Why did I say that? Ugh. I never say anything right.
What did she mean by that?
Did I do something to offend him? He didn’t speak to me today.
I need to pick up eggs, milk, and cookies for the class party tomorrow. Wait, what was I supposed to do after the meeting tomorrow? I hope I do not forget something.
The list goes on and on. Instead of being able to rest at night or enjoy being present, you are trapped in your thoughts of what you could have, would have, or should have done. One thought starts to snowball into a situation bigger and scarier than it really is. Ready to get past overthinking? Let’s talk about three straightforward steps you can do to stop overthinking everything.
Take your thoughts captive
None of us can control the types of thoughts that pop up in our minds, but we can control what happens once the idea is there. Do you feed the negative thinking about being unwanted, uninvited, or unloved? Do you give your negative thoughts life by replaying them with friends and family? When those thoughts start to overtake your mind, literally stop. Stop the thoughts and replace them with the truth of God’s word. So what does God say about our thoughts?
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4: 8-9 (MSG)
Next time you find yourself laying in bed brooding over what you think were missed moments, focus on what is true. Are you so focused on what you think or is the Holy Spirit convicting you to make a change? Not sure. Check the fruit. Condemnation is a product of overthinking. No one ever walks away feeling refreshed and free-living a life overthinking everything. But when the Holy Spirit convicts us, change and freedom will always be the fruit. What’s yielding in your thought life?
Too much information from emails, social media, even work can overload our brains, leading to sensory overload. Your mind doesn’t have the time to process the moments of the day properly. Instead, your mind runs rampant. Did you spend time with the right people? Did you miss the important moments? Did you listen to what your kids wanted to say?
Spend time reflecting on what goes into your mental space. Focus on your priorities for the day. Make a list of what must be accomplished, who needs your time, and what you will do to build breaks into your day. Creating intentional breaks allows your brain to process your thoughts and your heart to filter through emotions.
Take a break
Finding your thoughts running rampant—take a break. Get out in nature. Put on those sneakers and go for a walk. Breathe in the fresh air and take in all of the beauty of God’s creation around you. Making the switch to take a break to do something you love, redirects your brain to focus on something healthy and meaningful. You spend less time overthinking and more time connecting.
Love music? Create a playlist that makes you smile and want to move. Love nature? Create breaks in your day to take a stroll or even go outside to work. Love being creative? Spend time getting out of your head and creating with your hands. Using breaks both allow you to be productive and allows you the space to get out of your head.
Learning how to stop overthinking doesn’t have to be complicated. Taking your thoughts captive, minimizing input and taking a break are three simple ways you can stop overthinking and think clearly.
Cheering you on,