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Anxiety and Overthinking Everything

December 31, 2015 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Anxiety and overthinking tend to be evil partners. One of the horrible hallmarks of any type of anxiety disorder is the tendency to overthink everything. The anxious brain is hypervigilant, always on the lookout for anything it perceives to be dangerous or worrisome. I've been accused of making problems where there aren't any. To me, though, there are, indeed, problems. Why? Because anxiety causes me to overthink everything. Anxiety makes us overthink everything in many different ways, and the result of this overthinking isn't helpful at all. Fortunately, anxiety and overthinking everything doesn't have to be a permanent part of our existence.

Ways Anxiety Causes Overthinking

An effect of any type of anxiety is overthinking everything. There are common themes to the way anxiety causes overthinking. Perhaps this generic list will remind you of specific racing thoughts you experience and help you realize that you're not alone in overthinking everything because of anxiety.

  • Obsessing over what we should say/should have said/did say/didn't say (common in social anxiety)
  • Worrying incessantly about who we are and how we are measuring up to the world (common in social and performance anxiety)
  • Creating fearful what-if scenarios about things that could go wrong for ourselves, loved ones, and the world (common in generalized anxiety disorder)
  • Wild, imagined results of our own wild, imagined faults and incompetencies (all anxiety disorders)
  • Fear of having a panic attack in public and possibly thinking that you can't leave home because of it (panic disorder with or without agoraphobia)
  • Worrying about a multitude of obsessive thoughts, sometimes scary ones and thinking about them constantly (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
  • Thinking -- overthinking -- a tumbling chain of worries, vague thoughts, and specific thoughts (all anxiety disorders)

Result of Anxiety and Overthinking

With anxiety, not only are these thoughts (and more) running through our brains, but they are always running through our brains, non-stop, endlessly. Like a gerbil hooked up to an endless drip of an energy drink, they run and run and wheel around in one place, going absolutely nowhere. Day and night, the wheel squeaks.

Over-thinking everything is a horrid part of anxiety disorders. Over-thinking everything creates more anxiety. This tip helps stop over-thinking. Check it out.Anxiety and overthinking everything makes us both tired and wired. One result of the thinking too much that comes with anxiety is that we are often left feeling physically and emotionally unwell. Having these same anxious messages run through our head everywhere we go takes its toll.

Further, another dangerous result of anxiety and overthinking everything is that we start to believe what we think. After all, if we think it, it's real, and if we think it constantly, it's very real. Right? No. This is a trick anxiety plays. Anxiety causes overthinking, but with anxiety, these thoughts aren't always trustworthy.

You have the power and the ability to interfere in anxiety's overthinking everything. It's a process that involves many steps, but a step you can take right now to slow down that gerbil is to have something with you or around you to divert your attention. Rather than arguing with your thoughts or obsessing over them, gently shift your attention onto something else, something neutral. By thinking about something insignificant, you weaken anxiety's ability to cause you to overthink everything.

I explain this further in the below video. I invite you to tune in.

Let's connect. I blog here. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. My mental health novels, including one about severe anxiety, are here.

APA Reference
NCC, T. (2015, December 31). Anxiety and Overthinking Everything, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/12/anxiety-and-over-thinking-everything



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 5 2018 at 11:19 am
Hi Nikki,
You've experienced a lot of changes recently (plus have dealt with health issues)! Even positive changes can create anxiety and adjustment struggles. This article is about adjustment disorder and anxiety: https://www.healthyplace.com/ptsd-and-stress-disorders/adjustment-disorder/adjustment-disorder-with-anxiety/), and at the end there is a link to other helpful articles about adjustment disorder. The number one thing to know right now is that it's temporary. If you'd like, check out the information in the article. That might help you decide whether to seek professional help. Working with a therapist, even for a short time, can be very effective in helping you overcome anxiety, adjustment problems, and more.
Alexander John
says:
February, 28 2018 at 2:04 am
I have a problem or issue, i don't know how to call it, anxiety related.

I will be very short in details and it goes like this:
1) i am a very logical, rational and resonable person
2) everything i say, do or someone else says or do i ANALYZE
3) this analyze is very very stressfull and it blocks me from doing the important things in life.
4) When i analyze i mean: syntactic analyze, rational analyze, logic analyze and so on...

What are your suggestions about this?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 1 2018 at 10:24 am
Hi Alexander John,
Analyzing in this way can be exhausting, and when it blocks you from what's important, it can be a big problem. Have you ever visited with a medical professional or mental health professional about this? This doesn't mean that there is something wrong. It would be a way of investigating to get to the bottom of it. Different things can contribute to the type of analyzing you mention, and if you can pinpoint something, you can better target it so you can live your life free from this overthinking. You can also use your logic and rationality to your advantage. Some people find it useful to compartmentalize their thoughts (others need to work to stop doing this -- it all depends on the individual person). Create a "filing system" in your mind for different types of thoughts. When you are listening to someone and notice yourself analyzing, visualize yourself filing your thoughts away and locking the filing cabinet. If you want to go back to the thoughts later, you can, but if you don't want to, you can keep them locked. This is just a visualization exercise that can help you gain control over your analyzing thoughts. It can feel weird initially, and it takes some practice. Essentially what you're doing is training your brain to just tune in and ignore the tendency to analyze. You might prefer a different technique. Using your own logic could be very helpful.
Sasha
says:
February, 20 2018 at 9:51 pm
Hi
I have been overthinking for 3 months and I have problems with my family, friends and boyfriend. I was moody and so many emotional, I have been crying for 3 months because sometimes I get emotional to no reason. It’s hard for me because when overthinking that how people treat me and make me hurt even more. I don’t know who am I. I still hurt for what people hating me. Because I fight with them and fight with for no reason because I was angry and hating myself too much. But I don’t understand why I have been emotional and overthinking for past 3 months because I never had like that before. I really need help to how get over with emotional and overthinking. I just want to go back to normal life.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 23 2018 at 11:03 am
Hi Sasha,
What a long three months you must have had -- and are still experiencing. Of course you want to return to the way things were! And it's possible. It sounds like the root of the overthinking is emotions and relationships. Being able to describe this is great, because you can pinpoint the problems and start addressing them right away. With what you're describing, it's very helpful to work directly with a mental health professional. This link will take you to a list of articles with information about types of mental health treatment, where to find it, and more. Just scroll to the "Mental Illness Treatment" heading, and click on the one(s) that sound helpful to you. https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-illness-overview/mental-health-information-toc/
February, 16 2018 at 2:49 pm
Hi Neelam,
It sounds like you are a very caring, compassionate person. Those are wonderful strengths to have and can help you have strong, close relationships. You don't want to give that up! But like all strengths, these can get in your way, as you are seeing. You are already a step ahead because you recognize that this is happening and how it's interfering in your life and happiness. Now you can focus on shifting your thoughts. Having anxiety about the health of people you care about is actually common -- you're not alone. I actually wrote an article addressing this very thing. It might have ideas that will help you. Here is the link: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/11/anxiety-over-a-loved-ones-health-dos-and-donts/
NEELAM
says:
February, 16 2018 at 7:35 am
Hello.ma'am
I m addicted to over thinking when it comes to heath issues of anyone in my family.. I just reach to the maximum wid very little of anything.. last month my Lo was not well for 10 days.. I was going through very tensed situation where she had small viral infection.. now when after 15 days she got cold now mild fever again and my thoughts are skyrocketing as why she fell ill within 15 days.. my very tensed and feel lost in my bad thoughts..
This habit is killing me and my wonderful present not future..
Ma'am plz advise. How to cope up with this
Nestor F.
says:
February, 10 2018 at 4:25 pm
Idk what I'm doing, but ok, so I'm 19 years old, and I have been living my life with some problems that I try to explain, but can't. At times I've wanted to do some things that I don't want to mention, but I realize how I always overthink about anything that is not to big of a deal. (for some reason I'm shaking right now) My whole life I've been trying to go out and be heard, but I get too shy and feel down when I try. I'm always "on the low," don't talk much, always listening to music, by myself, rarely go out, can't deal with strangers much or crowds. Have tried working as a server twice, but unfortunately got fired twice for the same reason (not showing up, calling "sick") but went back to delivering. I just don't know what to say. But I give what I can think of.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 14 2018 at 3:50 pm
Hi Nestor,
I'm sorry to read about what you're going through. You mentioned wanting to be out and about but being too shy. I'm wondering about something based on what you've written, but I'm definitely not trying to diagnose you. That would be wrong of me and impossible to do with just this little bit of information. Some of what you said reminds me a lot of social anxiety and, beyond that, something called avoidant personality disorder. "Shyness" exists on a spectrum with mild shyness on one end and avoidant personality disorder on the other. Avoidant personality disorder is like social anxiety on steroids. This article will tell you a bit more about this, and if it seems to fit, you can look up some more information: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/03/social-anxiety-a-spectrum-from-shy-to-avoidant/ Intense social anxiety can be hard to overcome, but with patience and perseverance, things will get better. You can even have a job and a social life.
Amad
says:
February, 10 2018 at 1:15 pm
I have my eyebrows bones little exposed within two weeks of over thinking for the left one it is old one the right eye brows bones it is exposed more recently .

Is it cause by anxiety ?because I have many issues .

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 14 2018 at 3:38 pm
Hi Amad,
Anxiety can cause many physical symptoms. Whenever you have something physical like this, it's a good idea to see a doctor to rule out or treat a health condition.
Selina
says:
February, 6 2018 at 6:21 pm
I‘m only 21 but looking back i have always had negative thoughts, circeling in my head so fast its every second lately. I feel trappes in my head and the things I think about is actually always worrying about what other people think about me while I am actually doing stuff, I am thinking like that even about my friends and family. It is probably because Im insecure in general but lately the more I stop to think about it, the heavier the tboughts get. Its like my mind is constantly racing

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 14 2018 at 3:43 pm
Hi Selina,
A constantly racing mind -- that is a really good description. Social anxiety and insecurity can definitely be at the root of this type of overthinking. And as you're seeing, it can keep getting worse! The good news is that it can also get better. Have you looked into social anxiety? Perhaps starting by looking into information about this type of anxiety will be a great first step in reducing overthinking.
Trace
says:
February, 3 2018 at 5:58 pm
Good video. Does a therapist notice anxiety and over thinking? Mine has never mentioned it. Only one has ever acknowledged the dissociation. But we never worked on anything to stop it. I get my Mental Health care through the Veterans Admins., in the USA, so I don't think they are equipped to handle dissociation or to do therapy to help anxiety or overthinking. Sessions are usually 6-12 weeks apart :(

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 14 2018 at 3:41 pm
Hi Trace,
Some therapists do (and should) address overthinking. Others do not. I'm not sure what the VA policy is. If it's possible to try a different therapist? Also, 6-12 weeks apart is a long time between sessions. Have you tried any self-help books about anxiety to work on between sessions? That might be helpful.
Witek
says:
January, 27 2018 at 3:59 am
Is it possible that such things are genetically passed? My mother has problem with anxiety. He never starts conversation with "how are you", instead she says "is everything OK" assuming that it's not and she wants me to prove her wrong. Why is that I always think obsessively about something even thought it's already clear. to me? I For example I know that I still have time to do something, yet I worry it will be too late. Why is that I seek confirmation from many sources and even when I am sure about something I still have this kind of feeling "what if....". I often ask the same questions and people get angry about it. It affects my relations with my girlfriend. She says I am obsessed and annoying. Then I worry...that I am too annoying and I keep asking her "am I not annoying you". Then of course, she gets angry. It's like I want to go somewhere in April and I know that I can make final decision in March but I feel like I have to do it now, I don't know where this feelings comes from. I know it's overthinking and anxiety. I keep telling myself "stop" or "it's OK, you already know that" but it does not seem to work. What can I do? I can't concentrate on everyday stuff, simple things.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 30 2018 at 11:11 am
Hello Witek,
Anxiety can be related to genetics, at least partially. It can also definitely be learned. Anxiety is no one's fault but is something complex that develops from many different experiences with our environment, within the brain, and a consequence of interactions with others, including parents. Your mom probably cares about you and wants you to be safe (physically, emotionally -- the whole deal). She might have some fears and anxieties of her own that give her reason to believe that the world is not okay, and by constantly asking and obsessing, it's her way of making sure you are okay. But having that kind of interaction and talk over and over again really could have an impact on how you interact. This is what you learned, and it's naturally how you see things and react. (This is oversimplified and there is a lot more to anxiety -- and to you as a person -- than this. This is an observation based on what you mentioned.)

You have already had a great first step. You've identified what you don't want. The next step is identifying what you do want and then create an action plan that involves small steps to work your way to who and how you want to be. It's common to think, "I know what I want. I don't want to be this way. I want to stop overthinking. That's what I want." But that isn't helpful. When you think about what you don't want, you are thinking of what you don't want. Your focus is on the negative. Just reframing and focusing on what you do want will start to make a difference. Build on that with action, and you will be working toward the change you want to, and can, create.
Zach
says:
January, 24 2018 at 12:34 pm
Hello I am 21 years old, my name is zach, I recently just started having anxiety/overthinking issues in my life. I have so much blessings in my life and not really having nothing to complain about: I'm going to trade school and working to be an electrician, I keep a good relationship with my family and my friends, and about 2 months deep into a relationship with a wonderful woman. Shes is very mature and very understanding about a lot of things. So recently I started getting really anxious and start overthinking my actions around her. I keep playing scenarios in my head over and over again thinking "she's going to leave me she's in a bad mood." Basically almost making it believable that she's going to leave me because I'm thinking lesser of myself. Does that make sense? Our relationship is going really well and she has no intentions of leaving. She knows I have this problem and wants to help the best she can. Whenever I get into this anxious/overthinking mood it gets so bad I do not want to eat and I just get this heavy feeling in my chest. All because my mind plays scenerios that ARENT true. I just want it to stop. It's stopping me from being myself around the people I love

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 30 2018 at 11:01 am
Hi Zach,
The insight you have about your anxiety, including the fact that you know that your thoughts don't match reality, means that you're already far into the process of overcoming this. Many times, people don't realize that just because they are thinking and feeling, it doesn't make it true. (That is a common trick that anxiety plays on people, so it's not bad when that happens. It's just a different starting point for overcoming anxiety). You're aware of your irrational thoughts (that's not a judgment; "irrational" is just the word that is used and it means that they aren't what's really happening). I have two links for you that might be helpful. One is about relationships, and the other is about an approach to mental health and wellbeing called acceptance and commitment therapy. These just might have information that will help you stop the anxious thoughts and let you be yourself. (ACT is largely about learning to be yourself.)

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/03/how-to-stop-feeling-insecure-in-relationships/

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/
Veronica
says:
January, 20 2018 at 12:06 pm
Hello Tanya. i'm 21 years old girl and i have been having a lot of axiety lately. I have decided to make do certain things during the day in order to be productive, for example, studying french 2 hours, piano 1 hour, seweing 1 hour in the evening, reading, etc. When i wake up in the morning my brain is calm for some time but after 2 hours i start thinking about how the time won't be enough, that i will feel tired or lazy, how i won't progress as much as i would expect and so on, i overthink and i think that negatively affects my performance. I started having anxiety about 2 and a half years ago because i had a teacher that was very tough, i even had panic attacts at night but the it all went away but now, i just think about me not being able to be as productive as i would like to, i get tired very soon now and also, i'm from Venezuela, my country is in chaos, everywhere you go you see poverty, lack of opportunities so it is somehow a very sad environment, i don't know if that could have something to do with it too. Today, i had a awkward social interaction with someone (i'm a very shy person) and then i came home could not stop feeling bad about it and thinking it too and i'm never like that, i mean, if something like that happens i just think "whatever, it already happened, i can't change it" but this time was not like that. Something else, i suffer from metabolic syndrom and had already had hypothyroidism.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 30 2018 at 10:40 am
Hi Veronica,
From my own personal experience plus what I've encountered professionally, this drive/need to be productive is extremely anxiety-provoking. It becomes a terrible cycle: We think/worry about not being productive. So we try harder to be productive, taking on more tasks to try to solve the problem. Of course, there is only so much time, and everything we do requires time, which means we don't get to everything. That makes us feel less productive. So we take on more. The cycle continues and anxiety worsens. It even causes physical symptoms and physical illness. It can also lead to other mental health challenges -- like the way you reacted to the social interaction. That is a very normal thing to do, and it often comes from being overwhelmed. The brain becomes overloaded and it becomes harder for it to handle things.

It's hard to break out of this cycle of anxiety and productivity. Believe me, I know! One thing that is often effective is to start at the source -- the need to be productive. Make a definition of productivity that is meaningful to you and of course realistic. Define what is reasonable to do in a day, then choose the most necessary things to fit into the time frame. Jot them down so you can cross them off when you do them. That reinforces that you are doing things. Also, before bed, list what you accomplished and why it matters. If/when you keep thinking about what you didn't accomplish, write that down, too, plus why it's okay that those things didn't get done. This is a good first step to reducing this "productivity anxiety."

One thing that very likely does contribute is something out of your control: the chaos around you. These conditions absolutely can cause or add to anxiety, depression, PTSD and other trauma-related disorders, and more. I happened to research this recently for a book, so I've read studies and personal accounts about the effects of living in wide-spread poverty, long-term effects of natural disasters, war, political strife, etc. This chaos does take a toll on mental health and wellbeing. Discovering personal meaning can counterbalance the negative effects. What is important to you? Who is important to you? What bothers you that you would like to see change? If you can take time to explore what is meaningful to you, you can then do things to live in a way that matches your meaning. This has the added bonus of reducing the need to be productive because living according to your values is naturally productive and satisfying.
Michael mortara
says:
January, 16 2018 at 4:38 am
Hi. I am male 34 living in India. I have severe anxiety talking with even people I know. They can be my senior cousins or my elder uncles. Whoever is outside of my family. I fear mostly teasing and pulling a leg thinking that they will not like that considering they are elder to me. I am happy when I am natural. However, anxiety stops me from enjoying the moment fully because it keeps me shut, it keeps me from conversing at my full potential. I have no ill will but I fear the reactions of my cousins and uncle/aunt. I fear that they would react harshly when I tease them. And say that it is inappropriate. I feel like being admonished like a kid. I have always kept to myself mostly. And remained anxious for so many years since childhood.
Please help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 19 2018 at 10:24 am
Hi Michael,
Sometimes (many times) family can cause great anxiety for many different reasons. When family members, especially older ones in a special role, judge us negatively, it can cause anxiety and withdrawal. Sometimes, putting family opinions aside temporarily (you can still respect them in their role) and exploring who you are and how you want to be can reduce anxiety. You have a chance to know yourself without feeling wrong about your discoveries. One way to do this is to examine your unique strengths and find ways you want to use them. Check out www.viacharacter.org for a high-quality self-test and information. Also, because you have been dealing with this for so long and because it comes from family, it can be helpful to work with a therapist. If you don't have easy access to a therapist, you can try an online service such as betterhelp.com or talkspace.com. Truly, you don't have to be stuck with this severe anxiety forever.
January, 9 2018 at 7:46 am
Hi Michele,
Know that you aren't alone in this. So many people have a hard time around what you describe that there are indeed books to help. The other reason there are books is because it is possible to overcome this and thrive. If it were hopeless, there wouldn't be any books!


Something that stood out to me in what you wrote was the fact that you have a new job and have recently experienced traumas. While I would never dish out a diagnosis, I will say that these are elements of adjustment disorder or even adjustment-related stress if it's not a full-blown disorder. Even positive change can lead to adjustment stress/disorder. This is something that is temporary when you have help dealing with it. That help can be in book form. There aren't many books about adjustment disorder out there. One good (but short) one is Adjustment Disorder: When You Can't Cope with Change by J.B. Snow. Learn more here: http://amzn.to/2FkS7Pq. That title sounds a bit off-putting in my opinion. But if you can get past the harsh "When you can't cope with change" part, the information is good.


Another good title to look into is Thriving with Social Anxiety: Daily Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety and Building Self Confidence by Hattie Cooper.

Another one that is helpful with overthinking, self-confidence, adjustment, and more is Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 Steps: http://amzn.to/2FlaPqu. I should disclose that I am the author of this one. However, I make nothing from the sales and have nothing to gain at all by telling you about this book. I believe strongly in acceptance and commitment therapy so I'm just listing this with the other two.

I hope this list gives you a good start. You're on the right track already. You've taken two important steps: you decided you want to break your current patterns (that's a big decision that not everyone makes), and you're seeking information to do it. Keep at it!
Michele
says:
January, 8 2018 at 7:32 pm
I am 30 years old, and I have recently changed careers. I'm starting to see very negative patterns of thinking where my job performance is concerned. I've been through a few traumatic events in recent years (from being told I had performance issues job wise to being stalked), and I find myself consistently overthinking what I and other people say and do. I have a hard time trusting my co workers and opening up to them about work related things. I am constantly worried that I am going to do the wrong thing and be fired. I have similar issues with relationships as well, but those are more rooted in insecurity and feeling like I don't have anything to offer another person. I have a tendency to pull people close then push them away.

I am looking for books or techniques that will help me break these patterns of negative thoughts and over come my over thinking. I think I'd be a happier and healthier person. Previous therapists haven't always been helpful, and I am not in a position in my life to be able to afford therapy. Any advice you give would be greatly appreciated.
willy
says:
January, 8 2018 at 2:23 am
hi Tanya
my name is willy im 21. i have relationship problem with my girlfriend. She had been overthinking in our relationship and question the feeling of mine. She overthink stuff very easily . i feel that she didnt feels secure inside her even though im trying to give her security as much as i could. We been loving each other very much but we argue very often. She been keeping her overthink to herself and refuse to talk about it every time i ask about it. Im very tired and so she does but its our first love and we dont want to break up, we are so important to each other. Could you suggest me some way to overcome my problem?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 8 2018 at 5:15 am
Hi Willy,
Relationships are difficult! Add anxiety and insecurity to the mix, and "difficult" doesn't describe them adequately. It sounds like you have a healthy perspective, seeing both the positives and negatives. Know that the feelings you are experiencing are very normal. I have a resource to share with you that you might want to look into. It's a book called Anxious in Love: How to Manage Your Anxiety, Reduce Conflict, and Reconnect with Your Partner (the Amazon link is http://amzn.to/2AGQU1v -- it's just so you can look. I'm not trying to sell! I have nothing to do with this book.) It's written more to the person with anxiety, but it is suitable for both people in the relationship. I haven't read this particular book, but I have read other books by one of the authors (Carolyn Daitch). I like her work. This might be something for you to read first to gain some insights and tips, and it's also a good one to read with your girlfriend and talk about with her. This book won't advise you to stay together or tell you to break up (at least it *shouldn't* give you advice like that). But it will help you communicate, give you strategies to try, and ultimately see if the relationship causes more stress than good times. Most of Daitch's books are available in libraries, so you might be able to check it out rather than purchasing it. You seem very caring and solution-focused. Those are very positive qualities. Know that if you decide to break up, those qualities will still remain. Sometimes staying together is best, and sometimes breaking up is best. By exploring this, you can be confident that whichever path you take, it's the right one for you both.
Tamim
says:
January, 5 2018 at 11:29 pm
hi,tanya i am 17 years old and i started to think over on every single situation.
when i was about 14 i started to over think and talk to myself about situations....
but now i know i thinked in a wrong way..i want to recover
from it but its so stressfull how my inner voices are
stressing me....please help me i am in problem...
what can i do to controll my mind annd inner voices...?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 8 2018 at 5:34 am
Hi Tamim,
Overthinking in this way is very stressful. One important place for you to start overcoming this is to know that you haven't thought in a wrong way. It can feel that way, but that's part of the way anxiety makes us think. It's easier said that done, but it's important not to judge yourself so negatively. A simple way to begin doing this (it won't completely solve the problem, but it's a great way to start): whenever you are thinking negative thoughts, overthinking something, etc. stop yourself and say "I'm having the thought that..." (So if you think "I shouldn't have said that," change it to (I'm having the thought that I shouldn't have said that.") It shifts your thinking and distances yourself, sending the subtle message that it's only a thought rather than a truth. This comes from acceptance and commitment therapy. This is an approach that helps people deal with challenges like overthinking. This article can give you more information: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/

I do have a question for you. You mentioned inner voices. This means different things to different people. For you, are inner voices the thoughts you are telling yourself, or are they statements that you can hear, things that are talking to you? If you are actually hearing voices talking to you, or if you aren't sure, visit the Hearing Voices Network: https://www.hearing-voices.org/. You'll find a lot of information to help you know if this is what you're experiencing and, if this is it, information about what to do and where to find help.

Whatever the cause of your thoughts/overthinking, help is available. You don't have to be bothered by this forever.
Alondra C
says:
January, 4 2018 at 5:32 pm
Hello im Alondra 16 from Texas I have and have had friends that suffer with mental illnesses and I always encourage them to open up and look at the better things in life and in themselves.I feel like a hypocrite because I tell them to do this but don’t do it for myself, I constantly feel pressured to be the best in class because I feel that if I don’t I’m never gonna get anywhere even tho I have great grades and do well in school. This might be due to the fact that I tend to overthink everything all the smallest thing for example when driving I always think the worst like what if I died right now. Thought like this have brought me to the point if crying and constant stress. I feel like I should look for professional help but I’m afraid to because what if it’s not something big and I’m just being dramatic I don’t know what to do anymore with always being stressed and always being a big procrastinator I feel like I’ll get nowhere and all my hard work will go to waste.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 6 2018 at 10:43 am
Hi Alondra,
It's great that you encourage friends to open up! And you're not a hypocrite for having a hard time opening up yourself. Doing so is really difficult. It's also common for people of all ages to wonder if they're making too big a deal out of what they're experiencing. When you feel pressure to be the best, it can become even more difficult. I think it is very reasonable, and very important, to seek professional help. When your anxiety gets in the way of your life, seeking professional help can help get you back on track, so you are in control of the worries instead of worries being in control of you. You can also reign in that perfectionism and performance anxiety that just might be at the root of your other worries. :)
Emma Flannery
says:
January, 3 2018 at 2:23 pm
Hi tanya, and every other phsycholigist/therapists, on this website!. my name is Emma Flannery, and i am a 17 year old Polish-American girl, that lives in Australia!!!!! Which i hate sooooooooooo much!!!!!!!! Words literally can't discribe how much i hate it!!. and i am severely stuck in my brain everyday!!!!!, and right now i am overthinking about what someone was going to say, because they didn't finish what they were saying!. And i have tried what you said to do Tanya! but it isn't working!!! Well i should say, it does work, but only temperarely..! I've always had this!, but the past roughly, about a couple of weeks it's been really really reeeally bad!, and unmanagible!. It's getting a bit more worse, as the day goes on!, every day!!!. Please help me!!!, is there medication i can take?, Or at least some form of help. i can't take any kind of therapy, unless it's medication therapy, that's if medication therapy even exists!. as i am not willing to do it, in Australia, as i don't trust Australia (the people,) unless they share the same views as me!. Like for example, Australia is mostly not a good country. exedra exedra. Don't get me wrong everyone, literally everyone, is etitled/has a right, to their own opinion!. But it's just that i have suffered a lot of trauma in Australia!, and by the people!. It's nothing personal!. As i was saying.. I got quite a bit of track there. Is there any medication that i can take??, or at least something to either stop, or at least make this managible!. Thanx for any proffesional who'll take the time to read and answer this comment!. This may sound extreamly racist!!, but it's not racist!. and it's perfectly fine and understandable if you take offence to it. As i was going to say, don't want any Australian's Answering this, or even just reading this. your allowed and entitled to like anything to do/asociated with Australia, and the people, and to be proud of being Australian. but if you do/are, then i am genuinly am sorry!, but i don't want you reading or anwsering this comment. it is because i have suffered an eeextream amount of trauma, including really really really complex trauma!!!! Words can't even describe how much trauma i have experianced!!. And words also can't describe how bad the trauma is!!. And i am extreamly extreamly confused!!!!!, Words can't even begin to describe how much i'm confused!!. So someone pleeeeeease help me!!!!!! I am sooooooooooo desprerate!!!!! Any help is appreciated!. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Emma Flannery
says:
January, 3 2018 at 2:51 pm
When i say i am stuck in my my brain, i mean i am overthinking, and my that my thoughts are going around in loops!. I just wanted to let you know, and for my own piece of mind, that you know what i mean by that!. And see this is another thing, i have to, ask someone if they understood what i ment, by what i said!. Cos if i don't then i get really really really stressed and overthink heaps!!. So could you also please help me with this as well!??. Please, thanx!.??????????????
Crissy R
says:
December, 31 2017 at 3:28 am
Hi Tanya,

I've been diagnosed with panic disorder 5 months ago. I'm stuck in a rut and unhappy with my current career and personal life. I started getting very bad panic attacks every time I think about the future because I keep overthinking a scenario in which I realise my life is too dull and can't possibly bear with it another 40 years and want to end it all. I've been doing CBT for 4 months but my therapist isn't able to help me overthinking this scenario. It started to seem more and more real and it is the main fuel of my anxiety. Any tips?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 3 2018 at 8:05 am
Hi Crissy,
I have what might be good news. The key to moving past your overthinking and anxiety is in your message. Feeling stuck and unhappy with major aspects of your life is a HUGE contributing factor to anxiety. Many times -.people don't even realize this right away, but it sounds like you do -- which is another bit of good news. You've actually begun your journey to where you want to be. It just doesn't feel like it at the moment. It's very normal for people in similar situations. While you do feel stuck, the idea of the unknown can keep you right where you are. And changing careers or making big family changes is scary. It's often helpful to set thoughts about the future aside at first, other than creating goals and visions for what you want. Have a vision and then create an action plan to work toward it, and also live in the present moment. Do things every day to make good moments, and every day work toward your plan.

Also, don't worry about CBT not fully working. It can be great and very helpful, but it's not helpful for everyone and every situation, including your situation. You might want to look into solution-focused therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy. They're both goal and action-oriented to move your forward and reduce anxiety. You will be able to take charge of things, and you won't feel stuck forever!

I do want to mention one other thing. You made a comment about wanting to end it all sometimes. If you ever feel that way, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help and- support. Contact them to chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255.
Ben Marinelli
says:
December, 25 2017 at 7:12 pm
Hello my name is Ben, I’m 19yrs old and I am constantly worrying and overthinking everything. I have turned to self harm only a couple times. I have not been diagnosed with anything and I feel that I should talk to a professional but I just can’t get myself to go. My problem is that I worry about every little possible thing. I am really bad when it comes to overthinking. It gets so bad I get bad body pains everywhere. I’ve had enough living in darkness with a flood of negative thoughts. I am not sure what to do, it is hard for me to look at anything positively.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 29 2017 at 6:38 am
Hi Ben,
I'm sorry to read that anxiety is plaguing you like this. I'm wondering if you also have some depression mixed in. Anxiety and depression often occur together and make each other worse. I certainly would never attempt to diagnose you! I just notice a mix of both anxiety and depression in what you described, and it might be worth looking into just to discover the best possible treatment. You're very wise in thinking about talking to a professional. Mental health professionals can guide you in overcoming challenges like this and discover a path to living your life fully. You might consider examining what's keeping you from going (many people are hesitant to see a professional and/or are so consumed by their symptoms that they can't do it -- so what you're experiencing is very normal.) Sometimes it's helpful to list reasons why you don't want to/can't get yourself to go. Then list all of the ways that you might benefit from going. Does the second list override the first? Having a specific purpose in mind can help you move forward even when you don't think you can. You've had enough of living in darkness -- now let yourself move out of it!
Faith
says:
December, 23 2017 at 10:06 am
Hey, I have mega anxiety to where I drive myself to feeling sad all the time or stressed by overthinking situations I think that could really affect my life and I want to talk to someone about it but I it’s rather personal and I would rather not bay tips on how to cope with it yourself? Or how to prevent thinking about it all together.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 29 2017 at 6:28 am
Hi Faith,
Two great approaches for self-help are also approaches therapists use with clients. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy are excellent. I use both approaches in my daily life. I started them when I was working to overcome horrible anxiety, and now they're a part of my general wellbeing. These two links take you to posts to each one just to give you a general idea about them. Check out an article about ACT here https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/ and an article about solution-focused therapy here: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/06/five-solution-focused-ways-to-beat-anxiety/.
Talking to someone about your anxiety could be very helpful to you. If you are uncomfortable talking to someone in person, there are online organizations that offer therapy and a safe, neutral place to let your down. TalkSpace.com and BetterTherapy.org are two of the online offerings that are professional and reputable. You've already taken the first step in reducing anxiety -- you're seeking information and reaching out. Keep going! Anxiety doesn't have to negatively affect your life forever.
MJ
says:
December, 12 2017 at 6:49 pm
Hey Tanya, I have had anxiety since I was i was 25, I am now 61, I first got anxiety when I was 25 and went through a trauma, and had to be put on medicine for anxiety and depression, I then went through Alot of mental and fiscally abuse, that lead me into harsher anxiety, got put on different anxiety medicine, I took it for years and it was helping me Alot, I am 61 now and I am having a very harsh time with anxiety and ocd, because they took away my anxiety medicine a few months ago. I am going now through what feels like anxiety hell every min im awake, and constant severe ocd with it, I've tried so hard to get my medicine back, but noone will help me, and I don't know if I can possibly do this any longer, I am so scared and feel like im going to end up in a pschy ward, I have went to therapy off and on since 1992, and it did help Alot until the pschy Dr took my medicine away, I don't know what to do to get myself out of this what feels like a nightmare, help me if you can

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 14 2017 at 10:56 am
Hi MJ,
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with anxiety and ocd right now. I think it's great that you are looking for help and solutions -- it means you're not giving up no matter how bad things are right now! Things don't have to stay miserable. It usually takes time for the body and brain to adjust to a change in medication. Be patient with yourself during this transition period and knw that the higher-than-normal anxiety is part of the process of stopping medication. Being patient and accepting won't change your anxiety levels quickly, but it will help you deal with all of it.

Having support could go a long way toward overcoming this intensified anxiety and ocd. Working with a therapist can help people immensely. This number helps people find therapists in their area: 1-800-843-7274. You can also use therapist finders on PsychologyToday.com or GoodTherapy.org. Online counseling services like TalkSpace..com or BetterHelp.com. Finally, if you have a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) office in your area, they could be a great resource The offer support, classes, and know helpful community resources. I know that having anxiety can make these things hard to do. But if you start small and choose to find support in just one way, and then gradually add to what you're doing, you'll notice that it no longer feels like you're living in a nightmare.
Jennyfwr
says:
December, 11 2017 at 10:22 pm
Hi. I have a problem with morning anxiety, I wake with a churning stomach and shaky and have to the loo. I am not eating as much because of this, but by the evening I feel fine. But the I dread going to bed as I know I will wake up feeling dreadful again. I have been che ked out by doctors, so I seem to be stuck in a horrible rut with this. I thare anything that you can suggest for me please.
Thank You

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 12 2017 at 5:02 am
Hi Jennyfwr,
Morning anxiety is a common, and frustrating, experience. Your description of it being a rut is very insightful, and you might not have realized it, but it can be the way out of it! Morning anxiety becomes part of a cycle of dread. You feel horribly anxious in the morning and dread going to bed at night because of what the morning will bring. To break the cycle, begin with the nighttime dread. Having a nightly ritual where you get comfortable, maybe light a candle or use an essential oil diffuser to stimulate your sense of smell which positively impacts the brain. Then, write down three things that you're grateful for (or three things that went well) from your day. Next, write down three things you're looking forward to tomorrow, no matter how small they are. You can end with a positive statement about yourself (also called an affirmation) that reminds you of your ability to get past morning anxiety. These thoughts will come to replace dread of the morning. Put your notebook beside your bed and when you wake up, redirect your thoughts by reading what you wrote the previous night. When you do this consistently, it can replace morning anxiety with morning positivity.
Viju
says:
December, 5 2017 at 8:09 am
Hii Tanya ,my problem is verry painfull to me day by day .I overthink in every single thing .I look every single thing as a problem.if I don't get a answer or solution.i feel like anxiety. Like my study problem or other things like someone said me then I thought why he or she said me and I constantly thought about these things.please help me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 5 2017 at 4:20 pm
Hi Viju,
Overthinking this way absolutely causes problems. I know this from experience. I also know that it can get better! Two things you might want to look into are great for this kind of overthinking: acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness. (Mindfulness is a part of ACT, but it also is a healing approach on its own.) These articles might be helpful in giving you a bit of background: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/ and https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/anxiety/using-mindfulness-for-anxiety-here-s-how/

Also, working with a therapist can be very helpful too. In-person therapy has many benefits, but online counseling is available, too. GoodTherapy.org and TalkSpace.com are two reputable organizations.

You can absolutely do things to decrease anxiety and overthinking everything.
Momo7
says:
November, 30 2017 at 2:24 pm
I'm 69 male going through sevre anxiety and dipression( MDD and GAD) besides many physical issues like sevre eyes and digestion and body/joint pains and headache issues.
My mental sickness became treatment resistant as so many AD tried but nothing help. Sleepless ness now is major problem. I did CBT more then 12 sessions and even ECT six sessions, nothing help. Right now going through sevre emotional stress and anxiety with completly racing mind with nagative thoughts. I can't stop it inspite all efforts. I can't sleep also for many nights, even taking Clonazipan 1.25mg at night but it stoped helping to sleep. I don't know what to do and how to relax for a while. Seriously needs your guidance and help. My body feels and remained under sensation 24/7 with a feeling that some thing burning running in my blood veins.... I really feel a current like feeling contineously. Now fed up and tired. Feeling helpless, hopeless, worthless, sleepless, supportless, isolated, clueless.... not able to think or get of the bed and house. Due side effects dry eye n other eye related issues with digestion issues are adding further fuel to existing condition. Further my mind multiply every little things by 1000?times and fuel my anxiety, stress and worries. Off course I have some sevre family problems with my married children with whom I n my wife live as dependant. My wife is also very sick. My younger son and his wife are very sick due car accident this week.... these all things frustrat me too much and I can't think anything.
I'm sorry, you may edit my moderate and edit my comments bcz I m sure you understand where I'm coming from and what is my current position, issues and possible solutions and help. Kindly help me Taniya, I seriously needs your help. Email me with your reply asap. God bless you. Thanks giving holidays passed with lots of pains and now Christmas and new year holidays are ahead and my life will be miserable besides my sickness will be additional problems for my families. Help me please.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 3 2017 at 12:23 pm
Hello Momo7,
I'm sorry to read of all that you are experiencing. It sounds like you have some long-standing difficulties and now new ones added plus a difficult time of year. This can make everything seem insurmountable. Sorting this out with a therapist could be extremely helpful. In-person is always great, but it's not always possible. There are also online services like GoodTherapy.org or TalkSpace.com. In the meantime, of course you want to start feeling better right away. I have a question for you to think about: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing, what would you change? What would be better, and how would you know it is better? Now, what small things can you do every day to make that one thing improve? (Okay, that was more than one question!) The idea behind this is that you get to start doing something, even if it's small, right away to start making things better. Also, it helps you prioritize and make a series of small goals. It can be very overwhelming and nearly impossible to address everything all at once. But by breaking it up into manageable goals, you can make improvements that add up to a big difference. You absolutely can get better!
Kristina
says:
November, 29 2017 at 1:44 pm
Hello Tanya! how are you? i was wondering if i could have some of your spear time because i'm frustrated with the excessive thinking and anxiety, and like you said I always think someone is looking at me or is just staring at me then i turn and they are not. I also think a lot during class its been happening for years now and now im in high school and i need to pay attention but i just can't i try to pay attention yet i can't and its bringing my grades down. I just have tried so much to stop the thinking im so frustrated I've just given up i feel horrible and i feel like their is no other way my grades are droppping and i have gotten a therapist but she's not familiar with the overthinking and were coming up with ways to fix it. please please please help me i don't know what to do anymore please!
Ileana
says:
November, 24 2017 at 5:26 pm
Please reply to this. I have always been overthinking but I just noticed it grows with me as I get older. I am 29 y now and I can tell this is the worst anxiety feelings I ever had. It affects me physically. I have headache all day. I feel nausea. It just won't stop and there is nothing particular that I am worried about. I don't enjoy things anymore and I feel I might be depressed. I tried to talk to my family about it but they laughed at me. No one actually cared. My biggest fears are two: failures and death. I just can't take my mind over these two and I think my fear of them is killing my joy and happiness in everything I do. When I think of death I am always afraid of losing the people I love in my life. It's not common where I live to openly talk about feelings or seek a doctor's help. I just don't know what to do. Do you think taking medicine like xanaxs helps in my situation?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 27 2017 at 7:23 am
Hi Ileana,
I'm sorry you didn't receive a positive reaction from your family when you tried to talk to them. Please don't let this stop you from seeking help. Have you looked into online counseling, such as GoodTherapy.org or TalkSpace.com (there are others as well). Not everyone can easily go to a doctor or therapist, and these services offer a way to do it when there are barriers in the way. These services are given by qualified professional therapists. It might be worth looking into. As far as medication, I can't assess whether it would be helpful for you. Each person is unique, and everyone reacts differently to medication, plus there are so many different medications for anxiety and depression. Doctors and a small handful of other healthcare professionals are the only ones who can safely help with medication. Perhaps look into online therapy and see if seeing a doctor for medication would enhance therapy. This anxiety and possible depression probably feel miserable now, but they don't have to last forever.

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