15 Ways to Defeat Overthinking

A life-long habit of overthinking cost me not only my peace of mind; it also fueled my chronic pain, anxiety, perfectionism, and my alcohol and drug abuse.

Even after getting sober and working a rigorous recovery program, I still had a problem with overthinking.

Now, however, I have many powerful ways to calm my mind, and I rarely have anxiety or chronic pain.

You too can overcome your overthinking problem by simply using a few of my favorite tips!

DAILY HABITS TO CALM YOUR THINKING

Consistently using any of the practices below will bring stability to your mood and mind.

Practice Gratitude. List five things you’re grateful for. Do this every day for a week, without repeating any item.

Meditate and/or Pray. Use the free app, Insight Timer or other tools. Do this every day for at least 10 minutes. It shrinks the “worry center” of the brain.

Exercise, Walk, or Do Yoga. These are proven to increase positive brain chemicals and increase happiness. 

Do Something Nice for Someone. Smile at a stranger, compliment a server, or send a friend a loving note.

Take Good Care of Yourself. Be sure you eat well and get enough rest. Especially important, drink plenty of water. Finally, don’t use food, alcohol or drugs to deal with stress.

Limit Negative Input. Give yourself permission to turn off negative TV or radio broadcasts. Avoid extended time with negative people.

Become Inspired. Listen to uplifting music or podcasts/radio. Read inspiring books or blogs. Watch a positive movie (for example, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” about Mr. Rogers).

TIPS TO TURN AROUND OVERTHINKING

Because we’re human, we can easily revert to incessant negative thoughts. When this happens, try a few of these tips to get unstuck.

Breathing. Pause, and then slowly breathe in goodness and breathe out the negativity. One easy method involves counting to five as you inhale, pausing, and then slowly breathing out to the count of five. For maximum benefit, repeat this cycle ten times.

Sharing. Talk with a healthy, supportive friend who has a positive attitude toward the world.

Writing. Write down your thoughts and feelings and ask yourself which ones are really true. Ask yourself, “Is this permanent? Is there another way to look at this?” Circle the ones you know are untrue and then “turn them around” as instructed in “The Work” by Byron Katie www.thework.com.

Choice. Remember that you have a choice about what fills your mind. Therefore, you’re not a victim of your thoughts. Overthinking and worry can always be replaced with positive, calming images and ideas.

Affirmations. Whenever you notice a thought that is scaring you, substitute a positive, loving thought. Importantly, keep doing that each time the worrying reappears. For instance, “I’ll never get this right” becomes “I am capable of succeeding and will do so.”

Self Compassion. Talk sweetly to yourself. For example, say to yourself exactly what you would say to comfort or encourage a loved one. For more helpful ideas, See Kristin Neff www.SelfCompassion.org.

Therapy. Therapy is extremely helpful, especially EMDR and Energy Tapping.

Sobriety. If you must have more than two regular-sized drinks a day, consider joining a program to quit. Don’t forget that marijuana also adds to negativity!

IN SUMMARY

Turning around overthinking takes constant awareness and practice, but you’ll soon reap the benefits: a clearer mind, greater peace, happier relationships, and a general feeling of good will.

I did it, and so can you. Good luck!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now which describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

CHECK OUT GIGI’S INTERVIEW ON “THE WAY OUT PODCAST”

LISTEN TO CHARLIE’S WISE COMMENTS AS HE INTERVIEWS GIGI ABOUT

HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE,

ENERGY WORK, AND

OTHER REMEDIES FOR STINKIN’ THINKIN’.

Charlie and Jason host The Way Out Podcast with Powerful Stories and Topics to Jumpstart Your Sobriety and Enhance Your Recovery! 

worry less now Gigi Langer

Thanks, Charlie, for this awesome introduction!

“We have an ultra-informative and super-instructive interview with a person in long-term recovery and author of the new absolute must-read book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now. And, folks, I don’t say this often!

“Gigi shares her journey to and through recovery, plus what she’s learned in 35 years of sobriety, including the spiritual, energy, and cognitive tools to put an end to the pernicious worry, anxiety and fear that dogs so many of us in sobriety.”

To hear the Podcast on Anchor, CLICK HERE

To hear it on Apple, CLICK HERE

ANCHOR: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/episodes/50-Ways-to-Worry-Less-Now-in-Recovery-with-Gigi-Langer–The-Way-Out-Podcast-Episode-231-eru7aq

APPLE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/50-ways-to-worry-less-now-in-recovery-gigi-langer-way/id1092805350?i=1000511999152

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

HOW TO QUIT THE “MASTER-BEATERS” CLUB

worry less now

Recently, I became extremely self-critical because I got “too busy” to pray, meditate, and go to meetings. When I hear that voice whispering its nasty lies, I’m reminded of how the “Master-Beaters Club” was born.

Self-Critical Lies

While having coffee one day, some sober women and I began to share how an internal voice constantly criticized us: We were bad people, couldn’t change, or weren’t worthy of love or care. In short, our fearful thoughts were beating up on us.

Suddenly, one woman said, “Well, let’s just call ourselves the ‘master-beaters club!” After a raucous laugh, we had already weakened this character flaw by naming it and laughing at it.

Ever since that day, when that self-condemning voice creeps into my head, I can reject it by having a good laugh as I recall our special “club.”

How to Stop Beating Ourselves up

As I grew in my trust of a Higher Power, I replaced that critical voice with God’s loving presence, often expressed through human angels (sometimes called “God-in-skin”). For example, my sponsor channeled love into me, and then others joined in, bringing me the care I had so desperately sought.

As I grew into my true self, I realized that my security was guaranteed by my wise God-self, and that my self-criticism had melted away. But, if I let up on my self-care, it can still creep in, as it did this morning.

Today, after talking with my sponsor, going to an Alanon meeting, and meditating, that self-beating voice has left. I now feel peaceful, happy, and free.  

More Ways to Quit the Master-Beaters Club

  • Make a gratitude list every day of at least 5 new items that are going well for you.
  • Create positive affirmations about your own worth. For example: “I am confident and positive.” “My worth is established by God.” or “I am a special person.”
  • Use guided meditations on self-worth and confidence. (I like Insight Timer)
  • Practice rigorous self-care: avoid self-destructive habits, eat well, exercise, sleep enough, hang out with healthy friends, and read/listen to inspiring words and stories.
  • Go to therapy to overcome negative patterns of acting and thinking.
  • Practice self-compassion as suggested by Kristen Neff

If we stay committed to our emotional and spiritual recovery, we come to believe that we are perfectly loved and fully able to love others. What a gift!

No more “Master-Beating” for me!

QUESTION: How do you stop the voice that sometimes beats you up?

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

GIVE ONLY LOVE BY ‘FORE-GIVING

Have you ever considered that the word “forgive” can be seen as ’fore-give?

I think of it as “before-giving”—giving to another before they’ve done anything to “deserve” it. Perhaps that’s the only reason we’re here — to give love and kindness to everyone we meet.

“Fore-giving is merely looking beyond a person’s flaws and seeing only their spirit. Thus, we give love to others, regardless of how they look or act. This, I believe, is what God would have us do. 

Really?? What if They’re a Jerk?!

There IS one caveat, however: Although we may focus on a person’s essential goodness, we don’t have to put up with their unacceptable behavior. Even after setting boundaries, we can still see their spirit as pure and innocent. 

When we choose to ‘fore-give, we expand the force of love in the world, thus dissolving fear and selfishness. We all become free, peaceful, and happy.

Give it a Try!

Just for today (and tomorrow, too!) let’s try to see the goodness in every person we encounter, and treat them with the love and respect befitting a child of God. When you ‘fore-give it make us all feel better!

P.S.  A Course in Miracles teaches that the world’s pain is caused by our selfish egos’ excesses, and that the truth lies beyond these fearful appearances—in the eternal spirit of goodness within each of us. 

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.