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How to Stop Overthinking Life

By Sandy Schroeder

In a fast-moving culture that demands a lot, we may find ourselves doubting everything. If you can relate, you may be overthinking everything.

When I do this, it becomes tougher to get my work done. I find myself double-checking details, and rehashing information in a frustrating spin cycle.

University of Michigan researchers found 73 percent of adults aged between 25 and 35 overthink, and 52 percent of adults who are 45 to 55 do the same. Sometimes cycling back through thoughts can actually make problems worse than they would be if we just let them play out. Here are some of the consequences of overthinking, according to the Huffington Post.

You may lose momentum - By the time you review actions and think about things you may simply hesitate and delay action.

You lose spontaneity - If you normally react to new challenges with a burst of activity, overthinking may simply get in the way. When you drop back and review everything you may lose a lot of creative freedom. Some researchers call this a mental rut.

You may feel tired a lot - When overthinking becomes entrenched, you may begin to become more stressed as you run to catch up. A simple double-check balloons into a real time-taker.

You may lose sleep - It does not take much to turn a good night's sleep into a restless night when work suffers. Now you may overthink why this is happening. Then obsessing over lost sleep leads to more sleeplessness and more sluggishness the next day.

Appetites signal issues - Your appetite may fade or ramp way up when your day becomes  clogged with rethinking. One researcher calls this "worry eating," which takes the joy out of food and often adds pounds as the stress hormone, cortisol, increases appetite. It may also trigger more junk food, eating on the go, and snacking.

How to Handle Overthinking

Spot overthinking early - When you catch yourself double-checking everything, stop and step outside for a brisk walk, or find a quiet spot to meditate. When you return to your desk, start fresh and skip the double-checking.

Try some deep breathing - When you find yourself slipping into the worry mode, find a quiet spot to do some deep belly breathing exercises to clear your mind and lower your heart rate.

Create a worry log - If you still find yourself backtracking on everything, set aside a time every day to list your concerns. Write them down and then go ahead with your work.

Reach out for help - Friends, loved ones and therapists can help you clear the air. When I do this with trusted friends, I often come away relieved. A fresh perspective can restore your sense of balance.

Whatever you do about overthinking, just keep going. Once you have recognized the problem and started to reject it, you won't go back.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shorewood, Ill.

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