3 Science-Backed Ways to Stop Overthinking Everything in Life

Kelsey Clark
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@Monikh

Overthinking is both a blessing and a curse. While some see it as a sign of a curious, analytical brain primed for problem-solving, others believe it simply takes you out of the present moment and negatively distorts an otherwise normal situation. As somewhat of an over-thinker myself, I can attest that it's often an unnecessary, unproductive, and even irrational exercise—whether you're analyzing a text message from your significant other or replaying that work meeting over and over in your head, nine times out of 10 you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

But if the internet is any indication, I'm not the only one who's prone to rumination and excessive worry. Most recently, users on the question-and-answer website Quora decided to discuss the issue openly, creating a thread titled "How Do I Deal With Overthinking?" Business Insider then combed through the 100-plus responses, finding the following three to be the most salient: writing your thoughts down on paper, designating strict "no thinking" times, and distracting yourself with exercise or another physical activity.

Although suggested by people just like you and me, all three of these solutions have been substantiated by scientific evidence at some point or another. The writing tip, for example, has been used by psychologists and psychiatrists for decades to help patients make sense of their thoughts and emotions. Similarly, social worker Amy Morin once touted the benefits of designating time periods for reflection in an article for Psychology Today while author Stephen S. Ilardi once recommended "absorbing physical activity" as an antidote for depression and rumination.

How do you deal with overthinking in your life? Share your experience with us below!

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