15 Tips To Help Stop Overthinking Caused by Trauma

by Jenn Brockman

While it is true that we all occasionally overthink situations, some of us are also guilty of letting our minds rule our lives. It’s not a pleasant experience, and people who have chronic overthinking disorders can replay conversations and events from days or even weeks ago. These replays typically present an inflated image, making it difficult to trust other people, situations, or—worst of all—oneself.

A few years ago, if you had asked me, I would have told you that overthinking was all in someone’s head. While that is true, chronic overthinking is a very real problem for many people. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to take control of your overthinking if you’re ready to acknowledge it and genuinely see how it’s affecting your life. I regrettably had to learn this lesson the hard way since I was unwilling to acknowledge the real effects of my actions on my life. To put it simply, I was trapped for years, and nothing changed until I took ownership of my problem. The more ownership I take, the better my life becomes.

15 Tips To Help Stop Overthinking

This post does contain affiliate links. We may receive compensations, clicks, registrations, and/or purchases. Thank you for supporting what we do.

15 Tips To Help Stop Overthinking Caused by Trauma

My only experience with overthinking is my own personal journey through the pain of it; I’m by no means an expert. By sharing it, I hope that it will assist someone else going through a similar nightmare. I didn’t ask for help or really accept that I had allowed overthinking to control my life to the extent I did until I was beginning to heal from it. I had such bad trust issues that I don’t think I could have reached out for help because I honestly would not have trusted it. My overthinking was trauma-induced, so I don’t know if that makes things different or not. I can only share my experience with you.

Recognize the problem

Unbelievably, overanalyzing is a barrier to success in life and a technique to alienate others. It prevents you from maintaining positive relationships with both yourself and your loved ones. It’s holding you back from developing into the person you were meant to be. You must completely acknowledge and be willing to confess to yourself that you might be the issue before you can start working on a solution. It may sound harsh, but it’s simple to place the responsibility elsewhere. Even though it can be difficult, looking inward is where the issue is.

Recognize how these destructive thought patterns affect your outlook on life

I still have to force myself to stop overthinking things from time to time. During these episodes, I find myself rehashing old exchanges between me and someone, blaming people, and insinuating that they are somehow “out to get me.” I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to comprehend everything. I attempt to draw connections between things, and when nothing makes sense, I find myself looking for dots to fill in the gaps. This frequently results in anxiety, regret, pessimism, or even a hopeless mood. Being able to recognize how these destructive thought patterns affect your life helps you take steps to change them.

Practice seeing the positive in every situation

I think the biggest thing that helped me was maintaining my positive outlook despite the difficult circumstances. Even though I couldn’t see everything at once, this gave me the ability to break free from my negative thought patterns and begin to see the bright side of things. I started convincing myself that everything was okay and that everything would work out instead of focusing on my issues. And trust that it will, provided you’re ready to take the first step toward moving forward.

Teal Blessed Wooden Letters Wall Decor on Amazon

You might even think about using encouraging phrases as visual clues on the walls. Seeing the above Teal Blessed Wooden Letters Wall Decor on Amazon and other positive and motivational quotes I have on my walls has given me the motivation to pause and get out of my brain while I was having a rough time.

Realize that overthinking is a habit

Believe it or not, overthinking does become a habit. Overthinking didn’t always control my life; it developed after a very traumatic experience, and the more I started to overthink things, the worse it got, eventually consuming my life.  Fortunately, it’s a habit that can be broken if you’re prepared to acknowledge when you’re doing it and stop. This habit can change your life significantly over time.

Start problem-solving

This one has been the most difficult for me; it’s really difficult to take a step back and acknowledge that you are both the cause of the issue and the answer to regaining control over your life. For instance, I truly stopped blogging for a while, but I really did everything to start blogging again. The motivation is there, and I am ready and 100% certain that I can do it, but I also have to understand that this does not mean that I should automatically be given employment. I have to be prepared to start with my best foot forward.

Problem solving, part 2

I call this part two because that’s what it is for me. Trying something new isn’t necessarily scary for me; it’s almost like I just don’t know how to start. It’s strange because I used to just start, and that’s not been the case this time. I’m getting there, but it’s almost like my brain lost the function to think like that. It’s almost like I’ve rewired my brain and am learning to walk again. It’s been difficult for me to start fully; it’s been in bits and pieces, and I’m just now realizing all of this. I’ve failed a lot, but I kept trying and kept trying, and now I’m starting to see why nothing has worked because I’ve not fully invested myself, but I honestly didn’t know how, but on the positive side, I do now! It’s really exciting for me.

15 Tips To Help Stop Overthinking Caused by Trauma

Don’t be ashamed of yourself

It’s difficult to realize how much overthinking has harmed your life, and while it’s natural to feel embarrassed, resist the need to do so. Take pride in your accomplishments, as this is no simple task. It’s like being a prisoner in your own mind! Take pride in yourself for having the strength to start the process of escaping!

Put yourself in other people’s shoes but maintain healthy boundaries

Before accusing someone else, take a step back and assess how you are handling problems. I’m finally beginning to realize how my overthinking has not only affected me but my loved ones as well. I painted myself as the victim for a very long time, and that was not fair to them. With that being said, don’t be afraid to maintain healthy boundaries because everything isn’t always your fault. See it for what it is, not what you want it to be or what someone else wants it to be. Be willing to hold yourself accountable, but only hold yourself accountable for your actions. Don’t hold yourself accountable for other people’s actions or lack thereof but be willing to see how you contribute to things. I’m still learning how my overthinking has had such a negative impact on people I love.

Find a way to distract yourself 

I need to find something mentally engaging to divert my attention because my mind is constantly racing. Cleaning doesn’t work for me; I think better when I’m occupied. You need to find something mentally engaging to do. Figure out what works for you. Perhaps cleaning, creating, reading, writing, or driving are yours; try different things and find what suits you best.

Find a place to think clearly

When I’m driving, I usually think more clearly. It seems like I’m just slightly preoccupied to prevent myself from overanalyzing a scenario while still being able to thoroughly analyze it. I can see the big picture, control my emotions, and have a healthy mental dialogue with myself, if that makes sense.

Help others but remember to help yourself too

Alright, so this is a bitter-sweet treat. When I first began my descent into the pit of overthinking, I placed all of my attention into helping other people instead of myself. I continued to help since it improved my mood and gave me a sense of purpose. So, sure, help others, because realizing that you have a beneficial influence on someone’s life not only benefits that person, but it may also help you realize that you have the power to brighten someone’s day, maintain productivity, and help push negative thoughts aside. Just watch out that you don’t use people pleasing as a band-aid to put over your overthinking problem. You matter too. It’s more difficult to help yourself, but the longer you put it off, the worse it gets.

15 Tips To Help Stop Overthinking

It is what it is, in most cases

“It is what it is” if you can’t alter, correct, or control it. Leave it alone. Don’t let things that are beyond your control—other people’s behavior, beliefs, discussions from the past, etc.—control you.

Your mind often creates your reality

I know, to be honest, I still find this one to be crazy. However, when you start to view people, places, and things negatively, the “universe,” if that’s what you want to call it sort of illuminates that for you. Do yourself a favor and do not let overthinking control you to the point you begin to see everything and everyone negatively or like it’s out to get you. It’s seriously an illusion; people love you, and some are trying to help you.

Don’t second-guess yourself

Although I still find this one challenging, I’ve come a long way! I’m rather proud of myself because I had a hard time with this one. I wanted every decision to be the “perfect’ decision. Welcome to life. We don’t always make the right choice, so if you make a decision, just go with it. If it’s wrong, you’ll learn that’s how it was before you started overthinking. Stop trying to be perfect now; it’s not going to happen.

You matter, you are loved, and don’t place your value in another human beings hands

This one will be my last, and I promise to be honest. Despite the fact that I have never been suicidal, I begged God to take me for years. I felt like a waste of air, like my loved ones would be better off without me, like I didn’t contribute to the greater good, like I was unlovable—the list goes on—and I honestly believed all of these things. I considered ending it all more frequently than not. I distanced myself from everyone and everything, stopped believing in anyone, even myself, and came to the realization that I place my self-worth in the hands of other people. When I gave and gave and gave, they could never deliver what I needed. It was a difficult, drawn-out learning experience, and I’m so thankful I made it out alive because I honestly didn’t know if I would.

Love yourself even when you are unlovable; you do matter; you are loved, and you are worth it. Start a daily gratitude journal and daily acts of self-love or anything else that works. Remember, every day is a day to start over. If you find yourself wishing you would have handled something differently, tomorrow is a fresh day to put that into motion. Don’t allow the negativity in this world to turn you cold; come out of this stronger and better than before. Be the difference we need in the world.

I am not a professional; I only have my experiences to go off, but if you have a question, please ask. I’ll do my best to answer it the best way I can, or at least point you to someone who can help. You also might consider reading What’s your spirit animal if you are having a problem understanding what’s going on behind the scenes; this may help offer you some insight too.

related articles

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out or learn more if you'd like. Accept Read More

Skip to content

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.