Survive Overthinking

When faced with stressful periods in their life people react in many different ways. One common way is over thinking or over analysing a situation which is then aggravated by the mental exhaustion that follows.

Stop reading this article! An unusual opening line to an article but if you are reading this then you are already probably on the road to overthinking.

Write everything down. It doesn't have to be structured, just get it all down on paper. An unpleasant image but you need to mentally 'vomit'. Putting pen to paper is the equivalent of putting your fingers down your throat. Once you have exhausted yourself writing, you will find that the pattern of continuously re-visiting arguments and counter arguments will abate a little. You may well even get to sleep tonight.

Do not believe you have gone mad. You are not alone. Other people may look composed and calm on the outside but there is a very good chance that behind closed doors these people are subjecting themselves to a rather heated internal dialogue as well. It's natural, the trick is to try and keep it spiralling out of proportion.

Do something that requires you to concentrate. Not driving, not walking, not running it is far too easy to go onto autopilot and start re-visiting arguments and counter arguments. Playing an instrument, learn to speak German mein lieblings , competitive team sports, anything that requires you to have to actively engage your brain.

Think Black. If you are lying in bed and your brain is humming like a powerline, try to imagine you are in a vacuum, you are powering off your brain like a computer... or if that doesn't work, try to think of only the colour black!

Talk Shows not Music. If it's heartbreak that's causing you to overthink then listening to music can often be the worst thing to do. Go for talk shows, something that engages your mind rather than something that causes you to lament. If you are currently listening to Total Eclipse of the Heart or Nothing Compares to You, turn it off NOW.

Avoid alcohol. Just don't do it. It is a depressant and no matter what you think at the time, the grand conclusions you will have come to in your head will be shaky at best.

Cliche Time. Yes, it's a dreadful cliche but time is the greatest healer. Whether it be a tongue lashing from the boss at work or the trials and tribulations of being in love, the situation will become less raw over time. Over analysis will not solve anything, it will only slow down time rather than speed it up.

Get the Balance Right with your friends. It is important to talk to someone about the situation you are facing but your friends can be too sympathetic and it will cause you to re-visit a situation multiple times. This can lead you into a bout of wallowing in self pity. Think about which of your friend's 'shoots from the hip' their advice is valuable and might kick you out of the martyrdom rut!

Laugh at Yourself. There is a very good chance that you are over egging the pudding! Your boss is probably not the sadistic ogre that you have painted them as, the row that you have just had with your partner is probably not the raging battle between 'Heaven and Hell' that you have created in your mind. Look at your problems through an independent observer's eyes and decide whether the end of the world is really nigh.

Good Luck to You all. Over analysis and over thinking really can be debilitating, I wish you all the best and hope you have found this article useful.


  1. Oh yeah, overthinking is probably my unconscious hobby or something.

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  3. Wow! Great thinking!.:) This is very useful.. Thanks a lot for sharing,I see myself sometimes overthinking and this post is very helpful..:)

    Thank you Homer!.. Keep it up!.:)

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