You know that feeling, huh? When you’re trapped inside your own mind like a fat cat in a cat flap? Your thoughts just keep on spinning and they seem to get you exactly nowhere. Usually, this happens when you couldn’t call more for a clear mind and you’re desperately asking yourself if there is any way out of this hell hole. The bad news is it might not be particularly easy, but the good news is there are a few ways to reduce overthinking. The even better news is that these skills are about to be released to you if you would only take the time to read on. So go ahead and get out of your head with these 9 superb tips.

1. Open the fuck up

It might seem a little contradictory, but getting in touch with your thoughts is really important if you want to start to live. Once you know what’s occupying your mind, there’s a very good chance you’re gonna be able to move away from it. How? The crucial part here is to talk about your thoughts and feelings, because otherwise they will keep on lingering in your mind. With a little chat about your feels here and there, you are processing your internal issues through reflection.

2. Take a step back

A little daydreaming all by yourself can be bliss sometimes. However, when you’re researching your actions and thoughts from too close – I hate to break it to ya, but people tend to do that a lot – take a step back and think of yourself as the teller of your story. How does your story sound when you’re the objective listener?

3. Go crazy and talk to a stranger

Talking to someone you don’t know, might brighten your mood and spark new perspectives. It gives you a sense of connection and maybe even some unexpected insights. It shakes up day to day life and therefore will get you out of your head. A little shy? Just think of it like this: if it brightens your mood, then why wouldn’t it brighten theirs?

4. Don’t hate, meditate

When you’re stuck inside your head, there’s a good chance your thoughts revolve around you. Focussing on the outside instead, will help you stop your mind from going in circles. By meditating, the parts of your brain that involve you and your inside only are deactivated. What a relief that would be, right? And yes, studies show.

5. Me, myself and I = you, yourself and you

So we already agreed that focussing on the outside is a good thing when you’re thoughts keep occupying you. Why not make some other person that outside thing? Spending time on (helping) someone else helps you to connect to other people, shift focus and forget all about your own “misery”.

6. You are not your thoughts

Yes, this is a cliché by now. But it wouldn’t be if there weren’t the slightest sense of truth in it, right? Well now, if there’s a thought that keeps on spinning in your mind, then why not make use of it and grab it by the balls. Investigate the shit out of that thought as if it weren’t yours and try to notice what it feels like, what caused it and how your body reacts to it. Any anxiety is probably going to vanish like batman.

7. You are not your thoughts II

Whut?! Another cliché? Yes. Why? Because it shows us (again) that thoughts are not all that important and that our thoughts are not who we are. Example: you might once have had some thoughts about that co-worker and killing them if they click that pen just one more time. Did you actually kill them tho? Probably not. Are you a murderer? No.

8. Listen to the music and get out of your head

Or some other sounds that are surrounding you. Focussing on what you hear will allow you to be in the present and forget all about the troubles that were in your mind. Or try this calming countdown: first name 5 things you can see, then name 4 things you can hear and 3 things you can feel, followed by 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.

9. All you have to handle is now

The past? It’s over. The future? It’s not here yet. It might not even be here at all. Ergo, you will NEVER ever have to deal with anything that is not in the now.