We all deserve to have peace in our minds. It can be frustrating, and overwhelming when you cannot stop overthinking.
When our heads are full of anxiety, doubt, and in some cases anger, it’s hard to think straight. It’s difficult to know what the right decision is when you have a thousand thoughts rattling through your head.
It can feel uncomfortable to talk about. We know how troubling it can get, and when you feel like you have no place to turn, it’s rough. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable, though. You’re a person, you have thoughts, and you have feelings.
How can you expect yourself to know how to react, how to think, all the time? We aren’t taught this, no one I know has ever had a blueprint in ‘how not to overthink’.
Plus, when it’s a relationship, it can feel even more uncomfortable. It’s intimate, there are two of you.
Yet, people overthink relationships all the time, and if people would discuss them more often, the world with have more successful relationships.
So, we’re going to provide you with some tools that will hopefully help you conquer your thoughts. It’s normal, we all need advice and help sometimes, especially when our thoughts are running a thousand miles an hour.
Why Do I Overthink In Relationships?
Overthinking is a Coping Mechanism
Sometimes when a situation feels out of our control, we overthink.
It’s our way of trying to find control when we’re unsure of what is going to happen. It’s uncertainty, it’s uncomfortable – when we overthink, we’re trying to solve a problem. Likewise, it’s just that in many cases, we don’t know what that issue is.
When the thoughts start to emerge, and our bodies get anxious, we implement coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms work to alleviate the stress of perceived danger.
So, you might be overthinking because you’re scared of an outcome, and by overthinking, you can take control to try to resolve the issue.
Let us look at an example: Say you have a partner who does not respond to their texts very fast. Perhaps it has been hours since they last responded. It doesn’t matter what the content of the message was, the point is, they haven’t replied.
As time goes by, you begin to overthink the situation. Depending on your circumstances, you might overthink that your partner is abandoning you – you might think that they’re going to leave you and break up.
In other cases, you might think that your partner is cheating on you. It could be that you overthink that your partner is ignoring you, and purposely being distant, because they aren’t interested in you, and so forth.
When you overthink, you’re creating a scenario that does not exist. Whether you’re anxious, sad, or angry – you’ve created a situation in your head, without knowing the exact details.
Usually, this is because it’s an uncomfortable situation. Whether it’s distance, cheating, or a potential breakup that you’re overthinking about, you’re worried about control. You cannot control what your partner is doing, what they are feeling, and it is triggering a wound within you.
When you try to overanalyze a situation and create details that don’t exist, you lose sight of the facts. When you overthink, you put a situation onto your partner that did not exist – and if you keep doing this, it can become overwhelming, or stressful for them. After all, they haven’t done anything wrong.
How To Stop Overthinking In A Relationship
1. Gain Awareness
The first step is to gain awareness of the reasons why you’re overthinking.
This just takes some conscious reflection. You could do this by asking yourself questions about your thoughts. So, when you’re overthinking, you can observe them and ask yourself a couple of questions:
• What emotion am I feeling?
• How are these emotions manifesting in my body?
• Which thoughts are causing me to feel this way?
By doing a practice like this, you can become more in tune with yourself, and help discover what is triggering you. It’s important to find the root cause, and while you will unlikely find this immediately, you’ll get closer to understanding yourself the more you do it.
2. Share Your Overthinking
Never forget how healing it is to voice your concerns. In many cases, just getting out your worries can make them fade away.
It’s because you’re pent-up, you have all this stress, but you don’t have a healthy outlet to put it in. Think of how many men go to the gym to alleviate stress – it’s a similar principle, but in this case, you’re alleviating the stress within your head.
Then, because of the mind-body connection, it’ll have a massive impact on how you’re feeling.
Ideally, you should sit your partner down and be honest with them. Explain to them how you’re feeling, and the effect that it is having on you.
Your partner might not know that you’re feeling this way. You can both have a discussion on the ways it’s impacting you and try to come up with healthy solutions.
If you’re not comfortable talking with your partner just yet, talk to a therapist. If you don’t have access to a therapist, talk to one of your close buddies.
Chances are they will understand, and if they prod fun of you at first, explain to them that it’s a serious conversation. If they’re a good friend, they will listen to you.
3. Contemplate What You Need
Now would be a good time to sit down and reflect on what you need.
Note that this might not have anything to do with your partner, it might be to do with yourself. It could be that you need to change your actions and trust your partner more.
It could be accepting that being in a relationship is vulnerable, and it is scary, but you’re letting yourself fall, even though there’s a chance it might not work out.
In other cases, your partner might be doing certain things which are triggering you. This is okay, and you can ask for what you need. We all have different love languages, and we all feel loved in different ways.
It would be good to do a love language test, and discover what ways make you both feel loved. Your partner might be showing you love ways in which you don’t notice because it isn’t your language.
When / I Feel / I Want Method
If your partner is notably doing an action that makes you overthink, it could come down to you trusting your partner more, and your partner either contemplating changing or adjusting their behavior.
It will depend on what the exact act is.
You can follow the ‘When / I Feel / I want’ method to voice your needs. I will provide an example.
When: When you don’t text me all-day,
I Feel: I feel anxious that you are being distant,
I want: It would help me if you text me on a lunch break, either before, or after work.
With the following example, you should remember that it isn’t always viable, and for some people, it might not be possible at all.
However, generally – for a lot of people, it’s a reasonable ask. You could add that you are gaining trust in yourself that the situation is okay, but you would appreciate the reassurance.
4. Self Reassure
It’s not good to constantly ask your partner for reassurance, not 24/7 all-day, every day. It can feel burdening after a while.
Your partner should give you reassurance, but they are not your therapist, and you need to learn how to soothe yourself too.
You can give yourself words of affirmations, to help reassurance yourself when you are anxious. This could be similar to:
• I trust my partner’s actions and intentions.
• I am in a safe and loving relationship.
• I am just feeling anxiety because of perceived danger. There is no actual danger. I can feel my feelings and move on with my day.
Keep in mind that you most definitely can and should discuss your overthinking with your partner, but there should be an element of your healing your own wounds too.
After all, you want to be two independent individuals, coming together, to love each other.
5. Be In The Moment
It’s a tale as old as time, but sometimes you really must be in the moment.
Enjoy your relationship, remember where you are and who you are with. Life goes by too quickly, so try not to waste time on situations that don’t exist.
Take a couple of deep breaths and breathe, be present, and enjoy where you are.
So, we’re at the end of the article. We hope that you’ve found it helpful and that you know you aren’t alone. Everyone overthinks, no matter who they are — they’ve experienced it before.
No one gives us a blueprint on how to handle our emotions and our ever fleeting thoughts. It’s difficult to deal with, and that’s okay.
Learn healthy techniques to deal with your overthinking, and if you have the money, consider a therapist.
Sometimes you just need an outsider’s perspective, who also happens to be a very trained and educated individual — pretty nifty, actually.
Like this article? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this.