Do you often find yourself sitting and thinking about all the things that have happened and all the things that are going to happen/might happen in the future?
Or do you find yourself analysing the things that you could have done differently and all the things that you want to do for your family, your work, your business and life in general?
I certainly do! Haha.
Overthinking is something that us women do. But if it happens all the time, it can cause detrimental effects on your overall mental well-being. A study showed that when you dwell too much on the same thoughts over and over, that it can cause a variety of mental health disorders in the long run. And we don’t want that.
I know as mums, we have a LOT and I MEAN A LOT of things we think about.
What do you make for lunch?
How do you budget for your daily expenses?
How can you properly manage your work, business and time with your kids?
And probably a lot more than the things that I’ve mentioned.
That’s why I’ve listed down 10 easy tricks on you can manage overthinking.
1. Stop, Look and Listen.
When you notice that you have been in a cycle of repetitive thinking, you need to stop for a while, take a look at yourself and then listen to how your body is responding.
Be mindful of how you respond to your thoughts and how feeding these thoughts is affecting your mood.
Do you feel anxious when you think about this or do your feel irritated when you think about that?
Self-awareness is the key to change how you respond to these thoughts. You need to be aware of the different emotions triggered by your thoughts. This way, you get to stop thinking about thoughts that may trigger negative emotions.
2. Take a Deep Breath.
It works every time! When you take deep, mindful breaths you find yourself in a more calming state.
Breathing exercises allow you to free your mind of the repetitive thoughts that can trigger negative emotions.
So when you find yourself in a situation where you can’t stop your thoughts from running, stop for a while, close your eyes and then take a few deep breaths.
3. Look for a Positive Distraction.
Not all distractions are negative. Sometimes it can be a powerful tool for you to manage overthinking.
And positive distractions can be in many forms.
It can be doing activities that you find enjoyable or or calming.
You can learn new things that you have been meaning to do like baking, sewing, or taking an online aerobics class.
It can be anything as long as you find it fun and enjoyable.
But don’t push yourself too hard. Having repetitive thoughts running ‘round your mind can be overwhelming. You can start with a new activity one bite at a time, like 10 to 30 minutes twice a week. Then you can increase as you feel able.
4. Practice Meditation.
One of the things that can really help your mind to calm down is by doing meditation.
Regular meditation can help you turn your attention to your breath or a guided voice which can help you lose focus on all the clutter in your mind.
5. Be In The Moment.
For you to manage overthinking, you need to be present. You need to ground yourself in your present situation so you won’t get caught up with your repetitive thoughts.
To do this, you can:
- Unplug yourself from digital technology like your phone, laptop, tablets or computer for a certain time every day.
- Do an activity that would allow your body to move instead of constantly sitting down for long periods of time.
- Practice grounding by going outside and standing on the grass in your bare feet.
- Eat healthily and mindfully by enjoying every single bite that you make and savouring every meal that you eat.
6. Celebrate Small Wins
When you overthink, you tend to see mostly negative things. So to cut off the cycle of repetitive thinking, you need to acknowledge even your small wins. You can get your pen and paper and write down 3 positive things that you were able to overcome or do for the week.
This way, you get to focus on the things that make you feel empowered and things that you would think of as positive instead of dwelling on the negative recurring thoughts.
7. Do Not Go Over Details
Focusing on the bigger picture of things makes you see beyond the little details. In this way, you get to change your perspective of how you look at things and situations. Maybe you are overthinking about things that have not really happened yet or things that were 3 years ago.
Don’t let the uncertainty cause you anxiety. And don’t allow yourself to dwell on the small stuff and turn them into roadblocks.
8. Random Acts of Kindness
Now, this is a great way to stop your overthinking mums! By showing acts of kindness to others who really need help.
Do you have a friend who is struggling with picking up groceries because of sickness or a friend who is going through tough times because of a divorce?
Or just any random person you encounter during your day. Perhaps on the way to the grocery store, the park or school?
When you realise that you have the power to change other people’s lives through your simple acts of random kindness, you’ll be able to ward off negative thoughts.
9. Show Self-Compassion.
You need to remember that we are all human beings and we make mistakes. Sometimes part of why we overthink things is because we are not able to forgive ourselves for the mistakes or decisions that we have made in the past.
You don’t have to beat yourself every time you make a mistake. You also need to show yourself compassion and forgiveness.
Take things one step at a time. When you start to overthink, try to take note of these thoughts and the emotions. Now, you need to acknowledge that what you feel right at the very moment is true. You don’t have to hide away but instead, you need to face them. And finally, you need to say to yourself that it’s okay, like, “I forgive myself” or “I am enough” or “I accept myself.”
10. Ask for Help.
Mums, we are not perfect. And sometimes, we can’t always be super mums. And that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal. During these moments, you don’t need to put all the weight on your shoulders. You can ask for help and seek assistance from people who can really help you get through the cycle of overthinking especially if this takes a toll on your mental health. Talk to a family member, a friend or even a therapist. By opening up about your thoughts and feelings you will be able to start to heal.
So these are 10 easy tricks that I would like you to try when ever you find yourself overthinking again.
Don’t worry, mums. Changing your mindset takes time so be patient with yourself.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these steps. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.