How Do I Stop Overthinking and Worrying?

Should I do this? Should I do that? What happens if I don’t do this or don’t do that?

Sound familiar? Some of the nightmare questions that have floated around in my head and continue to do still today. The difference is that these days, I have become very aware of them being there and that I have to do something about them.

Overthinking can be horrible, but how is overthinking caused and how come we excessively worry? That’s what I am going to cover today. Of course, some guidance on how to reduce this will be given for you to start implementing it too.



Why do we overthink and worry?

How to stop worrying? How to stop overthinking? Our brain is not thinking in the present moment, it is either thinking in the past and thinking of things that didn’t go so well or it is most likely thinking about the future. What is going to happen, whether that worry is about one particular thing that may be coming up or about lots of things to do that just seem… well, quite frankly, daunting.

When we think in the present we don’t overthink, and we don’t worry. When we are truly in the present, all of that discomfort will be reduced. Easier said than done right? Well, yeah, but so is anything in life.

Therefore, it’s important to focus on habits that we can apply every day, rather than being so focused on the outcome, focus on what you can do today. For example, I was thinking about everything I had to do this week, but instead I decided to focus on just writing this blog. Then writing a first draft (not focusing on perfection), then editing it and then getting it proofread.

So, what habits can we put in place to make us more present? Let me share some…



There are many forms and, from my own experience, you may find some easier than others. Try a range of meditations and see what works best for you. At the moment, I personally am trying out some walking meditations with binaural beats. Previously I’ve done breathing. Don’t listen to people who say you ‘should’ do it this way or that way. Find what suits you.

Meditation can really help you connect to the present and allow your brain that space to breathe, to focus on one thing at a time and therefore reduce overthinking and worrying.


Nature walks

This could be combined with what I ‘ve mentioned above, but if you prefer not to walk when meditating, then I would advise the following. Go for a walk in fresh air, without your phone and ideally without any music. Again, this allows your brain space to breathe and therefore reduces overthinking.  Getting the extra oxygen and exercise can only do you good too.


Filling your day with joy

Probably my biggest challenge at times. Instead of working excessively hard and exhausting yourself, find times in your day to have more fun. There is no ‘end point’ to which you should have worked and then allow yourself time to enjoy yourself. Life is a continual journey of working for yourself and having fun.

Allowing yourself more joyful moments in the day will increase the playful and joyful version of you. Having fun will help reduce those moments of overthinking and worry. Don’t have time for having fun? Try saying ‘having fun is not important’ instead.


Getting it down on paper

Our brains constantly blow things out of all proportion and so instead of getting your mind over cluttered, get it out of your brain. See what you are thinking, and once you see it on paper, the chances are it’s probably not as bad as you think. Of course, this is all very helpful, but it doesn’t fix the problem… then start to map out what you are going to do and how you will proceed. This has helped me in the past when I’ve had some very anxious moments.


Not allowing yourself to leave the room until it’s done

I’ve found setting myself one task at a time to complete and imposing restrictions on myself until something is done, has helped me massively. If you really want a cup of coffee, for example, one thing that could really help is not allowing yourself that coffee until you have written your essay, your assignment or whatever.  At the moment it’s late and I’ve been distracted by my phone but I’ve just set myself a target of not leaving the room or getting another drink until I’ve written this first draft. This then allows the brain to focus on one thing at a time, aiding productivity too, as this will help the brain from overthinking everything.



This is another option, as, when we are overthinking, it tends to be from a static position. This is why I like walking and exercise. Instead, allow the blood to start flowing and yourself to start moving. This can help your brain start thinking more logically and creatively.



Overthinking and worrying are caused by not thinking in the present. Present is the place where you want to be, both happier and more productive. To get to this place, it’s a continual practice of habits that enable your brain to calm down and to think in the present. Meditation, walks in the fresh air, mapping your thoughts onto paper are just some ways to do that. It just takes time and, like everything, little steps in changing your daily habits, in order to reduce overthinking and worrying.


The video can be found HERE

The podcast can be found HERE


Jonny Pardoe © May 2020

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