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8 Things That Helped Me Stop Overthinking and Worrying About the Future

Updated: Aug 4

“I feel like I’m always overthinking and worrying about the future. I don’t see that changing much, but I hope it does!”

Have you ever felt this way?

My friend said this to me the other day.

And it got me thinking…

Wasn’t I like this, didn’t I feel this way all throughout high school? University? Even until 2 years ago?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I still do overthink and worry. But much less now compared to back then.

So, what changed?

Here are 8 things that helped me stop overthinking and worrying about the future. I hope they help you, too.

1/ I Had to Include This One

I started journaling in August 2020.

At the time, I had broken up with a long-term boyfriend who I had moved to a different country with. I was alone. In a new country. In a new city. Starting a new job. With zero friends around me.

Though my relatives were in this country, I lived far away from them, and I didn’t have a close relationship with them.

It was also the first time in my life I had ever felt so alone. I was so used to depending on others to manage my thoughts and feelings. But, I knew, this time I needed to depend on myself.

At first, I tiptoed into journaling. I challenged myself to write down 3 things I was grateful for every day. Sometimes, I would write down little quotes like, “What’s meant to be will be. Trust in God’s timing.”

And it developed into a morning and nightly practice of writing down everything. All my thoughts. All my worries. All my dreams.

And journaling became a sacred time for me to reflect and build self-awareness.

Then, one day, I just noticed I felt more at peace, with less chattering in my mind, because I had written everything down on paper.

I won’t go into too much detail about the benefits of journaling as I’ve written about it in previous articles, which you can check out here and here.

Action for you:

Grab a pen and notebook. Start to write down all your thoughts.

2/ Apply This Philosophy

Focus on what is in your control. Ignore the rest.

That’s one of the main teachings of Stocisim.

This was quite challenging for me at the beginning.

But now, whenever I catch myself overthinking and worrying about the future, I take out my journal. I write down what happened. And I ask myself, “Is this in my control?”

If the answer is yes, then I take one small action to change the situation.

If the answer is no, then I accept it. And focus on what is in my control.

Action for you:

Whenever you catch yourself overthinking or worrying, ask yourself if whatever you’re overthinking or worrying about is in your control. If not, then let the thought go.

3/ Consider Using These Platforms, Less

I felt the most insecure, unhappy, and anxious in university.

That’s when I used social media the most.

But, over the years, I’ve deleted most social media apps (Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok) from my phone. And now, I only use them on my desktop.

Most times, I don’t even check these platforms anymore.

Since then, I’ve noticed I’m much happier. Less insecure. And less anxious.

Why? Well…

First, I’m not exposed to everyone’s highlight reels anymore. At the time, I lived in a constant state of feeling like I wasn’t enough because I compared myself to everyone.

Two, I’m more focused on building my life instead of watching other people live theirs.

Three, I built self-worth independent of external metrics by staying low-key.

Now, whenever something good happens, I don’t post about it. I keep it to myself and celebrate by myself.

Likewise, whenever something bad happens, I don’t post about it. I self-soothe and take responsibility for my feelings and happiness.

All these factors combined helped me stop overthinking and worrying about the opinions of others and the future.

Action for you:

Do a social media detox.

4/ Be Ruthless About What Enters Your Mind

I don’t use Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok often.

I do use LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, though, but on my desktop. (I find if I have these apps on my phone, I tend to get caught up in scrolling and looking at the analytics. Both of which, aren’t great for me (or you) mentally.)

I also audit my newsfeed. I unfollow people, pages… anything that evokes any negative emotions in me. And I curate my feed so it’s inspirational and educational, and full of positivity.

I feel taking these measures has helped me stop overthinking and worrying about the future.

Action for you:

Audit and curate your feed.

5/ Distance Yourself From These People

I miss the limited interactions I had with people when I worked remotely.

Because ever since I returned to teaching, I’ve had more time to interact with colleagues. And what I’ve noticed is every interaction we had in the office was built on complaints, comparisons, and criticisms. And it started to impact me.

For three months, I dreaded going to work every day. I worried I wasn’t performing well. I worried the kids didn’t like me. I worried I wasn’t teaching them properly.

And I noticed I started to participate in their conversations, too, and that I was becoming someone I didn’t want to become.

In the end, I knew I need to make a change. So I stopped going into the office because I didn’t want to be exposed to that negativity.

And now, two months later? I feel more at peace.

Action for you:

Limit time with people who complain, compare, and criticize.

6/ Look For (Or Build) This in Your Relationship

I dated someone who made me feel insecure. A disaster if you have an anxious-attachment style like I do.

If he didn’t hold my hand, tell me he loved me, or even if he had a slight change in his tone, I’d question if we were breaking up.

I’d worry if he was in it for the long haul. Whether we’d get married. Whether we’d have kids.

The relationship brought more turmoil to me than it was a place of comfort and security.

But with my current partner, it feels refreshing to know exactly where we stand. That we’re exactly on the same page about where we’re headed in the future.

Perhaps, that’s why I feel secure enough for us to do long distance. Perhaps, that’s why I have the mental space to pursue other hobbies and goals of mine, like writing.

It’s amazing (in a sad way) how much time I spent overanalyzing and being depressed in my previous relationships.

I won’t say it was a waste of time, though, because it was what I needed, to become who I am today. And as long as I learned from those experiences, then the time wasn’t a waste.

Action for you:

Be in a relationship with someone who makes you feel secure.

7/ This Is the Worst Feeling in the World

At the height of my overthinking and worrying, I was lost. I had no direction in life. I had no purpose in life.

Because of this, I lived life aimlessly.

I woke up, went to school, and went to work.

Then, with the free time I had, I watched Netflix. I read stuff on Quora. I re-read conversations with friends and old flames. I scrolled through social media and YouTube. I spent time lying in bed overthinking and worrying.

It was the absolute worst feeling in the world, living a life with no meaning.

Fortunately, somewhere along the line, one event after another, I found something, a big goal, a purpose, that I could work towards.

And it’s this:

I want to write about my journey and insights in hopes that I can help others. And one day, I hope I can build a business around that. Though, I’m still figuring out the means to do so.

Action for you:

Get curious about the world. Explore your interests. Let it guide you to find or create your purpose.

8/ Keep the Faith

After my ex and I broke up, I came across one of Sarah's Day videos. And something she said stood out to me. She said:

“You just have to faith that everything will work out in the end, you know? I don’t know how we can keep going on without that faith.”

I’ve kept what she said at the fore of my mind since then, along with three other quotes that I often think about when I get too worried or anxious:

“This, too, shall pass.” Thinking about this gives me the strength to appreciate and endure.

“Rejection is redirection.” I, now, understand that if something doesn’t work out for you, then it wasn’t meant for you. But perhaps, something beyond what you’ve ever could have imagined is making its way to you.

“Everything will work out in the end.” I just need to believe this because it gives me hope, and it gives me the strength to carry on when all feels lost.

Action for you:

Keep a collection of quotes you can reflect back on whenever you feel worried or lost.


If you enjoyed reading this story, consider connecting on my website, LinkedIn, or Twitter.


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

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