How to Stop Thinking

Written by on June 29, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


Turn off your mind and stop over-thinking!

Do you find yourself awake and in deep thought during late hours of the night? Are you constantly thinking about something whether you want to or not?  If so, you’re not alone.

Millions of people find their minds racing desperately at times that they should either be resting or simply want to calm their minds.  It’s no wonder hundreds of people search Google’s search engine every month for ‘how to stop thinking’.

If you’re like Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Kate Reddy – from the hit movie and bestseller by Allison Pearson – I Don’t Know How She Does It, then you’re going over list after list after list of your daily responsibilities.  Your kids’ activities, grocery lists, house cleaning lists and all the complexities that make up our lives.

There are also people who are up at night tossing and turning because their minds are filled with thoughts of worry.  Worry about starting a new job, worry about not having a job, worry about fading friendships, marriages on the rocks and many of the more serious issues that we have to deal with.

To be honest with you, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the over-thinkers of group one.  You don’t want to lose sleep thinking about what wasn’t accomplished today or what needs to be taken care of tomorrow.  However, it’s good to be on top of things. I’m a list person and you know what?  I won’t apologize for that.  I love being organized.

The over-thinkers in category two can be borderline neurotic.  I saw an image on Facebook recently of a stick figure that looked depressed.  The caption read, ‘I think too much, then I get mad’.  It was funny, but it stayed with me for two reasons.  Firstly, I thought the end of the caption was going to say, ‘then I get depressed’.  Secondly, it had a hint of painful truth to it.

The reality of over-thinking is that we rehearse a problem over and over again in our minds until it can literally make us sick.  This is a dangerous habit. As your mind dwells on negative issues, your brain starts to absorb and process those negative emotions.  When this habit is repeated it does often turn to depression.  Then it’s not just at night when you should be sleeping.  It’s on a gorgeous day, when you should be outside.  It’s when you’re at the beach and not having a good time.

Constantly feeling overwhelmed can trigger panic attacks.  If you find yourself stuck in this cycle of over-thinking here are a few things you can do to escape the mental trap.

  • Create a list of happy thoughts.  This may sound silly, but it works.  Each time you find yourself dwelling on too many things, switch your thoughts to something pleasant on your list.
  • Think of a song you love and start singing it in your mind.  As you focus on the words of the song, your other thoughts will start to fade.
  • Think of something that you are looking forward to.  Create a daydream about that event.  As your mind starts to build the story, you will start to calm down.
  • Remember that no-one is perfect.  You are not perfect.  Your partner is not perfect.  Your parents are not perfect.  Your children are not perfect.  Your co-workers are not perfect. The end.

Are you an over-thinker?  What keeps you up a night?  What are some of the techniques that you use to calm your fears, get back to sleep or go on with your day?  Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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About the Author

Alana Johnson

Alana Johnson tries to enjoy the simple things in life and writes for the Lifestyle category on Quality Life Resources. Living in the small New England town of Norwalk, CT, she looks forward to the warm summer months. To submit your own article for my category, please click HERE. View all Self Improvement articles.