I’ve been a serial overthinker for years, in fact, I still overthink things when I feel stressed out or haven’t slept well. As we all know it — it’s part of being human.
Luckily, I’ve found some things that definitely help me get off my butt and take action quicker, and I want to share them with you.
1. Use the 5-Second Rule
I love Mel Robbins. She is the author of the 5-second rule and it goes like this: “if you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.” You have to count down from 5, and by the time you hit 1, you need to move.
Let me give you an example. You’re lying in bed in the morning: it’s so warm and cozy under the sheets and you’re doing some casual scrolling through your IG feed… You know it’s time to get up and start your day but it’s also so tempting to stay 10 minutes more…
The moment you catch yourself starting to procrastinate, count down from 5 and get up! It’s so much easier than you think, you just have to build the new habit of doing it. The more times you do it in a day, the faster you’ll build the muscle for it.
2. Move Your Body
This seems like a no-brainer but not moving your body is probably the #1 reason why you’re overthinking. If you’re serious about getting out of your head, you need to tune in to your body.
Going to the gym or exercising at home sounds great but it’s often associated with a lot of inner resistance. So, I’m going to give you a bunch of other ideas to choose from: put some energetic music on and dance your heart out, sign up for zumba classes, go for a long walk in the park, ride a bike, clean the house, or find a hobby that requires you to move your body.
The more daily activities you have where you move your body, the faster you’ll stop overthinking.
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3. Get Familiar with Your Thoughts
This is a tricky one. If you don’t do it correctly, it may lead to even more layers of thinking. That’s why I’m going to give you some techniques that have proven to give my clients results.
There are several ways to observe your thoughts objectively: meditation, mindfulness, and writing them down on paper. What I’m going to focus on here is writing your thoughts down.
There are several techniques that can help you get familiar with your thoughts. In this episode, I’ll share 3 of them:
✔ The first one is called Braindump and it’s exactly what you think it is.
When you start overthinking, pull out a piece of paper and start writing your thoughts down. When you’re done, throw it away or keep it if you have important ideas or work-related planning. It’s your way of saying: ‘I got this on my mind, now it’s gone and it’s time to move on.’
✔ The second technique is called Morning Pages and it’s by Julia Cameron.
In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia says that “morning pages are three pages of stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only.”
✔ And the last technique to get familiar with your thoughts comes from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is called the Automatic Thought Record Tool.
Here’s how to use it: write down your thoughts, the emotions you feel in reaction to these thoughts, the behavior you engage in, and then you assess what could be done differently in a similar kind of a situation to give you even better results.
You can download it for free here:
The reason why the Automatic Thought Record Tool helps with overthinking is simple: when you know what thoughts and emotions you’re dealing with, you become more objective and less reactive to your own mind.
There’s a quote I often mention because it’s absolutely life-changing:'Awareness itself is curative.' – Leo Gura Click To Tweet
So, the moment you catch yourself overthinking, say gently to yourself: ‘Oh, that’s just thinking’ and move on with your life.