Overthinking can be harmful to your sleep. So try to divert your mind to something that can bring peace to your mind, recommends Dr Santosh Bangar.
Constant worrying and overthinking can frequently result in problems with mental health and well-being.
Deep breathing, meditation, self-compassion and seeking help from a healthcare professional can help relieve the stress of overthinking.
Your inability to get thoughts out of your head may cause you to suffer incessantly.
Of course, we all tend to overthink a situation from time to time. However, if you spend hours worrying about trivial matters, you will most likely struggle to keep your mind calm and focused.
Dwelling on your mistakes, problems, and shortcomings increases your risk of developing mental health issues.
Overthinking can trap you in a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. It disrupts your mental peace, and when you lose your mental peace, you tend to overthink.
Overanalysing impairs one’s ability to solve problems because it causes you to dwell on the problem and imagine scenarios that may never occur, rather than finding a solution.
This may also take up valuable time and affect productivity at work.
All that overthinking, ironically, will never help you make a better decision! If you are an overthinker, you most likely have sleep issues.
This is due to the fact that your body will not allow you to sleep if your mind is still actively thinking.
Ruminating about almost everything and constantly worrying about things over which you have little or no control frequently results in fewer hours of sleep.
As a result, overthinking reduces your sleep quality and may make you irritable the next day.
Here’s a list of things you can do that can help you deal with overthinking and sleep better:
1. Take a step back and assess how you are reacting.
The way you react to your thoughts can trap you in a cycle of rumination, or repetitive thinking.
Rumination can frequently have negative consequences.
Instead, retreat and analyse how you react and respond to different situations.
Try to understand if you can react differently to the same situations if they repeat in the future.
2. Locate a diversion
Overthinking can be harmful to your sleep. So try to divert your mind to something that can bring peace to your mind.
It can be reading, walking, talking to someone you love or pursuing a sport or hobby that you love.
3. Take a long, deep breath
One of the best remedies to stop overthinking is to breathe.
Just close your eyes and take a deep breath the next time you find yourself tossing and turning in your sleep.
4. Practice meditation
By turning your attention inward, you can help clear your mind of nervous chatter by developing a regular meditation practice.
5. Consider the big picture
How will all of the issues swirling around in your head affect you in 5 or 10 years?
Will anyone notice if you brought a fruit plate instead of baking a pie for the potluck?
6. Do something nice for another person
One of the simplest things you can do is to help someone in their difficult time.
This will create a sense of positivity and help you feel better.
7. Recognise negative automatic thoughts (NATs)
Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) are knee-jerk negative thoughts that occur in response to a situation, usually involving fear or anger.
8. Recognise your achievements
When you find yourself overthinking, take a break and pull out your notebook or your favourite note-taking app on your phone.
Make a list of five things that went well in the last week and your role in them.
9. Maintain your focus
Not ready to commit to a regular meditation practice?
There are numerous other techniques for staying in the present moment.
10. Seek assistance
You are not required to go solo.
Seeking professional help from a therapist can assist you in developing new tools for working through your thoughts and even changing your mindset.
Dr Santosh Bangar, MD (Psychiatry), has a specialisation in geriatric (older adults) psychiatry from the UK with 20 plus years of work experience.
A senior consultant, mental health and psychiatry at the Global Hospital in Mumbai, he specialises in different types of dementia, memory problems, head injuries, depression, sleep disorders, sexual problems, psychosis and neuropsychiatric illness including stroke, epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome and delirium.
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