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stop overthinking during coronavirus outbreak

How to stop overthinking during the corona pandemic

It has been three weeks into the lockdown and the public stress has never been so high. When will this end? What if I get infected? What will happen to our jobs and businesses? Is it indeed the end of the world? Questions such as these are all over the internet and in everyone’s minds. If this wasn’t enough for us to ponder, conspiracy theorists have squeezed this pandemic to extract all kinds of stories—the virus is a biological weapon or this is the wrath of God.

In a lockdown, a mind is always tired. With uncertainty and false stories floating around, a mind begins to drown in the sea of overthinking. It starts with a small notion that fission into a barrage of multiple thoughts. You begin to second guess everything, including your own choices and decisions. Pessimism takes over your mind, and the only thing you see is darkness ready to consume you. Everyone makes the mistake of overthinking every now and then. But when there is a pandemic on the rise, this habit can become your worst nightmare.

If you keep obsessing over something, you are doing more harm than good. Even the Buddha had said, “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.” Overthinking is nothing but a destructive thought pattern that only you can break. Like all bad habits, however, rising above overthinking can be challenging. You will need determination and self-awareness to take the reins back from your negative thoughts and let your positive emotions take over. Here’s how you can save your mind from bouts of overthinking during the coronavirus pandemic:

Keep yourself updated but maintain a balance

You must stay updated with the news, especially in times of crisis. But, maintain a balance of how much information you want to consume. Staying glued to a media channel and thinking about all the possibilities in your head is bad for your mind and worse for your inner peace. Most of all, stay away from fake news and conspiracy theories. If you keep repeating a lie to yourself for long enough, you start taking it as a truth. To be able to make an informed decision and not overthink everything you read, you need to keep yourself away from too many updates. This will also keep your stress levels in check.

If you keep repeating a lie to yourself for long enough, you start taking it as a truth.

Change your perspective

When we overthink, we turn a blind eye to logic and reasoning. We are consumed by so much negativity and fear that stress and anxiety began to overpower us. To regain control over your mind, bring a perspective shift.

Remember, there are two sides to a coin. So, instead of thinking about the worst-case scenario, focus on the good. Start by counting your blessings. Think about your family and your loved ones who are safe and healthy. Use this extra time in your hands to self-reflect or learn something new. Next time you find yourself overthinking, remind yourself that it will not change anything. But a perspective shift and a healthy outlook can.

Stay active and fit

In times of crisis, you need to keep your mind active and healthy. And what better way to do so than yoga or regular exercise. Various studies have shown reduced levels of stress and anxiety in those who workout daily. When your mind is fit, you have better control over your thoughts and have an eye for logic. An active mind also enables you to focus on solutions rather than problems.

Distract your mind

If you catch yourself stressing over a thought, distract your mind. Doing something different will help your mind switch from negative to positive. Listen to music, watch something you like or talk to someone. You can also indulge in a therapeutic activity like writing or cooking, which can rejuvenate you and uplift your mood.

Practice gratitude

One study led by the researchers at the University of California has proven that being grateful in life has a positive effect on our minds and emotions. But how can you feel grateful when you are stuck in chaos? By practicing gratitude.

The famous American author and motivational speaker Hilary Hinton Ziglar once said, “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” If you are breaking your head over paying mortgages, be grateful for having a house. If you are over-analysing about tomorrow, be thankful for today. Just be grateful for life, for it’s as precious as it’s delicate.

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