It’s easy for us to overthink and over-analyze every single thing that we do in life. Sometimes we get so stuck in our heads that can’t even begin to fully enjoy our lives.

Getting out of our heads doesn’t mean we need to stop thinking—it just means we need to break out of our heads, get unstuck from our thoughts, and have the confidence to experience the world.

Here are some ways we get stuck in our own heads:

  • We overthink what our next steps might be, imagining every possibility and scenario to the point where we don’t know what to do next.
  • We replay conversations and events over and over in head, wishing we had done or said something different.
  • We repeat negative self-talk to ourselves, statements such as “I can’t do this” and “I’m not good enough.”
  • We spend so much time thinking about the past that we miss the opportunity of the current moment.
  • We over-analyze someone’s intentions or motives over even the most trivial of things.

Sound familiar? I know I am guilty of doing a lot of these things even now when I know ways to overcome these thoughts.

As you can probably guess, doing these things isn’t very healthy for us. Not only do we miss the present moment by thinking about the past, it can cause our self-esteem and self-worth to suffer.

To truly get out of your head and stop overthinking for good, we need to look at what we are doing and why.

Reasons Why We Get Stuck In Our Heads

Before you can stop overthinking and truly get out of your own head for good, you have to understand the underlying feelings that cause these thoughts in the first place.

Be open and honest with yourself about what you are feeling emotionally and physically as a result of the thoughts running through your head. Understanding the underlying cause for why you are overthinking something can help you overcome your doubts and fears.

Here are some of the feelings that fuel being stuck in one’s head:


Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, fear, and apprehension. We get anxious when we feel threatened in some way. Often times anxiety stems from not being able to control a situation.

When we feel anxious, these thoughts can consume us. Anxiety can stop us from trying new things or enjoying life to the fullest.

The good news is anxiety is treatable and manageable. Talk to a doctor.


All of us have things we wish we had done differently in life at some point or another. We can regret choices we made and things we did, or even regret the things we didn’t do.

When you have feelings of regret, you can start to beat yourself up and feel worse about yourself. You can also lose sight of the beauty in your life that you’ve been missing because of the regret.


We live in a very stressful world. We experience stress in a number of different ways – from feeling the pressure to put food on the table and providing for our families to being overwhelmed with a never-ending to-do list of things that need to be done.

There are many ways to relieve stress that can help you reduce how much you overthink and analyze every situation. Getting out of your own head can also help you stop feeling so stressed out about everything to begin with.

Trauma From the Past

Traumatic things that happened to us in the past often affect us for a long time afterwards. If you’ve been hurt in the past, you are more likely to think about different things as a defense mechanism to try to avoid pain in the future.


Fear is another underlying emotion that tends to keep us stuck in a thought pattern or thinking too much about stuff to the point we feel frozen.

It’s important to understand fear is a natural instinct that is meant to help us survive and stay out of harm’s way. However, some of our fears are emotional and that can get in the way of leading a happy and fulfilling life.

You might have fears about the following things:

  • Fear of Failure – You are afraid you will not succeed
  • Fear of Rejection – You are afraid others will not like you
  • Fear of the Truth – You may have feelings of guilt or have been avoiding something
  • Fear of Humiliation – You may be afraid of being embarrassed or shamed

In order to really understand why you are always stuck in your head, you need to go deep and think about the underlying causes. Feelings of anxiety, regret, stress, trauma from the past and fear are all things that cause you to develop habits of overthinking and over-analyzing what happens to you in your life.

The good news is the tendency to overthink is a habit – and as we know all habits can be changed. If you are ready to get out of your head for good, there are actionable steps you can take to stop your negative thought patterns and instead approach life with positivity and optimism.

12 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Out of Your Head

1. Write it Down

If you don’t already keep a journal, now is a great time to start. You can use regular old notebook and paper or you can make use of one of the many popular journaling apps available for your phone or tablet. {My favorite is the iOS app Bear}

I have a tendency to get lost in my thoughts, so every morning I start a simple note with the date at the top and just dump everything going on in my brain. Getting everything out of your head and onto paper is not only a great way to release your feelings, but it can also help you look at your life more objectively.

When you keep regular notes you can also learn to look for patterns. Do you find yourself repeating the same actions and thinking about the same things over and over again? This is a good place to start in developing new healthy habits to replace the negative ones.

2. Say What You Are Thinking Out Loud

One way to help slow down our thoughts is to say something out loud. Of course talking to a friend or even a therapist is one way of doing this, but you can also try recording yourself talking out your thoughts on an app on your phone.

This may seem embarrassing at first, but don’t worry – you can delete everything you record! Listen to yourself talking as an objective friend. Are your fears rational? What can you do to resolve the things you are talking about?

Getting the words out from your head and into the air helps you release your feelings. Sometimes it helps just to say what you’re thinking, especially in a world when so many of us are conditioned to not say certain things and hold back our true feelings.

3. Try Guided Meditation

Guided meditation is different from regular mediation because it gives you something to focus on. For many people, clearing ones thoughts and thinking nothing is impossible – especially if you’re naturally an analytical type of person.

You can download many guided meditations for free online – you can even find several on YouTube. Take 10-15 minutes a day to practice guided meditation and you will find that you feel a lot more calmer and relaxed about things that used to upset you.

You can use guided meditation anytime you feel consumed by your thoughts. Not only will you feel more clarity and at ease, you are able to stop overthinking about almost anything this way.

4. Find a Distraction

Distraction can be a great coping mechanism to help get your mind off your troubles and on to other things. Picking up a hobby, playing a game, or even watching a show on TV can serve as good distractions.

If you are always worried about your family, finances, or future, physical activities like running, walking, biking – even cleaning your house can be great ways to keep yourself busy.

Distractions in this sense are not about distraction from yourself. Instead they are a way of taking your thoughts off things that consistently cause you stress so you can look at those things more clearly.

5. Serve Others

One of the best ways to get your mind off your problems is to help someone else. Everybody can use a helping hand, so see if there is anything you can do for your friends, family members, coworkers or a neighbor.

You can also look into different volunteer opportunities in your community. It can do wonders for your mental health to put your energy into a cause you are passionate about.

When we help others, it gives us the opportunity to look past our flaws and also gives us a way to feel good about ourselves. Helping others also teaches us the value of giving back. When you pay it forward, you make a positive impact in the lives of other people.

Remember, the more you give, the more you receive.

6. Learn to Forgive Yourself and Others

It is hard to forgive someone who has hurt us, but it is even harder to forgive yourself for letting them hurt us first. We all make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes come back to haunt us later on down the road.

When we harbor feelings of resentment, anger, and bitterness it can make us feel helpless and hopeless. But if we take that pain and that anger and use them to build up something positive, it can change our whole outlook on life.

Forgiveness is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and the people around you. Live a life of forgiveness – forgive others for what they did to you and forgive yourself every time you let someone hurt you. No one is perfect, and it’s important we accept ourselves and love one another unconditionally.

7. Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones

One of the keys to getting out of your head is to stop the train of negative thoughts before it starts. When you find yourself falling into the habit of overthinking a situation or worrying about the past, acknowledge what you are doing and replace these thoughts with positive ones.

For example, maybe you did something embarrassing at work and your thoughts keep going back to how horrible you felt at the time. Instead of beating yourself up over it, acknowledge you are thinking about it and then repeat a positive mantra instead, such as “I made a mistake but everything will be okay.”

Repeat making positive statements like this until you find yourself doing this as a habit.

8. Practice Visualization

Visualization is a technique where you use visual imagery to help you achieve a specific outcome. For example, maybe you are a person who worries a lot and makes up any of thousands of worst case scenarios in your head every day.

Begin using your imagination to visualize the things that you want to happen in your life instead. Visualize yourself being successful, healthy, happy with your family and loved ones. Repeat this until it becomes a habit for when you are feeling stressed or worried about something.

If you are not a visual person and have a hard time picturing or imagining things in your head, you can instead use artwork and graphics to visualize something. Consider cutting out images that shows what you want to feel from magazines and creating a vision board that you look at every time you start overthinking.

You can also take a picture of something on your phone. When you feel like you are too far deep in your head, make it a habit to look at images of things that make you happy and less worried.

9. Take Deep Breaths

Breathing consciously forces us to slow down racing thoughts and and brings us back into the present moment.

If you find yourself lost in thoughts you’d rather not experience, try taking slow deep breaths. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Continue doing this until you feel more relaxed and are able to move on from thinking about all the things that are bothering you.

10. Practice Gratitude

Another habit you can practice when you find yourself getting stuck in your head is to practice gratitude. Think about the things you are thankful for. These things don’t have to be major – sometimes we can just be thankful for a comfortable place to rest or a warm cup of coffee on a cold day.

When negative thoughts creep in, acknowledge them but instead focus on the things you are grateful for. Some people find it helpful to carry an object with them in their pocket that reminds them to take a minute each day and think about what they are grateful for.

11. Be in the Moment: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness means to be fully immersed in the present moment. Think about your 5 senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

Take a pause from all the things that are worrying you and just look around your current surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel?

Learning to live in the current moment can help us stop dwelling on our mistakes of the past.

12. Repeat To Self: Use Mantras + Affirmations to Change Your Thoughts

When you find yourself replaying the events of the past or worrying too much about the future, positive affirmations and mantras can quickly change the way you feel.

I remember one time I was going to a conference with some of my co-workers. One of the people in the group said they had a trick for anytime they felt dread when they had to do something they didn’t want to do. The mantra “If I act enthusiastic, I will be enthusiastic.”

She repeated this to herself several times, saying it more enthusiastically each time she said it. By the fourth or fifth time saying it out loud, she found that her energy lightened and she did was a more upbeat and positive mood even for things she didn’t want to do.

I hope these tips for helpful for you in getting out of your head and getting into the present moment in your life.

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Do you often feel like you are stuck in your head? What coping techniques do you use to stop overthinking and overanalyzing everything? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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