For Teachers Who Worry a Lot: How to Stop Overthinking Too Much
Excessive thinking can be harmful. When there’s never a single day your mind is free from all worries and doubts, you may be doomed to overthinking.
As a teacher, you probably have always inner dialogues like, “Can my students survive my lesson?”, “Will they learn anything from me?” or “What do I need to do for them to learn better?”
Ways on How to Stop the Ugly Addiction of Overthinking Disorder
In school, teachers are always faced with problems and constant mental exercises. These thoughts can keep barraging in your brain that may cause unwanted depression and anxieties.
Overthinking can be considered as an addiction—a horrible disorder that robs your happiness away from the present, or your focus on the lesson. This is a serious havoc that you may have ignored for a long time, but when it gets worse, it will eventually consume you.
Here are some bad effects of overthinking
- Risk of mental-health problems
- Serious emotional problems
- Insomnia and restlessness
- Extreme distress, anxiety, and depression
- Unproductive thoughts
Before you think too much of your student’s grade results, exams, and school activities, encourage yourself through following these ways to stop the ugly habit of overthinking.
1. Acknowledge your inner dialogue.
Being a teacher is a tough role—activities you have to organize, students you have to take care of, and school deadlines you have to catch up. Due to these loads of demands, you can’t stop overthinking everything. You become wrapped up with these thoughts—pause for a while.
Listen to your inner dialogue, and observe the movement of your thoughts.
Now, engage yourself in the moment—to the here and now. Don’t follow the train of thought you have recently created. Observe first if you really are overthinking, that’s the first step.
2. Focus on the solution, not the problem.
Instead of overanalyzing your negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones. For example, instead of thinking that one of your students doesn’t have a chance in passing the exam, give a try on talking to him about what lessons he’s having hard time with. In this way, you don’t have to doubt and worry; you just have to make an alternate solution to cope up with the problem.
The truth is you can’t really break the habit. But you can replace the habit with another positive habit. Or instead of ruminating deeply on the problem, why not solve the problem?
3. Be mindful through reflecting.
The main reason why you’re overthinking is that you are caught up in the loop of thoughts. Breathe and slow down first. Find a place, like a garden or little park in your school, where you can clearly think. Being mindful is a good thing. Rather than frantically worrying of something. Reflect on your thoughts.
Mindfulness is awakening your mind to the moment. It’s a state of active mind-consciousness of your personal thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Over-thinkers squander every second of their lives, while people who practice mindfulness breathe in stillness and dwell on their thoughts wisely.
Spend some alone time away from your desk. Set a 20-minute time for a meaningful reflection. Free all those negative thoughts and stop when the time is over. Once you overthink, remember that you have allotted a time for that. So wait for that moment.
4. Distracting the thoughts.
The more you try to avoid thinking about it, the more you can actually think about it. Don’t entertain your thoughts for too long, they will gradually stay inside your head. Move away from your desk table and do unrelated works outside or inside the school. Engage in a conversation, or create fun activities together with your students. Distract these negative thoughts until they’ll fade away.