Mid-week three Wellness

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?

Minimize input

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.

Cheering you on,

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38 comments on “Fresh thoughts: 3 straightforward steps to stop overthinking everything

  1. I overthink EVERYTHING. These are positive steps to take. Thank you.

  2. These are great tips for an worrier like me to try. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. 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!

  4. I’m guilty of overthinking. A lot. These are very helpful tips! Thank you for sharing them!

  5. 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!

  6. 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. Pack

      Oh that phone! I agree, intentionally putting it was to embrace living is so important.

  7. It’s so great to have help not overthinking… My anxiety makes me overthink a lot, but I’m getting better about it.

  8. Thank you for this gentle encouragement. It’s okay to take breaks, got it!

  9. 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. Pack

      Yes it is! Focusing on praise to God and gratitude reshapes our focus and our hearts.

  10. 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. Pack

      Yay! I am glad to hear you have a strategy that you will try. I would love to know how it works for you.

  11. 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. Pack

      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. Pack

      Those mini breaks make such a difference!

  12. “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. Pack

      Wow! Thank you so much for sharing. I love how God will show us how we can improve too.

  13. 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. Pack

      That is great Stephanie! What type of music works for you?

  14. lifecomingalive

    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

  15. 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. Pack

      Breaks, especially ones we enjoy, can be refreshing and break the overthinking.

  16. I definitely overthinking just about everything. But I like the minimizing input idea…. Creating list is super helpful for me.

  17. This hits home, I’m a chronic overthinker- totally going to incorporate some of these! Thanks!

  18. I’m such an overthinker! It’s always been an issue for me. These are great tips to help.

  19. 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. Pack

      It is a process. Continue to give yourself grace and keep taking it to God.

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