Fresh thoughts: 3 straightforward steps to stop overthinking everything
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,
Do Less, Live More: A Gratitude Journal (book)Product on sale
I overthink EVERYTHING. These are positive steps to take. Thank you.
Silly Babies Blog
These are great tips for an worrier like me to try. Thank you so much for sharing.
Mamie L. PackSilly Babies Blog
Yay! Glad it was encouraging.
I am definitely an overthinker, I overthink EVERY. SINGLE. THING.
These are great tips and I’ll definitely be implementing them to see if it helps. Thanks for sharing!
Mamie L. Packthemediocremomlife
Yay!!!! What do you think will work the best for you?
I’m guilty of overthinking. A lot. These are very helpful tips! Thank you for sharing them!
Mamie L. PackAmy
Wonderful! Which step can you use today?
Overthinking makes me a worrier and I hate that. So I try my best to take it slow instead. By listing my priorities and doing them one step at a time gives my mind a break making it less cluttered and wiser!
Mamie L. PackMomNessly
I love brain breaks. What do you do during that time? Walk? Meditate?
MomNesslyMamie L. Pack
I usually walk as it calms me when I am close to nature😊
Mamie L. PackMomNessly
I like taking walks too.
Love this article about our thinking…I firmly believe changing your thoughts will change your life. I find I have to be purposeful in putting my phone away to embrace living in the moment and clearing my mind! I especially liked the MSG translation of Philippians 4:8. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom!
Mamie L. PackSunshyne Gray
Oh that phone! I agree, intentionally putting it was to embrace living is so important.
It’s so great to have help not overthinking… My anxiety makes me overthink a lot, but I’m getting better about it.
Mamie L. Packmysocalledchaos
Just have to take it one step at a time.
Thank you for this gentle encouragement. It’s okay to take breaks, got it!
very sound advice. I used to spend so much time casting down thoughts, I was too busy to focus on the right ones. It is so easy to keep overthinking and condemning ourselves.
Mamie L. Packadaughtersgiftoflove
Yes it is! Focusing on praise to God and gratitude reshapes our focus and our hearts.
I absolutely love the idea of taking intentional breaks. I am a chronic over thinker and with having so much going on, it seems like I am never able to shut my brain off. I am going to try to implement these “intentional breaks” more into my daily routine and see if I can de-stress a bit. As of late I have definitely been feeling a bit overwhelmed, so I think this could really help. Thanks
Mamie L. Packkishastewartharris
Yay! I am glad to hear you have a strategy that you will try. I would love to know how it works for you.
Taking a break is my go to for this. Even 5 minutes to wipe down a countertop helps me to focus on what I need to. I like to incorporate something physical like cleaning or exercise to give my body something else to focus on.
Mamie L. PackStacy Craft
Mini breaks are an effective tool for sure. They can definitely help us feel productive and give us a burst. I love that you combine a physical element.
Mamie L. PackStacy Craft
Those mini breaks make such a difference!
“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.” That right there. I read this post thinking about a relative who overthinks everything. So much that she has missed out on blessings or failed to complete required tasks because of the distraction. But, when reading I noticed that she is not the only one distracted. I too find myself overthinking and wasting time make a big deal out things not worth my time.
Mamie L. PackAmandela
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing. I love how God will show us how we can improve too.
I definitely overthink everything. Those are some really helpful tips, I do have a playlist that really helps me relax and stop overthinking everything!
Mamie L. PackStephanie
That is great Stephanie! What type of music works for you?
Oh man, how much better life would be if we literally just took every thought captive and submitted it to Christ before it came out of our mouths…or before we ruminated on it for hours. <3
I am such an overthinker! Thank you for this post. I appreciate the positive tips to implement. I oftentimes need to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break.
Mamie L. PackKeri|FlipFlopWeekend
Breaks, especially ones we enjoy, can be refreshing and break the overthinking.
I definitely overthinking just about everything. But I like the minimizing input idea…. Creating list is super helpful for me.
Mamie L. PackAshley Roberts
Great. Minimizing input is so helpful.
This hits home, I’m a chronic overthinker- totally going to incorporate some of these! Thanks!
Mamie L. PackEmily Young
Yay! Glad to hear you can use these steps.
Califf Creations (@CaliffCreations)
I’m such an overthinker! It’s always been an issue for me. These are great tips to help.
Mamie L. PackCaliff Creations (@CaliffCreations)
What will you do this week to help cut back on overthinking?
Giselle Y Mama
I overthink everything and it’s so hard not to!!! I’m trhing to focus on just having faith but sometimes I’ll be positive and still worry. It’s crazy. Lol. However, it’s a process.
Mamie L. PackGiselle Y Mama
It is a process. Continue to give yourself grace and keep taking it to God.
I’m definitely going to try to eliminate taking in so much information. Thanks so much these were great tips
Mamie L. PackAshley Cooper
It’s amazing Ashley just how much information and stimulation we take in.
my favorite thing is to go for a run. for some reason getting moving helps clear out all the noise and makes the decision more obvious!
Mamie L. PackAmanda Krieger
That is great Amanda! I have just started wogging and enjoy it.
These are GREAT ideas. I always forget to take a break. Its like i just want to get it all DONE. Problem is it is never all done and so you have to take a break to “fill your cup” back up! love this post !
This is perfect timing. I couldn’t sleep at night lately because of overthinking. It’s good I saw this post! 🙂
I needed to read this. I love minimizing. What a brilliant concept.
I over think on a daily basis. I use music as a way to get out of my head but I can definitely see these tips helping additionally
The JOYOUS Living (@thejoyousliving)
minimize input! perfect 😀
Joy at The Joyous Living
The BIG one for me is #1….STOP. Hone the thought, bring it captive….then consider GOD is way BIGGER that my thought. CONSIDER, other thoughts. but first …. STOP and the thought CAPTIVE.
Scarlet | Family Focus Blog
I loved what you said about intentional breaks to allow our minds to process.
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Melissa M Sanchez
This is so good. I have to stop overthinking everything. l do it too often.
I totally agree that minimizing input needs to happen, and getting your body outside engaged in nature is a great replacement! Oh and I’m slightly relieved that it’s not just me that overthinks everything! 🙂
great tips! Meditation and changing thoughts can definitely help combat overthinking.