Over-thinking is a common problem, but one that can be hard to get out of, once the thoughts start circling around your headspace.

Share your Thoughts

Part of the reason that you may be ruminating on the same things over and over again (over-thinking) is because you haven’t started hustling the mixtape to the people on the street. Stop replaying different scenarios of what could have been or what could be in your mind, and share your thoughts with a trusted friend, family member, or mentor. You might find that they have a solution for your problem, and you may even feel better just be getting something “off your chest.” After all, there’s a reason for that expression.

Be Mindful

Have you ever tried to drop all your thoughts and just focused on the sound of your breathing? Have you ever stopped to look at something, anything, and just focus on that item? Try the meditative exercise of holding an item in your hand, and just looking at it. Soak in that item’s existence, while simultaneously pushing all other thoughts out of your mind. Once you’ve done that for five minutes, you may find yourself more centered, and less obsessive.

Don’t Interact with Drama

This probably goes without saying, but some of us fall into the trap of dealing with manipulative, negative, or verbally abusive people. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, these people have a tendency to try to get in your head, so don’t obsess about what they’re saying or doing. If you can, stop interacting with those types of people. If you can’t, read up on how to avoid the bait they set out for you. Disengage, and don’t play their game.

Make a Plan

Perhaps you’re thinking about something over and over again because you actually do need to plan it out, whether it’s a vacation, a move, or a business decision. Put your thoughts down on paper. Get messy and creative with it. Draw out a flowchart with markers on a whiteboard. Make diagrams with post-it notes. Do whatever you need to do to get a spatially visible map of your choices in front of you.

Make Art

Art is a great venue for getting stuff out of your head. How else do you think that dude with the moustache painted those twisted worlds of melting clocks? (I’m talking about Salvador Dali.) Art is a great way to transpose the thoughts swirling around your brain into a masterpiece of paint, chalk, pencil, crayon, or clay. When you’re done, you can look at the tangible manifestation of your thoughts, and you may not even feel so obsessive anymore.

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