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How To Deal With An ‘Overthinking’ Mind

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Apr. 3 2014, Published 9:41 a.m. ET

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Written by, Isha Aran head blogger for Pretty Padded Room

Oh my lantern, if ‘overthinking’ was a degree, I would have graduated summa cum laude.  I am the unintentional master of “overthinking” whether it’s an outfit or a social situation.  While noticing any and everything can be helpful, coupled with a diehard perfectionism, it is also a bit of a hindrance to completing certain tasks.  Seriously, sometimes it’s hard to sit down and read a book when you are thinking about how you read the same types of books and maybe you should branch out, and is it healthy to simply be sticking to one type of narrative format?

Well, luckily, there are ways to deal with a runaway mind.  Lauren Suval at PsychCentral.com outlines five ways to overcome overthinking.

1. Adopt a hobby.

Maybe if your spare time is filled with an activity that you love, overthinking spells will be pushed to the curb…

2. Write it down.

In the past, I’ve written about introspection overload and how to thwart rumination by journaling. I journal to lighten my mental load, where I can flesh out thoughts and feelings…

I definitely try to make a point to journal consistently.  Whether you do this online or enjoy keeping up your handwriting (which is slowly becoming obsolete) and journaling in an actual diary, writing can definitely help hash out thoughts or just get them off your mind!

3. Keep your hands occupied.

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…Researchers explain that if the sensory channel is occupied, the intellectual channel is muted; therefore, stress relief techniques that incorporate the hands “will use up more ‘brain cycles’ and pull processing power away from intellectual activities.” A stress ball may do the trick, along with drawing or knitting. (I’ve experimented with colorful rugs via latch hook!)

4. Move around.

I revel in long walks around the neighborhood – preferably in beautiful weather – and have found that walking unleashes mental chatter and induces clarity. Exercise, dancing, or any other movement can help as well.

5. Talk to someone.

Sometimes, being honest and vulnerable with someone you’re comfortable with will clear your mind. After exposing your overanalysis to others, it suddenly doesn’t appear as daunting. And who knows, maybe they can relay insight about the topic at hand, which could provide further guidance.

There are several different ways and combinations to help deal with overthinking.  For me, blocking out my day and trying to get into a routine helps.  I mean, honestly, I have a pretty open definition of the word routine, but taking time to organize my thoughts (and write them down), I still manage to get everything done with a little less worrying.

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