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Why can't I stop overthinking?

13 Answers
Last Updated: 03/12/2018 at 11:21pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
January 20th, 2015 5:34am
You're either living in the past or the future. When you decide to stop worrying and live in the NOW, those obsessive thoughts begin to diminish.
March 15th, 2015 5:18am
Some of us are blessed with the ability to switch over to whats in front of us and not linger longer on things that just went by starting from 5 mins ago to maybe something that happened last month/ or even last year. I wouldnt call overthinkers unfortunate, for they tend to organise and act in a way that suits themselves.... after a LOT of thinking, but it can really handicap us in situations that call for pacifying others that depend on us. Overthinking is like a vicious cycle... for the average overthinker, it could start off as simple as holding a pen in hand... thinking of the pen... thinking of something that happened in school that upset him/her while they were having the pen or writing notes.... thinking of other things that upset him/her while they were in school... thinking of homework... thinking of studies... thinking of future and so on and so forth. Not everyone knows how to stop... its just the way we're used to thinking.. probably cause we've spent much time to ourselves. Other reasons could be: being pessimistic, so we need to think of if what we're gonna do is gonna be good or bad for us; Afraid of failures that have repeated an odd number of times. I think you get the point. Anyway... theres no point of discussing why we cant stop overthinking too much unless I suggest a few solutions to it as well.. 1. Try and keep a watch to it. Keep watch on the time... identify when you're stuck thinking instead of focussing on whats in front of you. 2. Engage urself in activities that demand you being in a social environment where you can talk to a lot of people. 3. Avoid being alone too long... Especially if you're having negative thoughts most of the time. 4. Gain experiences from siblings or elders... Im sure they'd have found their own ways to overcome the thought process. might also suit you.
April 5th, 2015 1:27pm
I guess for me, over thinking happens especially when you feel left out or if you don't feel in control of the situation. I guess this is because you don't really have anything to do to control the situation hence the feeling of helplessness. For me, to stop over thinking, you could look at self-help guides- just google them. Sometimes when you're alone, all you need is just some information to tell you that the chances of some thoughts happening (the irrational ones) are not that common and are not causes for worry.
March 12th, 2018 11:21pm
You are unable to stop overthinking because something may have overwhelmed you a lot and you can't get it off your mind or even overthinking that an event that hasn't happen that gets you worried about what may happen.
January 18th, 2015 4:10pm
Overthinking sometimes can be automatic thoughts which come naturally and which don't stop easily. Keep recording your thoughts. Identify automatic thoughts and alternative thoughts. Record your thoughts, rationalize them and replace with what is practical.
February 9th, 2015 7:56am
Because you are focused on thinking, possibly by spending too much time in your head. I tell you: thinking a lot is both good and bad. You'd dwell too much on certain things and lose out on other stuff, or you'd channel those thoughts into something worthwhile. I enjoy running my thoughts, but I admit that I'm tormented by them sometimes. Regardless of either of 'em, I find that I turning off your thoughts is all about how much attention you put into it. The more you try not thinking, the more likely you are of thinking. You're focused on thinking, that's why. If ya wanna not think too much on things, I recommend distractions, a whole lot of distractions, or breathing exercises and meditation (both of which are distractions in a sense).
March 8th, 2015 8:31pm
It is so easy to overthink the most easy decisions we can make in life. For example cutting your hair sometimes you can overthink it, like do you want it long or short? Or what you are going to wear for the day? I feel as it is normal to overthink things because, it is sometimes hard to make decisions in life no matter how simple or easy they might be.
March 11th, 2015 4:29pm
When we overthink, it's usually because we are anxious and dread the worst and non-likely outcomes of a situation. Try to do something that helps you relax and take your mind off things. If this doesn't seem to help then try to rationalise the situation. What usually happens on a certain outcome? Is it really likely to happen again? Can you change the outcome or do anything to make it be a good one? What other emotions are you feeling at the time? These are questions that will help you to try understand situations better :)
March 29th, 2015 6:50am
We all overthink aspects of our lives. Whether it's decisions, regrets, self-worth, or general worries about the future, we're so often stuck inside our own heads that it feels like there's no way out.
November 23rd, 2015 7:23pm
Our minds are made to think. If you catch yourself overthinking just try to distract yourself. Try finding some coping skills that will help you.
December 21st, 2015 12:14pm
Because i am very energetic and my mind likes to think . but what is important is how i channelize my over thinking
May 23rd, 2016 6:46am
It's normal. We just have so much in our minds that is just taking over everything. Relax and try and do something that you enjoy to maybe stop your overthinking.
December 4th, 2017 9:31pm
Think of your thought's as a train, you are at the platform, and you have neutral thoughts coming in to the station such as: "that's a nice looking building" that train will then leave the station same way that thought will pass it will just go, then you have negative thoughts(trains) that arrive at the platform, you don't want to get on that train do you? You just have to acknowledge that that train(thought) is there and then it will pass. Also think of those negative thoughts as a beach ball, if you try and push that beach ball down or out of your head it will pop back up. Acknowledging negative thought's and not engaging with them is the best technique I could possibly give anybody suffering from anxiety.