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    12 Things I Learned When I Asked A Therapist How To Stop Overthinking About Work

    "A lot of people feel like they're being productive by worrying."

    It's 4 a.m., and your alarm won't go off for hours. But suddenly, you're wide awake, going over your to-do list, or agonizing over something awkward that you said in a meeting. You would love to go back to sleep, but you just can't seem to stop thinking about work. Sound familiar?

    To get some expert insights and advice for anyone who can't stop thinking about work, I spoke with Tess Brigham, a therapist and career coach who specializes in helping millennial and Gen Z clients. Here's what we talked about:

    1. First, having productive thoughts off the clock can be a good thing, but stressful overthinking tends to increase work-related anxiety.

    Person brooding on their couch at home

    2. Not sure if you're overthinking? Watch out for thoughts that take up a lot of your time and distract you from other things that matter.

    3. Lots of us tend to overthink our relationships and conversations with other people.

    4. And the social aspects of work from home during the pandemic have really ramped up some people's work anxiety.

    Woman participating in a Zoom meeting

    5. Some people overthink because they actually feel like it's helping them (even though it usually isn't).

    6. Practices like mindfulness and meditation can help you learn to recognize and release anxious thoughts.

    Woman meditating on her patio

    7. If constant off-hours work calls and emails are keeping your head stuck in work mode, try talking to your boss to figure out some new boundaries.

    8. If work thoughts keep you up at night, write them down in a journal to help you process your feelings and get some shut-eye.

    Person writing in a journal in bed

    9. Writing down your to-do list can be really helpful too. You just might find that your list looks a lot shorter in writing than it sounded in your head.

    10. Reaching out to colleagues on a social level can also help alleviate some nerves and keep anxious thoughts at bay.

    Coworkers having a coffee together outside the building

    11. Make some time for yourself each day, and make that time a work-free zone.

    12. Finally, don't worry about trying to make a bunch of changes in your life all at once. Instead, focus on one new habit at a time so you don't get discouraged or overwhelmed.

    What helps you clear your head after work? Share your favorite tips in the comments.

    And for more stories about work and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts