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5 steps to break free from overthinking

Let's talk about overthinking. So often people experienced a constant cycle of thoughts that can be difficult to break through. These thoughts can be negative, intrusive, or simply constant in our lives and it can be extremely difficult to navigate. Many people who experience over thinking may have a difficult time relaxing because as soon as we take a moment to sit and rest we're flooded with thoughts of things that we need to do or that we didn't do or ruminating on previous experiences.

If this resonated with you then this blog post is for you. Today we're going to speak to five steps to break free from over thinking in a way that is supportive and makes for a long lasting change.

ONE: Acknowledge you’re overthinking - we can't break free from what we do not see. The first step in breaking free from overthinking is to actually acknowledge that we are stuck in that loop of what we're thinking. When we experience years of always jumping to the worst case scenario or thinking of every scenario to help prepare ourselves, we may begin to think that this is our natural state of being. When this happens it can be difficult to recognize when we're in these loops because we don't necessarily recognize them as something different from our regular thinking pattern. I want you to bring more awareness to the words that your thoughts use. When I thought starts with what if or but then you may want to bring more awareness to checking in to see if this is an over thinking loop. Then we consistently knowledge that were over thinking we can begin to take steps toward breaking free of the cycle.


TWO: Create space between you and your thoughts - when we experience over thinking and anxiety, it can be easy to begin to tie ourselves to our thoughts. Every time we have a negative or intrusive thought we can begin to believe that it is part of who we are. An important part of breaking free from over thinking is creating space between us and our thoughts. Our thoughts are not who we are. They are simply something that we experience. What is the most profound facts that I learned in my own healing journey was that intrusive thoughts are actually often the opposite to what we actually believe. That's why when we experience them they can be so shocking or jarring because they are so against who we are as people. When we begin to give our thoughts a separate space, then we can begin reframing or changing our mindset around them. This can take time to create space because we have to remember every time we feel like we are over thinking that these thoughts are not who we are and they don't reflect our inner self. Thoughts are just thoughts unless we begin to tie stories to them.


Try this exercise: what time you experience a negative or intrusive thought, give that voice name that is different from yours. Every time these thoughts come back into your mind no matter how often refer back to that name. The more we separate ourselves and give our thoughts a separate entity, the more we can then practice breaking free from them.

THREE: Get those thoughts out of your head - as we create space from our thoughts we can now begin to find an outlet for them to allow them to be removed from our minds. This can be done in multiple different ways but something that I found helpful has been to schedule worry time. Worry time is a specific time of day that you sit down to write out all the thoughts that you're having. Now some people benefit from allocating a specific time but other people may find it helpful to keep a pad of paper next to them that they can refer to throughout their day when they begin to feel overwhelmed. Whatever works best for you it's valuable to find a time to get that information out of your mind and onto the page. This is often best done on paper but can also be done digitally if you don't have paper with you. When we get those thoughts onto the page we can then begin to look at them and actually reflect on what they're saying and how realistic those thoughts may be. Often times will begin to recognize that the the what if outcomes that we are trying to predict are actually quite unrealistic.

FOUR: Pause to question their content - now that these thoughts are outside of your mind we can begin to actually question their validity. Most often overthinking comes from trying to control uncontrollable outcomes. This can cause us to feed the overthinking cycle trying to give us a full sense of control. When we begin to question the contents of our thoughts by first writing them out and then second actually sitting with them for a few minutes we can begin to break free from this overthinking spiral. Often times we have experienced over thinking for many years and this new way of thinking may feel incredibly uncomfortable but as we continue to practice these four steps we can start to see how our thoughts are not facts and are not something that we need to constantly feed and hyperfocus on.

FIVE: Practice compassion in difficult moments - no these skills aren't necessarily going to cure every moment of over thinking that you will ever experience. There will be moments where you experience this cycle again and what is so incredibly valuable is that you give yourself the opportunity to move through those moments with Grace and with support. Being kind to ourselves is so key throughout every step of our journey but especially when we are trying to break free of negative and intrusive thoughts. Our thoughts only have power over us when we allow them to and in difficult moments where we want to feed those negative or intrusive thoughts we need a source of compassion to get us through. I created a helpful work sheet that I've linked here to help you move through moments of self compassion if that's something that you'd like to work on.


Now that we've gone through these five steps I hope that these skills will help you continue to break free of the over thinking cycle that isn't your forever. I am so incredibly proud of you for taking the steps in the right direction to overcome these unhelpful thinking patterns. I know your body, mind, and soul will truly benefit from taking the time to create space between your thoughts and what is actually true.


If you're still struggling with overthinking or anxiety and would like to dive deeper into healing then check out my new anxiety healing course and guide to help support you even further in your healing journey. Use code ANXIETYHEALING for 30% off all guides and courses until October 9th. Check it out here.




Sending you so much love,

Carly

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