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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), anxiety and depression are on the rise in the UK.

While the ONS "does not collect information on clinically diagnosed cases of anxiety or depression," it did ask the population to answer questions on their thoughts and emotions.

The data showed a significant deterioration when it comes to depression and anxiety, even as quality of life, finances and the economy improved.

According to this analysis, the increase in online searches related to depression and anxiety is also significant, and searches increased twice as much in the UK as the rest of the world.

Mental stress, worrying and over thinking can all be contributing factors or byproducts of poor mental health.

Tackling over thinking and negative thought cycles may not cure mental illness, but it can help just about anyone live a more stress-free life.

Generally, we experience two main destructive thought patterns:

  • Negatively dwelling on the past
  • Being pessimistic or fatalistic about the future

Breaking any habit requires hard work and dedication over a sustained period of time - some say it takes at least 21 days before new habits are formed.

But when it comes to mental and thinking processes, it's even harder to 'train your brain'. It takes practice, but focussing on healthier thinking habits will become easier over time.

Here are six tips for avoiding over thinking to get you started...

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