Think rethink a lot
So you stop rethinking and questioning everything
Thinking about something in endless circles - is exhausting. While everyone thinks about a few things every now and then, chronic over-thinkers spend most of their waking hours thinking about what is putting pressure on themselves. They then mistake this pressure for stress.
"There are people who have rethinking that is just pathological," says clinical psychologist Catherine Pittman, an associate professor in the psychology department of Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
“But the average person also has a tendency to rethink things.” Pittman is also the author of “Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry”.
Rethinking can take many forms: endless deliberations in making a decision (and then questioning the decision), trying to read minds, trying to predict the future, reading down to the smallest detail, etc.
People who are constantly rethinking, writing comments in their heads, criticizing and dismantling what they said and done yesterday, are afraid they will look bad - and worry about a terrible future that might await them.
What if "and" should "dominate their thinking, as if an invisible jury were judging their lives. And they also agonize over what to post online because they are very concerned about how other people will interpret their posts and updates.
They don't sleep well because they stay thoughtful and worrying awake at night. “Ruminants go through events repeatedly and ask big questions. Why is that happend? What does that mean? ”Adds Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Chair of the Psychology Department at Yale University and author of Women Who Think Too Much: How to Free Yourself from Overthinking and Reclaiming Your Life. "But they never find an answer."
If you consistently focus on ruminating and making it a habit, it becomes a loop, and the more you do it, the harder it is to stop. Clinical psychologist Helen Odessky, Psy. D., shares some insights. "So often people mistake rethinking for problem solving," says Odessky, the author of "Stop Anxiety from Stopping You". "But what happens in the end is that we just go into a round," says Odessky. "We're not really solving a problem."
Overthinking is destructive and mentally stressful. It can make you feel like you're stuck in one place and if you don't act it can have a huge impact on your daily life. It can quickly endanger your health and wellbeing as a whole. Rumination makes you more prone to depression and anxiety.
Many people rethink because they are afraid of the future and what could possibly go wrong. "Because we feel vulnerable to the future, we keep trying to solve problems in our head," says David Carbonell, a clinical psychologist and author of "The Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You into Expected the Worst and What You." Can Do About It ".
Extreme overthinking can easily weaken your sense of control over your life. It robs us of active participation in everything that surrounds us.
“Chronic worriers show an increased incidence of coronary problems and suppress immune function. Lingering in the past or in the future also leads us away from the present so that we are unable to complete the work currently on our plates. If you ask ruminants how they are feeling, no one will say "happy". Most feel unhappy, ”says Nicholas Petrie, Senior Faculty Member at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Overthinking can trap the brain in a worry cycle. When rumination becomes as natural as breathing, you need to deal with it quickly and find a solution to it.
“When an unpleasant event puts us in a low mood, it is easier to remember other times when we felt terrible. This can create the conditions for a ruminant to work its way into a downward spiral, ”writes Amy Maclin of Real Simple.
How to overcome this thought pattern and regain your life
Chronic worries don't last. It is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to see life from a different perspective.
To overcome overthinking, Pittman recommends replacing the thought. "Telling yourself not to have a thought is not the way to avoid not having the thought," she says. "You have to replace the thought." What if she told you to stop thinking about pink elephants? What are you going to think about That's right: pink elephants. If you don't want to think of a pink elephant, conjure up a picture of a turtle, for example. "Maybe a large turtle is holding a rose in its mouth while it crawls," says Pittman. "You are not thinking of pink elephants now."
Talk to yourself out by noticing when you are stuck in your head. You can tame your excessive habit if you can begin to get a grip on your self-talk - that inner voice that delivers an ongoing monologue throughout the day and even into the night.
"You can cultivate a little psychological distance by creating different interpretations of the situation that make your negative thoughts less believable," said Bruce Hubbard, director of the Cognitive Health Group and associate professor of psychology and education at Columbia University. This is known as cognitive restructuring.
Ask yourself - what is the likelihood that what I'm afraid of will actually happen? If the likelihood is low, what are the most likely outcomes?
If it's a problem you think about all the time, rephrase the problem to reflect the positive outcome you're looking for, ”suggests Nolen-Hoeksema.
“Instead of“ I'm stuck in my career, ”tell yourself, or better yet, write,“ I want a job that I'm more committed to. ”Then make a plan to expand your skills, expand your network, and to look for opportunities for a better career.
Find a constructive way to deal with worries and negative thoughts, says Honey. “Write your thoughts down in a journal every night before bed or first thing in the morning - they don't have to be in any order. Do a "brain dump" of everything on your mind. Sometimes it can convey a sense of relief, ”recommends Honey Langcaster-James, a psychologist.
You can also control your rumination habit by connecting with your senses. Begin to notice what you can hear, see, smell, taste, taste, and feel.
The idea is to reconnect with your immediate world and everything around you. When you start noticing, you spend less time on your head.
You can also notice your excessive habit and discourage yourself from doing it. Becoming confident can help you take control.
"Pay more attention to it," says Carbonell. “Say something like, I feel kind of anxious and uncomfortable. Where am I? Am I all ears? Maybe I should take a walk around the block and see what happens. "
Realize that your brain is in overdrive or ruminant mode and then try to get out of it right away. Or better yet, distract yourself and focus your attention on something else that requires focus.
"If you have to stop and replace hundreds of times a day, it will stop quickly, probably within a day," says Dr. Margaret Weherenberg, psychologist and author of the 10 Best Techniques for Anxiety Management. "Even if the move is just to draw attention to the task at hand, it should be a decision to change thoughtful thoughts."
It takes practice, but over time you will easily see when you are worrying unnecessarily and instead decide to do something in real life instead of spending a lot of time on your mind.
For example, convert, "I can't believe this happened" to "What can I do to keep it from happening again" or "I don't have good friends" to "What steps could I take to make the friendships." to deepen and find new ones, ”recommends Dr. Ryan Howes.
Don't get lost in thoughts of what you could have, should have and should have done differently. Mental stress can seriously affect your quality of life.
An overactive mind can make life miserable. Learning how to stop spending time on your head is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
Like all habits, changing your destructive thought patterns can be challenging, but it's not impossible. With practice, you can train your brain to perceive things differently and reduce the stress of rethinking.
If rethinking is ruining your life, and if you think your thoughts may cause you depression, it pays to seek professional help.
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