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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Hill

How to Stop Overthinking Everything

A busy brain is a happy brain.

I procrastinated for at least a week wanting to make the greatest new episode that would surely win an upcoming Oscar. I changed the topic at least three times, before settling on How to Stop Overthinking Everything. Fitting, right? 

What I discovered was a discrepancy in how overthinking is spoken about on self-help sites/popular science publications and what’s going in psychology research. 

“Overthinking” is reported as being a bad trait or a bad habit and is frequently used interchangeably with the term rumination. But overthinking isn’t necessarily bad and rumination is just one type of overthinking

Overthinking is an umbrella term for lots of different thought processes – beneficial things like emotional processing, problem solving, mind wandering and then not-so-beneficial things like rumination and worry. 

Rumination is where you obsessively overthink why something happened or why you feel a certain way. You chew over the causes and consequences of negative emotions, rather than solutions, and it’s a risk factor for anxiety and depression. I overthink a lot and while it’s not ruminating and may have some problem-solving benefits, I still find it limits my focus (plus it’s annoying). The video includes some tips (starting at 3:26) for how to stop rumination or just overthinking in general.

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