Overthinking in a relationship is never healthy. It puts you in a situation where you read into absolutely everything your partner does or says and you create your own problems and challenges that probably don’t even exist.
However, it can be difficult to just tell yourself to stop overthinking and to follow through. You might need a little bit of help on how to stop overthinking and be more relaxed.
But, how do you stop overthinking?
There are various ways you can stop overthinking. You can try distracting yourself, being more positive, and being more present in the moment.
But one of the most important things you can do is determine why it is that you are overthinking.
Without understanding the root cause of your anxious thoughts, any relationship advice, I can offer you will be completely useless.
On top of this, a lot of the times our own thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I’ve got some tried-and-tested methods to stop overthinking and plus tips on how you can approach your relationship in a more relaxed, present way.
But this all goes without saying that a lot of the time we need to truly dig deeper and maybe even think about couples counseling or working on our mental health.
Our intimate relationships are sometimes just a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.
Yes. Sometimes they can be our intuition telling us something is wrong, but if it’s a recurring theme, there may be something deeper there.
Why You Overthink In Relationships
One of the most important steps you can take to stop overthinking in your relationship is to find the reason you are overthinking in the first place.
Spending the time to find out why you might be overthinking, being very honest and open with yourself, will likely lead you to discover various issues in your relationship you didn’t notice, or want to notice, before.
Being able to observe and identify your thoughts and feelings is a powerful tool, so try your best to take a step back and do this.
When you find yourself overthinking, take a couple of deep breaths, and ask yourself the following:
- What exact emotions am I feeling right now?
- How is my body responding to these emotions? (Tight chest, tight stomach, increased breathing, etc.)
- What thoughts or concerns led me to feel this way?
By asking yourself these questions, you will be working your way toward the root of the issue, and you will be a step closer to figuring out why you overthink.
Here are the various reasons you might be overthinking things in your relationship:
Issues With Control
Do you find yourself overthinking situations outside of yourself, such as your relationship, believing that you have the ability to control it? You might think that by overthinking your partner’s decisions or thoughts, you could somehow influence or determine the outcome.
It is obviously impossible to control things outside of yourself, but often overthinking is a sign that you feel out of control. You want so desperately to be in control of your partner’s actions or thoughts, but this just cannot happen.
The anxiety of not being able to control these outcomes shows through overthinking, even though you know deep down that overthinking is not going to get you anywhere.
Ask yourself: are there other areas of your life, perhaps work, that you like to be in complete control?
If things aren’t going exactly according to plan, do you tend to spiral, not handle it well, and get anxious thoughts?
These underlying anxieties can be rooted in a need to control everything around you. A lot of Type-A individuals have this problem.
They come from some deep root fears, and a lot of the time, a family therapist can work wonders to help ‘relax’ your mind or at least have healthier ways to cope.
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It’s How You Cope
People cope differently with stressful situations, and your natural coping response could be to overthink things.
Your anxiety would be quite overwhelming when there is a hiccup in your relationship, and the only way you know how to deal with this is to contemplate things to try and put yourself in the control seat.
Just because this is your natural go-to coping method does not mean that you cannot work on finding a new way to cope with stressful situations and your emotions.
Romantic relationships, in general, tend to be a trigger for a lot of people. We are our most vulnerable selves when we’re dating and opening ourselves up to the possibility of being hurt.
Being so scared of negative outcomes can cause any underlying anxiety to worsen.
As this is an unhealthy coping mechanism and has likely not been beneficial for you or any of your past relationships, it’s important to catch yourself when you’re doing it and substitute a healthier internal dialogue.
You Have Insecurities
We all have insecurities, whether it is the way we look, our careers, or how funny we might be. However, you might have insecurities in your relationships, which could be coming from insecurities in yourself, or what you have experienced in previous relationships.
Feeling insecure in your relationship can definitely lead you to overthink things, as you would expect the worst, and not have confidence in yourself and your partner.
This can be really overwhelming and tiring, and it really isn’t a healthy way to cope with various stresses in your relationship.
You need to be conscious of the fact that you cannot control everything in your relationship, and what happened in your last relationship will not necessarily happen in your current one.
Sometimes, insecurities can ruin a relationship, so it is so important to identify them when you can and figure out where the insecurities stem from, so you can work forwards from there.
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How To Stop Overthinking In Your Relationship
Once you begin working on finding out the reasons why you are overthinking, you can start putting various practices and habits in place to stop overthinking in the future.
Here are some things you can do to stop overthinking your relationship and to take a more relaxed role and mindset moving forward.
Build Trust With Your Partner
If you do not have a good level of trust with your partner, you will find yourself questioning everything they do. Not trusting them will leave you questioning their motives, what they do when you aren’t around, and whether what they say to you is true or not.
This is absolutely exhausting, and at the end of the day, there is no point in being in a relationship with someone who you do not trust, especially when it leads to you overthinking every small thing that happens.
If you think you are overthinking everything because you do not trust your partner, you need to reevaluate your relationship. If there is a reason to not trust your partner, and you can’t get over this, then maybe the relationship isn’t meant to be.
However, if your partner has given you no reason to distrust them, then you need to look within yourself and consider why you aren’t giving them the trust they deserve.
Give your partner the benefit of the doubt if they haven’t given you a reason to distrust them, and force yourself to not overthink everything they do.
Be Open With Your Partner
One of the most important factors in a healthy relationship is open communication. If your overthinking is becoming really negative and consuming, then you really should speak to your partner about how it is making you feel.
They might be able to put your mind at ease more or make compromises with you to try and reduce the things that make you overthink.
Whatever the outcome might be, you really should speak to your partner, you are a team, and they will have your back and your best interests in mind.
Make A Habit Of Being Positive
This will definitely be tough to do at first, but you need to try your best to make a habit of being positive. When something happens that causes you to feel anxious, redirect your mind and think of something positive.
This doesn’t mean turning a negative situation into a positive one, as you do not want to give bad situations positive feelings, but rather distract yourself with positive thoughts.
For example, if your partner doesn’t reply to your text for quite some time, instead of jumping to conclusions and thinking of all the negative things it might mean, rather think of something sweet your partner did for you recently.
Redirecting your energy and emotions when you begin to overthink will eventually build a habit over time, and after a while and some effort, you will hopefully stop overthinking and overanalyzing everything, and give your partner credit and trust where it is due.
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Know What You Want In A Relationship
Sometimes, we land up overthinking when we don’t actually know what we want. Your partner might do something nice, and you would overthink it because you aren’t sure if it is the gesture that you want.
Feeling anxious and uncomfortable shows that there is a need that is probably not being met, and you will have to try and discover what this need is.
This is easier said than done, and you will have to take a step back and look at your relationship and what it is you might feel you need.
You should then speak to your partner about this, and address any needs you feel are unfulfilled. Your partner might be willing to step up to the plate to fulfill these needs for you, or they will make an effort to meet you halfway.
You will also need to be willing to compromise, as your need might not be a priority for them, even though it might feel that way for you. For example, you might feel that they do not message you enough, but the reality is that they are working during the day and really can’t.
Be Present In The Moment
Overthinking often has to do with the future, guessing what your partner might do when they leave, or if they are going to be disloyal. Almost all of this is out of your control, and overthinking these things will get you nowhere.
You could also spend time overthinking things that happened in the past, which once again is not something you can control.
Instead, what it does is take your attention away from the present, so you are missing out on so much while achieving nothing.
One way to beat overthinking and over-analyzing things is to be more present in the moment. Recognize that you are powerless to control the things you are worried about, and instead, you need to enjoy where you are.
Learn to recognize your own signs of anxiety, and when you notice them, work to root yourself in the moment.
You can’t spend time overthinking if you are busy and preoccupied. One of the best ways to get out of the habit of overthinking is to keep yourself busy.
It could be that you are in the habit of overthinking because you have quite a bit of free time on your hands, whereas your partner is busy and can’t spend all their time with you.
There are many meaningful ways you can preoccupy yourself.
Find a new hobby, join a sports club, meet new friends, and so on.
Even just spending more time with friends can help get you out of the habit of thinking too much.
It’s true that an idle mind wanders easily.
The mind can only think about one thing at a time, so when you start overthinking, try and catch yourself in the moment. Take a couple of deep breaths. And do something else.
Whatever that ‘something else’ may be.
It can be a podcast, a book, or some work. Whatever it is. Try and get your mind back on the topic that is in front of you, whatever that may be.
Create A Routine
There is a good chance that your overthinking stems from not feeling in control, so an obvious way to overcome it is to try and regain some control in your life.
You will not be able to control your partner or even your relationship to an extent, so you need to work on controlling the things you can and doing it in a healthy way.
To start, create a daily routine for yourself. Make sure this is productive and meaningful. A routine will give you structure and control, and it will also help you feel grounded and present during the day.
This will do wonders to help you stop overthinking, and it will give you a good distraction from sitting around and having too much time on your hand.
The control will make you feel more stable too, and you will have a ‘normal’ which you can rely on to ground you when you feel your anxiety peaking.
Look For Support
If you find that you are battling to get your thoughts and emotions under control, and they are beginning to get the better of you, then it is worth looking for support.
The support you seek will depend on what you are comfortable with, and who you are happy to talk to.
It could mean opening up to a family member or friend, or it could mean looking for professional support from a therapist or counselor.
There might be deep-rooted issues that you need to address, and having a professional available to speak to will not only help you identify these, but they will give you the tools and coping mechanisms you need for the future.
Speaking to a friend or family member can also be really therapeutic too, and having them as a sounding board can also help you work your way through overthinking on your own.
There are also some great resources and groups online if you prefer to stay anonymous, all with people in a similar situation as you, and who understand what it is that you are going through.
Keep A Journal
It can be really difficult to keep a clear track of your thoughts, emotions, and the triggers that set them off.
To help with this, it is a great idea to keep a journal of what you feel, what you are thinking, and any other useful information.
When journaling, take the opportunity to write down whatever comes into mind, and whatever you feel.
This could be your insecurities, fears, needs, and more. Over time, you might be able to recognize a pattern in all of this, which could help you seek a positive way forward.
You might also pick up on unhealthy thinking patterns and problem-solving methods as well, which gives you the chance to address them and start building healthy coping methods.
Remember, nobody will see this so you can be as raw and real as possible.
Write about what a healthy relationship looks like to you. What you have learned about yourself from a past relationship.
It isn’t about trying to gain control of your thoughts, but not allowing them to have control over you.
If you feel comfortable, you can even share some of your findings with a trusted friend or counselor and they can provide an outside perspective on what may be going on.
Stop Revisiting Past Conversations
Do you find yourself rereading a text they have sent over and over again, somehow hoping to read something new or have something pop out at you?
This is unhealthy and is definitely something you need to try and avoid when hoping to be present.
If you have received a text you do not understand or which doesn’t sit well with you, the best thing you can do is speak to your partner about it.
You might have just misunderstood the tone or the message, and instead of spending all day thinking about it, you can clear it up with a phone call.
Enjoy Your Relationships
It can be so easy to forget that you are in a relationship with someone you love and enjoy being with when you spend all your time overthinking.
When you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed with your thoughts, try to remind yourself that you are actually with someone you love, and try your best to enjoy your relationship.
Take your partner out on a date, do something that both of you love, and be spontaneous. Doing this will cement you in the moment and remind you why you are together.
Challenge your thoughts and your fears, and ask yourself whether you are being rational or not.
When you find yourself overthinking why he hasn’t texted back, challenge yourself by acknowledging that he likely hasn’t deserted you, but he is probably just busy at work.
Being able to keep yourself in check is a great skill to have, as nobody else will be able to do it for you when it is all in your mind!
Bring yourself back to the present moment and realize that a lot of problems you’re analyzing aren’t occurring in the here-and-now but in your mind.
How To Stop Overthinking In A Relationship
If overthinking in your relationship is starting to negatively affect your mindset and mental well-being, as well as your relationship, then you need to try and put an end to it.
To do this, you first need to identify why it is that you might be overthinking things, and then put certain practices in place to stop this.
Hopefully, the above will give you some tools and practices necessary to stop overthinking everything in your relationship or to at least reduce how much you do.
Remember to be open with your partner and to seek help if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or anxious.