Patterns that put your romantic relationships on the verge of a breakup. It offers advice and easy-to-do techniques to release your worrying thoughts and strengthen your bond with your partner.
Introduction: Stop overthinking and save your relationship.
Picture it. You’re finally in a committed relationship with the love of your life. You’re happy, you’re in love, and you can’t get enough of each other. Sounds perfect, right?
But then what’s that unsettling feeling you get when your partner gets home much later than usual? When they’re taking too long to respond to your calls? Or when they don’t look interested in anything you say or do?
Every time these seemingly small things pop up, your mind gets flooded with all sorts of negative thoughts. These thoughts then turn into words that trap you in repetitive arguments with your partner and only then make matters worse. It’s a never-ending spiral that spells disaster for your relationship.
That, right there, is overthinking. It messes with your mindset and creates a wedge between you and your other half.
This is where this summary to Rodney Noble’s The Overthinking in Relationships Fix comes to the rescue. Packed with practical solutions to help you break free from overthinking, this summary aims to save your relationship and turn you into a better partner in the process. So sit back and say hello to a healthier relationship!
Overthinking, its causes, and how it manifests in a relationship
Overthinking happens when you give too much thought to something that shouldn’t need that much mental energy. It brings out your obsessive side that’s filled with chaos and negativity, and this spills into your relationship.
For instance, your partner makes a passing comment about a previous romantic interest. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s not really that big of a deal, but your mind starts racing with questions about whether they still love their ex or if they’re just with you because you’re the convenient choice. This can cause you to start interrogating your partner, sparking explosive disputes that could have easily been avoided.
There are two primary patterns of overthinking that can manifest in your relationship. The first one is when you ruminate about the past, constantly dwelling on the same issue and the negative feelings associated with it. This issue can range from something as small as your partner’s minor shortcoming to something as big as an event that significantly impacted your relationship. You find it difficult to let go of this problem, and it keeps playing on repeat in your head. As a result, you slowly become detached from your partner and have a hard time living in the present.
The second pattern of overthinking is when you worry about the future. This is a normal feeling to have, but once you start stressing about it more often than necessary, that’s when it turns into a problem. Common worries that people have involve fear that their partner might cheat, break up with them, and choose another person over them. There are also worries about not being good enough for their partner, and their partner not being “the one.”
Overthinking doesn’t just come out of thin air – it’s often rooted in one issue: relationship anxiety, or the negative feelings you have about your relationship. Relationship anxiety can stem from a range of factors, such as constant bickering, doubts about the future of the relationship, and even nonexistent problems you create in your head. You know you’re suffering from relationship anxiety when you start questioning your worth to your partner, second-guessing your compatibility, and overanalyzing your partner’s every move.
In response to this anxiety, you may become one of two things: dependent or avoidant. Dependent people rely heavily on their partners for every little thing. They have an extreme need for communication and support, so much so that they resort to abusive and controlling behavior just to get their partner’s attention.
Avoidant people, on the other hand, turn to isolation. They have a tendency to keep their needs to themselves for fear of being turned down. Because of this nature, it’s harder for them to establish and nurture intimate connections with others.
While overthinking does have a big impact on the relationship, it isn’t the only thing that gets affected, as you’ll find out in the next section.
Overthinking and its effects on your mental and physical well-being
Overthinking is such a toxic habit that all the other aspects of your life feel its negative effects one way or another.
To begin with, your physical health can take a serious beating. Overthinking triggers panic attacks and sets the stage for long-term anxiety, consequently keeping your stress hormones at abnormally high levels. Excessive stress hormones in your body can show up physically and result in symptoms like lightheadedness, headaches, chest pain, diarrhea, sleep disruption, and quick, shallow breathing. Additionally, overthinking can increase the risk of several health problems like asthma, hypertension, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Apart from the physical aspects, the effects of overthinking also extend to your mental health. Studies suggest that overthinking has a negative impact on your problem-solving skills. This happens because you get so fixated on a problem that you stop actively seeking a resolution to it.
Overthinking also makes you lose your self-confidence, and this stirs up a wide variety of insecurities. For example, you may become overly sensitive to the point that even the slightest things can set you back emotionally. You also become jealous and require constant reassurance from your partner, leading you to monitor their whereabouts and actions closely.
When you have low self-esteem, you start thinking about your inadequacy in the relationship. Am I good enough for my partner? Am I speaking to them the right way? Am I dressing in a way that suits their tastes? All of your actions start to revolve around pleasing your partner and getting their approval. You might even begin hiding your flaws from them just so they deem you as perfect.
Finally, it triggers trust issues. This is probably the most notable and potentially destructive insecurity stemming from overthinking. Lack of trust stifles the growth of your relationship, and the more you overthink, the more unreal and irrational your imagination becomes. These superficial scenarios make you trust your partner less even though the scenarios don’t have any reasonable basis at all.
These effects, from the physical to the mental ones, are barely scratching the surface of the full range of what overthinking can do to your relationship and your body. That’s why it’s important to take steps toward addressing it before it completely tears your relationship and health apart.
The first steps in fighting overthinking
Dealing with overthinking can indeed be a real challenge. But the good news is that there are different strategies to try to break yourself free from that cycle of negative thoughts.
One such method is by raising your self-awareness. This is the ability to step back and take an objective look at your own thoughts and actions. The more you become aware of yourself and how your thoughts and behavior affect your relationship, the more you’ll want to stop and change them.
To boost your self-awareness, make it a habit to ask yourself questions like what you need to work on yourself and whether you’re contributing anything valuable to the relationship. This way, you can identify your areas of improvement and plan your next steps accordingly. It’s also a good idea to get the opinion of your closest friends and family. Ask them how well you’re doing in your romantic relationship and then use their feedback to better yourself.
Other than increasing your self-awareness, meditating can do wonders for your mind, too. Whenever you find yourself caught up in negative thoughts, look for a quiet spot and get comfortable. Then, take deep breaths and remind yourself to quit worrying over the things you have no control over – your partner’s friends, their schedule, their choices in life. As you release these thoughts, tell your mind to relax and find peace in the present moment. Continue doing this for a few more sessions until you feel more clear-headed.
Journaling is also a great tool to reduce your mental clutter. By writing down your thoughts, you release them from your mind and onto the page. Once they’re out in the open, it becomes easier to evaluate whether these thoughts are real concerns or just figments of your imagination. Take five to 15 minutes a day to journal, ideally as part of your daily morning or evening routine. Consistently dedicating time to this practice can help turn it into a habit.
In addition to your worry journal, it’s helpful to keep one for gratitude, as well. Here, write down everything you appreciate about your relationship, from what you love about your partner to what makes you happy to be in that relationship. By actively seeking out the things you’re grateful for, you cultivate a more positive mindset, making it less likely for negative thoughts to creep in and lead to overthinking.
Finally, you have exercise. Yes, it may sound like a crazy way to stop overthinking, but there’s actually real science behind it. When you engage in physical activities, especially aerobic exercise, you get rid of the stress hormones that keep your mind racing. And as you work out, you also release endorphins or happy hormones. A happy mind makes a happy relationship, so try to exercise regularly, ideally in the morning or before 7:00 p.m. when stress levels are typically higher.
With these fixes, you’ll soon find your way out of those negative thoughts circling your head and into a better you.
How to overcome overthinking in long-distance relationships
Every relationship can be ruined by overthinking, but those in long-distance relationships are especially vulnerable. This is because the less frequently you see a partner, the more negative your thoughts become.
You may find yourself wondering about the genuineness of your partner’s feelings or if the relationship has any chance of succeeding at all. It’s also normal to feel less secure in the relationship because you spend less time together than most couples do, fostering the fear that you might be drifting apart as the distance between you grows.
It’s a good idea to try the overthinking fixes mentioned earlier, but for long-distance relationships, there are additional steps you can take to overcome overthinking.
One, work on your communication with each other. If you want to keep a long-distance relationship alive, this is one of the most important things that you and your partner need to master. Following a regular call schedule can immensely help, so you both know when to expect to hear from each other. No more guesswork and doubts.
But just because you’re in a long-distance relationship doesn’t have to mean you’re limited to just texts and video calls. Thanks to technological advancements, you can now explore new ways of bonding with each other. Try streaming the same movie together or playing online games. There are also offline activities you can engage in like reading the same book, cooking the same meal together, or working out at the same time. These shared experiences help bridge the distance between you and make the relationship feel more intimate.
Next, arrange regular visits. A relationship still thrives on physical interaction, so meet each other as often as possible. A good rule of thumb is setting up a two-day meetup every three weeks. If this isn’t viable, try to visit each other once a month or every other month at the absolute least. Avoid letting three months pass without meeting.
Another helpful tip is managing both parties’ realistic expectations. By negotiating on what you both can realistically commit to, you avoid disappointment and frustration and thus overthinking. For instance, instead of asking your partner to send you updates every hour despite their busy schedule, you can both agree on texting every night instead.
Included in these expectations are also your hopes and dreams about the relationship moving forward. When do you plan to end the long distance? What steps will you take to be physically closer to each other? Having these goals laid out early in the relationship ensures that both of you are on the same page.
Given that you don’t get to spend as much time together as you want, now is a great opportunity to focus on yourself. Keeping yourself busy reduces the likelihood of overthinking, so start filling your days with new or old hobbies and social gatherings with your family and friends.
Last but not the least, overthinking is quelled when you become as honest and open with each other as possible. Make it a point to be transparent about your fears and insecurities when they come up. This way, your partner can give you the necessary support you need before these issues escalate. But make sure these fears and insecurities don’t consume most of your talking time or else they could actually end up getting in the way of your relationship progressing.
Overthinking is anything but a tool for fostering a healthy relationship between you and your partner. It pulls you away from each other and adds unnecessary tension and stress which can ultimately lead to a breakup.
But not all hope is lost. You have approaches to combat overthinking at your disposal. Sure, you might not find the perfect fix for you right away. It’s completely normal to have to test out a few different strategies first to see which works best for you. What’s important is to stay persistent and keep trying until you discover the ones that help you manage your thoughts and behavior more effectively. You’ve got this!
About the author
Rodney Noble is the author of multiple books that focus on the causes of overthinking, how it can impact various parts of your life, and how to overcome it. His other titles include The Overthinking Cure and Conquering Overthinking 2 In 1.
Psychology, Sex, Relationships, Personal Development, Self Help, Conflict Management, Family Conflict Resolution, Stress Management
Table of Contents
Overthinking And Its Effects On Your Relationship 10
Relationship Anxiety 10
Five Signs Of Relationship Anxiety 12
Causes Of Anxiety In Relationships 16
Self-Build Problems 19
Overthinking: It May Affect A Lot More Than Just Relationships 22
Impact On Your Health 22
Physical Effects 23
The Self-Esteem Theory 29
Patterns Of Overthinking And Their Fix 32
Ruminating About The Past 3
Worrying About The Future 39
Overthinking And Anxiety 47
How Are Anxiety And Overthinking Connected? 47
The Marks Anxiety Can Leave On You 49
Tips To Overcome Anxiety Rooted In Overthinking 54
Can Overthinking Lead To Insecurities? 58
Insecurities Caused By Overthinking59
Eight Steps To Free Yourself Of Insecurities Stemmed From Overthinking 63
Self-Centered Thinking In A Relationship 69
What Is Self-Centered Thinking, And How It Affects Your Relationships? 70
Changing The Center Of Your Thinking 73
Overthinking In Long-Distance Relationships78
What Can You Do About It? 80
Ways Overthinking Impacts Your Relationships 86
Stopping Overthinking In A Long-Distance Relationship: What Can You Do? 91
Making A Long-Distance Relationship Last: Tips And Tricks To Follow 95
Controlling Overthinking Through Self-Awareness 102
What Is Self-Awareness? 103
Eight Ways To Improve Self-Awareness 112
Controlling Negative Thoughts With Self-Reflection 119
What Is Self-Reflection?120
Overthinking Versus Happiness 136
Do you get tired of constantly second-guessing your partner’s actions and intentions?
Would you like to build a healthy and balanced romantic relationship?
Are you trying to let go of your worries and insecurities about your relationship?
If any of this happens to you more often than you’d like to admit, keep reading because you are about to find the solution you need.
Overthinking is a toxic behavioral pattern for relationships, and chances are you already have a first-hand experience of that.
Most of the time, a simple unanswered call or text can trigger a spiral or ruminations and dreadful scenarios that leave you emotionally and physically drained.
Experts agree that one of the most common triggers for overthinking patterns is insecurity, which can lead to anxiety and depression.
In 2018, a study published in the Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, vol 46, issue 4 conducted by Matsumoto, N. and Mochizuki S., discovered that overthinking plays a prominent role in predicting and maintaining depressive symptoms.
In this guide you will discover:
- One simple trick to nip rumination in the bud (this is essential)
- Why overthinking isn’t toxic just for your relationship, but also for your health
- 4 simple and fun hacks to help you rewire your thought patterns and keep overthinking at bay
- 3 main insecurities that lead to overthinking (number 2 will surprise you)
- Practical ways to move away from self-centered thinking and create healthy boundaries in your relationships
- One essential truth you might not want to believe, which helps you put your needs before others’ and build equitable relationships
- …and much, much more!
This is a practical guide for all who want to get rid of the constant anxiety, rumination, and people-pleasing tendencies that are compromising their relationships.