Stop Overthinking - a practical guide

Abhinav Gupta
3 min readJul 2, 2020

Looks like you have stumbled upon this article for trying to stop that continuous iteration of thoughts playing in your head, distracting you from your vital tasks, deteriorating relationships with your loved ones, causing head ache and most of all drifting you away from the goals you want to achieve.

Here you won’t find any psychological statistics or scientific studies about overthinking but it will give you a good enough method to stop that play of thoughts.

Who am I ? You may wonder, I used to be an avid over-thinker giving not just hours but days to a single thought, feeling paralyzed by that sensation, not being able to interact with my friends and family, all those thoughts making my head ache so bad I felt helpless at times, but applying this method in my daily life helps me to focus on improving my life and even if some thoughts stuck in the head I can easily overcome them now.

Writing your thoughts
Yes you read that right, writing your thoughts is the one and only way I found useful among the various remedies suggested on the internet.

How I move forward when some thought just sticks in my head and makes me paralyzed? I simply write all of it, even the most tiny details, it is time consuming I get it, but it will save you a lot of time ahead. What I have observed during my overthinking episodes is that the brain is constantly concerned that whatever thoughts are going on in the head if stopped may vanish from the memory, this concern makes it iterate those thought countless times, once the thoughts are well written it gives a sense of relaxation to the brain that whatever you are thinking is present somewhere and even if you skip thinking it now you can review it later.

This skipping of thought is the most crucial part because here we are basically fooling the brain into stopping that particular thought process. Once the thought process is stopped it is gone, you can feel that sense of ease, the light head and regained ability to focus on actually important things. If sometime after you again experience the same thoughts, think that since they are written they can be skipped. After some days you will realize that the thoughts that were making you overthink are gone you won’t even remember what those were.

If you feel like reviewing the things you obsessed over and thought repeatedly about, review the written notes and many a times you will realize how trivial the overthinking was and why on earth were you even thinking that stuff.

Have a good night sleep and do not ever be sleep deprived, for me the tired mind tends to overthink even more.

For the writing of the thoughts, I use Google keep, it is accessible on phone as well as on laptop but you can use any notes keeper app or website or you can write is as text file locally on your phone or laptop even diaries or notebooks can serve the purpose, I like to write my thoughts by hand but my handwriting is bad therefore I stick to digital files.

This method has helped me a lot and I hope it does the same for you too.

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