Alex Saxton

How to Stop Overthinking

If you’re here, chances are you’re feeling bogged down by negative thoughts and would like to know how to stop negative thoughts and anxiety. It’s tough, I know.  Those intrusive negative thoughts can feel like a never-ending cycle, and overthinking can make the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. But I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone, and there are ways to work through these challenges. Let’s dive into some practical tips for how to stop negative thoughts, intrusive thoughts, and overthinking when dealing with anxiety.

Acknowledge Your Thoughts

Recognising the existence of unpleasant, intrusive, and overthinking thoughts is the first step towards overcoming them. Attempting to ignore or repress our ideas might occasionally backfire and make them more noticeable. Rather, make an effort to watch them as impartially as you can.

Recognise that an idea does not necessarily represent who you are or be true just because it occurs to you. Step back and attempt to see the thoughts from the outside in. Consider the question, “Is this thought helping me, or is it causing more harm than good?”

Challenge Your Thoughts

The next step is to confront your thoughts after you’ve acknowledged them. Worst-case scenarios can creep into our minds when we’re anxious, causing intrusive or negative thoughts. However, make an effort to stand back and evaluate their veracity. “Is this thought warranted or logical?” ask yourself.

Making a list of the arguments for and against the concept is one strategy for combating negative thinking. You can discover different viewpoints and gain a more objective perspective by putting both sides of the issue in writing. Note that challenging OCD-like thoughts can sometimes exacerbate problems, therefore if you suffer from OCD, you should avoid using this tip.

How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts

  1. Ride the Wave of Emotion

Here’s a revolutionary method to try when those annoying intrusive thoughts or images start to bother you: instead of getting caught up in the thoughts themselves, concentrate on the unpleasant emotion they evoke initially. You know that feeling of the dread or worry that is hiding in your body.

Instead of ignoring it, find the bravery to accept it. Simply sense it. When you focus entirely on it, you’ll be astounded at how it begins to dissolve. To increase its effectiveness, add one more step: simultaneously smile and spread your palms. It’s like bidding anxiety farewell even faster! Accepting the emotion may seem paradoxical, but believe me— it is a game changer

Avoiding thinking about the things that first made you feel anxious is crucial. It all comes down to admitting and naming the emotion that went along with the thought. Before you know it, the emotion will pass once you do. When it does, turn your attention to something constructive and interesting that is happening right now.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness entails focusing on the here and now while letting go of distractions and judgement. It can help quiet anxious thoughts and settle down a speeding mind.

Paying attention to your breathing is one technique to engage in mindfulness. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly and deeply. Pay attention only to how the breath feels in your body as you follow it.

Paying attention to your senses is another method of engaging in mindfulness. Keep an eye on your surroundings and record everything you taste, smell, see, hear, and feel. By utilising this strategy, you can learn to stay grounded in the here and now rather than dwelling on your problems or overanalysing them.

  1. Shift Your Focus

Overthinking can make us get stuck in negative thoughts and emotions. One way to stop overthinking anxiety is to shift your focus towards something that brings you joy. It could be anything from going for a walk in nature to baking your favourite treat.

You’re giving yourself permission to take a break from pessimistic ideas and generate a good experience by changing your attention. It can lessen anxiety and interrupt the vicious cycle of negativity.

  1. Lean on Your Support System

When dealing with anxiety from overthinking, it’s essential to have a support system you can turn to. Whether it’s a close friend, family member, or therapist, having someone to talk to can make all the difference.

Sharing our feelings and thoughts with others might occasionally help to lessen their intensity and make them feel more bearable. In addition to offering affirmation and comfort, a support system can help manage intrusive or unpleasant thoughts.

Last words…

Dealing with negative thoughts, intrusive thoughts, and overthinking can be draining, but it doesn’t have to control your life. Through recognition of your thoughts, questioning them, engaging in mindfulness exercises, changing your attention, and relying on your network of support, you can begin to overcome your anxiety and experience peaceful moments.

Keep in mind that each person’s journey is unique, so what suits one person might not suit another. You’re not alone on this road, and I hope you found this article useful in finding out more on how stop overthinking, or at least manage it!

If you need further assistance on on how to deal with intrusive thoughts or overthinking  – check out my “Break free from OCD ” hypnosis service or my “Hypnosis for Anxiety” service during which I can help you to feel calmer, and reduce intrusive or negative thoughts and help you feel calmer. To find out more on these 2 services – click these links Hypnosis for OCD Relief and Hypnosis for Anxiety

I’m a clinical hypnotherapist with over 15 years experience, and to  date I have helped over 100 clients from Poole, Bournemouth,  Southampton, Bath, London, Bristol, the United States, and as far afield  as New Zealand in overcoming anxiety. Regardless of where you reside,  I am fully equipped to assist you in the same manner so do get in touch  if you need my hypnosis help too. Here is the link to my website and here is the link to my calendar if you would like to book a consultation