We’re all just out here striving for a sense of control in a world full of chaos. One common way we do this—rumination, aka overthinking.
Overthinking makes it feel like we are preparing ourselves for any possible situation, but actually we’re overstimulating the emotion- and fear-processing region in our brains.
Basically, rumination is a mechanism to cope with uncertainty—but unfortunately, the “comfort” we get is temporary. On top of that, overthinking can affect our health in negative ways, increasing our risk of anxiety and depression and messing with our sleep quality. Then those unhealthy side effects lead to more overthinking (because ofc they do), making it a vicious cycle.
We’ve found the below activities helpful when our thoughts are spiraling, because they direct our attention and energy elsewhere.
1. Pick a color, then go for a walk and name everything you see that is that color.
2. Try a box breathing.
3. Go for a run (or another cardio-based activity).
4. Reorganize your coffee table.
5. Problem solve and list out a few potential fixes for the issue.
6. Engage your other senses with a simple activity, like taking a really hot or really cold shower.
7. Play a brain game like Sudoku, or say the alphabet backwards.
8. Tense and relax your muscles (ex. masturbate).
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