How to Stop Overthinking in a Relationship? Tips and Tools

How to stop overthinking

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    Many people have been in a situation when they get into a relationship and start thinking over and over about something that has already happened to them or imagining what may happen if everything follows the worst scenario. Sometimes, such fears are reasonable, but they may also be just in your head. In such situations, it is crucial to know how to stop overthinking in a relationship, otherwise, you risk losing it.

    What Does Overthinking Look Like?

    There is a simple and a complicated definition of overthinking. In short – it is the situation when you imagine something that actually does not exist and is not true. However, if you dive deeper into the topic, you find out that an overthinker keeps reflecting on things they cannot change (real or not) to the extent that these things start negatively influencing your life. Actually, this is a common problem. According to one study from the University of Michigan, 73% of 25- to 35-year-olds regularly overthink, along with 52% of people ages 45 to 55.

    There are two main types of overthinking that can either exist independently from one another or combine to create a truly explosive blend.

    • Rumination is the paranoid overthinking about the past event when you keep analyzing what went amiss, what you did wrong, and how your life would have changed if you had made another decision back then. Interestingly, based on a study, many overthinkers think that this behavior is helpful, whereas it may undermine their overall well-being.
    • Worrying is centered on possible future events. It is the situation where you imagine all the worst ways the situation may develop. These ideas can often be unrealistic.

    You may wonder why it is so dangerous. “It is just thoughts, they cannot harm me”. Well, physically – not. But you may get stuck with something, unable to move forward in different aspects of your life.

    A soft example of overthinking is remembering something you had said or done when you were already in bed, and as a result, you did not wake up on time or could not meet a deadline.

    The worst scenario is when you break up with your partner because you either do not believe they have forgiven you for something you had done or think that you are not good enough for them, and in the future, they will find someone better.

    What Are the 10 Signs of Overthinking in a Relationship?

    Although overthinking behaviors may be obvious to other people, it is hard to notice them yourself. It happens so naturally that you may not even believe it when someone tells you about this, and even more, have an aggressive reaction. It is, by the way, one of the signs.

    Apart from aggressive reactions, there are some other red flags you should pay attention to.

    1. You tend to overanalyze. Every word, every sigh of your partner makes you think about it for hours, trying to find secret senses and understand its true meaning. As a result, it is hard for you to relax and enjoy your relationship.
    2. You keep re-reading your partner’s messages. “They haven’t added an emoji here, are they mad about me? What have I done wrong? They haven’t texted me since morning!” If such thoughts sound familiar to you – you are definitely an overthinker, and you should find another thing to spend your mental energy on.
    3. You do not know what to write in your message. You type a few words, delete the theme, type something else, and delete it again. You do not feel anything you might say is right.
    4. You remember everything they say. You keep thinking about your partner’s words again and again, diving deeper and deeper into the depth of desperation and anxiety.
    5. You are afraid to take it seriously. You may think this relationship is either not for you or not for your partner, and you do not want to waste your efforts to improve it and make the next step.
    6. You are afraid your partner will break up with you. Surprisingly, even though you do not want to make it serious, you are also afraid to lose this relationship. If you do, it will hit your self-esteem dramatically. In fact, people who wonder how to stop overthinking in a relationship often mark this sign as the most popular one.
    7. You keep changing your opinion all the time. You do not know what to think about your partner and relationships, so you keep changing your attitude. Now you think they are the best partners in the world, but in the next second – they are awful, and it would have been better if you had never met them.
    8. You think your partner is always angry with you. Whatever you do, whenever you come home, whatever you say – you always think they are mad at you. Of course, it is really so in some relationships, but in most cases, people just overthink.
    9. You always prepare for the worst. Relationship anxiety makes you expect the worst scenario of your relationship, the worst reaction to your deeds, etc. You even think they will not like the present you prepared on their birthday.
    10. You think you do everything wrong. You lose self-confidence and have a feeling that everything you do is wrong. This, by the way, can be a sign of toxic relationships, the probability is 50/50. In any case, overthinking can definitely be an issue here.

    Why Do People Overthink?

    While overthinking is not a mental disorder, it can lead to the following ones:

    • anxiety;
    • depression;
    • eating disorders;
    • agoraphobia.

    Thus, to avoid these issues, it is crucial to understand what causes overthinking. Natalie Dattilo, a Ph. D. from Harvard Medical School, explains that for some people, it can be a way to show that they care about something or someone, while for others, it becomes a habit that helps them cope with their physical or emotional pain, and they do not even care how to stop overthinking in a relationship.

    Trust issues may also trigger overthinking, especially if they have their roots in the person’s past. People who experienced betrayal or had toxic relationships with their parents lose confidence and project the same attitude in all their surroundings. They feel no one supports them, and the whole society is toxic.

    Finally, insecurity may lead to overthinking; a person who is sure they are safe and nothing threatens their relationships will never have negative or anxious thoughts about them. If you feel your partner overthinks, hugging them and telling them about your love might be a good solution.

    10 Ways to Stop Overthinking in Your Relationship

    Although there is no medicine or 100% effective exercise from overthinking, there are some tricks and techniques you may try and see which one works best for you.

    1. Use a phone tracker. One of the simplest recommendations on how to stop overthinking in a relationship would be to install a phone tracker like SpyBubble on your partner’s phone. Should you worry about them finding a better couple, sexting, or discussing how bad you are with their friends – simply check their social networks and messengers with the help of SpyBubble. It will either diffuse all your suspicions and help you get back to a healthy lifestyle or prove that you are rather a detective than an overthinker.
    2. Try to find a pattern or trigger and think about how you can cope with it. Overthinking does not happen on its own, there is always something triggering it. You can start a diary and note there all the events that happened right before you got anxious. In some time, you will see a certain pattern and be able to devise ways to cope with it or avoid the triggers.
    3. Do not trust yourself. Your mind can be very persuasive, but still try to trust everything that comes to your head and remember critical thinking. Overthinking in a relationship is often based on emotions and feelings that may not be connected with reality. Thus, it is important to analyze your thoughts and get away from those that seem forced.
    4. Ask for help. Talk to your partner and friends. Explain to them that the feelings of insecurity and fear often spoil your everyday life, and you do not know how to cope with them. Think about this as about your personal support group: share your feelings and get help and sympathy.
    5. Exercise! We are not joking. Physical activity has never been a bad solution to all those psychological problems and sticky negative thoughts. If you want to know how to stop overthinking in a relationship, it might be one of the best solutions – move your body!
    6. Seek professional help. If you cannot stop overthinking in relationships and feel that it influences your everyday life – the problem might be much deeper: depression, sleeplessness, etc. It might be a good idea to see a professional and ask for assistance or advice. Even if you do not get any medication prescribed, one or two conversations with an experienced psychologist or psychotherapist may show you what must be your next step.
    7. Focus on reality. Your overthinking concerns may not always be connected to your real life. Even more, they are hardly ever connected. Thus, think about what you have now, think about the happy moments you have with your partner every day. Remember their loving eyes. Don’t let overthinking in a relationship ruin it.
    8. Make a list of positive things. Write down the events that make you happy, remember your intimacy with your partner, and describe it in written form. Having all such things on paper is important because it connects them with reality. Your words disappear in the air the moment you pronounce them, however, if you write them down – they can survive hundreds of years.
    9. Try meditation. There is an anxious attachment style of relationships when one person is already so used to overthinking they cannot live without it. Meditation is one of the best solutions in this case, as it helps to take your mind under control and get rid of such negative habits like overthinking, smoking, or alcohol consumption (in essence, they are all the same).
    10. Take your mind under control. Only you are a master of your thoughts and emotions, so do not let them take your life under control. Master self-awareness, do not let tiny abstract thoughts spoil your day, and learn how to stop overthinking everything in your case.

    Bottom Line

    Overthinking in a relationship is a very common problem, especially for young people. It is often caused by jealousy, low self-esteem, unconference, problems in communication with parents, etc. Luckily, it is possible to take it under control if you know how to identify it and what to do when you are aware of it.
    It is also important that you help your partner if you see they are overthinking. None of the intimate questions to ask your partner is a taboo in this situation. Talk to them, help them to identify the problem, and find the reasons for it. Relationships are for two, remember about it.

    By camilla-finch
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