worrying and overthinking. If this happens, get out of bed and worry in a different location. This usually wont last longer than 20 minutes, and youll think much more clearly out of bed. By doing this you will

  • Stop pairing your bed with worry

  • Be able to think more clearly and potentially take action rather than ruminating on worry.

  • Stop Setting Your Day Up For Stress And Overthinking

    A Therapist

    You cant totally avoid overwhelming or very stressful days.

    But you can minimize the number of them in your month and year by getting a good start to your day and by not setting yourself up for unnecessary stress, overthinking and suffering.

    Three things that help me with that are:

    Get a good start.

    Ive mentioned this many times by now. And with good reason.

    This is perhaps the best way to influence your day. Because how you start your day tends to often set the tone for your day.

    A stressed morning leads to stressed day. Consuming negative information as you ride the bus to your job tends to lead to more pessimistic thoughts during the rest of your day.

    While for example reading something uplifting over breakfast, getting some exercise and then getting started with your most important task right now sets a good tone for the day and will help you to stay positive.

    Single-task and take regular breaks.

    This will help you to keep a sharp focus during your day and to get whats most important done while also allowing you to rest and recharge so you dont start to run on fumes.

    And this somewhat relaxed mindset but with the narrow focus will help you to think clearly and decisively and avoid winding up in a stressed and overthinking headspace.

    Minimize your daily input.

    And so it becomes harder to think in a simple and clear way and easier to lapse back into that familiar overthinking habit.

    Don’t Miss: What To Do When You Are Stressed About School

    - Advertisement - spot_img
    Popular Articles
    Related news