Overthinking can sometimes feel like youre running a marathon that just wont end. Youre sprinting in circles trying to reach the finish line but every single time, you end up where youve started and made zero progress. It may feel like youre the only one who thinks too much but statistics say that 73 per cent of 25 to 35- year- olds are chronic overthinkers along with 52 per cent of people aged 45 to 55.What begins as contemplating and pondering can lead to use worryingsometimes unnecessarilyabout the past or the future. Whether you tend to ruminate about bygones or future prospects, here is a complete guide to understanding overthinking and tips on how to break the cycle.What is overthinking?Simply put, overthinking is when you worry about the same thoughts repeatedly. It can be detrimental to your mental health as it can lead to you feeling stuck, and unable to make decisions or take action in a situation. Overthinking can lead to and cause anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.Overthinking includes but isnt limited to, dwelling on the past, doubting the decisions youve made, replaying mistakes in your head over and over again, going over challenging or uncomfortable conversations, fixing on situations and factors that are out of your control and imaging the worst possible outcome for every situation.Causes of overthinking Overthinking is a defence mechanism: It is very likely that you ruminate over things like money, relationships, health and the like. If you have some semblance of control over these things, you can achieve the best for yourself. It is a habit: No one likes going about in circles over the same thing over and over again. Over time, worrying about things becomes a habit and we end up doing it without even realising. Fear of the unknown: Not knowing what is going to happen in the future can be daunting. To counter the worry, we try to prepare ourselves for all possible situations, and often go in a loop thinking about the worst outcomes.Everyday things you can do to avoid overthinkingAccept that everything you think isnt the truthThe brain is constantly thinking about things so you dont have to pick up the worst ones and believe them to be the truth. Instead, dismiss your negative thoughts immediately when they come up and try being present in the moment. What are you doing? Where are you? What worries you about your thoughts?JournalStudies have shown that writing things down can help us to be more aware of our thoughts and feelings. You can then easily analyse what it is that youre getting worried about and why. Remind yourself that the past has passed and the future is out of your reach. All you can do is be present in at the moment. Journalling can help reduce stress and improve focusit is a win-win!Alter your perspectiveIt is difficult to take an objective look at our thoughts but trust us, it is one of the best ways to stop overthinking. To do this, simply ask yourself a couple of questions like will this matter in five years?, how is overthinking helping me? etc.How meditation helps with overthinking It helps you to focus on the bigger picture It helps banish negativity It helps you to rearrange your thoughts and feelings It helps you analyse situations better It helps you to let go of situations and things that dont serve youHow to face your fears to stop overthinking Realise that no one has all the answersEveryone has struggles you know nothing about. Everyone makes mistakes and deals with bad days and setbacks, it isnt just you! Life is messy and that is what keeps you on your toes. Face themOkay, this is easier said than done but facing your fears gives them less power over you. If youre afraid of being in a closed place, try being there with a friend. The next day, go alone. Build your tolerance and soon, fear will have nothing on you! Overthinking is normalWere not just saying it, the stats clearly are. If youre feeling stressed about your thoughts, take a minute and close your eyes. Imagine your happy place. It could be the beach, a snow cabin in the middle of nowhere, a field of flowers, anything! Think about what cheers you up about it and youll instantly feel more relaxed.How to talk to yourself to avoid overthinkingOften, we dont give ourselves the same love, care and respect that we give our near and dear ones. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend. Begin by nipping the negative thoughts in the bud and immediately replacinge them with positive ones. Surround yourself with optimistic people who force you to focus on the present, not ones who are pessimistic and only make you worry more.3 other tips to stop overthinkingPut a timer to workGive yourself a fixed window to worry. Set a timer for five minutes and spend the time worrying, analysing, obsessing, whatever makes you feel better. When the timer goes off, thats it! You write down whatever it is on your mind and then rip it up. Move on and leave your worries behind.Accept that no one can predict the futureBy worrying about the future, youre putting yourself through the experience 100 times. Instead, focus on the present and things that make you happy today.Make a gratitude listIn the hustle- bustle of life, we often forget that we have SO much to be grateful for. If youre stuck thinking nothing is working out or will work out for you in the future, make a list of five great things you have going for yourself right now.Everyone deals with a bout of thinking now and then. But, if it is taking over your life or making you feel unable to go about your daily activities with ease, you may want to reach out for help. If you have a good support system in place, you can keep negative thoughts, anxiety and stress at bay.FAQsWhat are some signs that my overthinking is out of control?If youre dealing with thoughts of self-harm or worrying so much that youre unproductive, you may want to contact your doctor or therapist immediately.What does overthinking do to the body?Overthinking can take a toll on your mental, emotional as well as physical health. It may lead to anxiety, irritability, low appetite, loss of sleep, high blood pressure and more.