8 Tips To Stop Overthinking, Free Your Mind, Find Peace And End Your Paralysis

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This question orginally appeared on Quora. Answer by William Beteet.

1. You Crave Certainty - That’s why you are overthinking. You try and predict what will happen so you decide how you want to respond before the event takes place. This is why social interactions are so overwhelming for you because you cannot predict what will happen next.

2. Laugh at Yourself - Laugh man, laugh at the fact that you can’t leave the house, laugh at your anxiety, just sit and laugh. If you don’t know how to make it funny just listen to anxiety-riddled standup comedians like Mike Birbiglia. The reason you want to laugh is because it’s hard to think while you’re laughing, and it will help you not take yourself so seriously.

3. Think Like a Stoic - Accept the worst case. Even if it means accepting that you might die. Acceptance frees us from worry. Because worst-case scenario and you do die, and there’s no afterlife, you will have a long, dreamless nap.

4. Scream and Chant - Find somewhere secluded and just scream and dance for a bit. Let it all out — make every noise you can make and move your body in any way that it wants to move. If you want to cry, cry. This will release the energy from your body and allow your body to discharge the fear and anxiety you’re experiencing. Here’s a video showing you how to do what I’m talking about.

5. Do Powerlifting/Running/Cold Showers - Go to the gym and learn how to deadlift. This will increase the amount of testosterone your body releases. Start running: It doesn’t matter when and/or for how long; just do it. The oxygen surplus you get while running clears your head. Cold showers help with anxiety and depression.

6. Accept the Fact that People Will Screw You Over - Some people will screw you over in life, so don’t stress too much about it. Just don’t leave yourself excessively vulnerable and you should be fine.

7. Take Improv Classes - Improv acting classes are all about being in the moment and losing the fear of messing up. They will teach you how to talk with other people and to be unafraid of saying something stupid. They will make you do things that scare you — but once you do them you feel a huge feeling of relief.

8. Look at the World as an Artist - Almost every creative person I know, including myself, is incredibly neurotic, but the ones who cope the best with it are the ones who have found a way to look at the world that is pleasing to them. Me, for instance: I’m not a positive guy per se, I have dark thoughts, lots of dark thoughts, but I love them. I love looking at the world through a twisted lens. Find an optic that helps you appreciate all the world has to offer including your own suffering.

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