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Overcome Your Overthinking

Gain mastery over your body and your mind to minimize unproductive thoughts, anxiety, and negativity, using mindfulness techniques.
Overcome Your Overthinking is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 21.
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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Misleading Title Yoga instructor takes you through a variety of yoga practices and breathing exercises. Some psychology of overthinking in the first few lectures then quickly gets into yoga. "Reducing Anxiety Through Yoga" would be a more accurate title.
Date published: 2023-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good course, simplified and instructive Simply explained material. Maybe a tad dull for viewing as mainly it's just the portrait angle of the lectures profile in every lecture. But maybe that's the point, to be calm and reflective. I enjoy it but I can imagine some younger students may turn off. Sorry but true.
Date published: 2023-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Prayer Answered Because emotions play such a central role in our lives, I am pleased that TGC now offers several courses dealing with emotions including "Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions" by Robert Solomon, "Understanding Human Emotions" by Lawrence Reed, "Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature" by Daniel Breyer and "Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence" by Jason Satterfield. Within this group, "Overcome Your Overthinking" by Heidi Sormaz appears to be a niche course at first glance insofar as it deals with "only" one difficulty, i.e. unwanted protracted conscious thinking. However, when you consider that this type of protracted thinking is the source of anxiety, depression, prolonged anger, repetitive thoughts and other distressing mental/emotional states, it may be the most helpful course of the whole bunch. Of course, that is unless you are one of the lucky people in life who isn't plagued by overthinking, in which case you probably aren't even reading this review. On a personal note, as much as I enjoyed the other courses, I probably felt the most direct benefit from Dr. Sormaz's teaching style. In each lecture, she gets to the point quickly, explains things in a clear fashion, doesn't attempt to impress with unnecessary jargon, and doesn't waste time with an endless string of academic references. The exercises she leads are very simple, but totally on point. In contrast, many of the "homework assignments" in the other courses were often tedious, boring and ineffective, more form than substance. Because Dr. Sormaz doesn't waste any time at all, I felt that she covered the topic well in just 12 lectures. A true "prayer answered" for anyone like me that has fallen into the bad habit of overthinking.
Date published: 2023-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Some good techniques I know a lot about this, retired therapist. She starts off by trying to simultaneously explode the prevalent belief that you can control everything that happens in your life, a belief that gaslights true victims of oppression, but holding on to the internal locus of control idea, which varies from very hard to impossible. What she wants to say is that No, you are not omnipotent, but do please keep searching for every ounce of influence you can bring to bear on outcomes, focus on that. She rarely veers into toxic positivity/gaslighting, and deserves a 4 for that. She is also to be commended for practices that involve the body as well as the thinking function. Only critique is that the title says we are focusing on Overthinking and this is really much more comprehensive than that (a good way to go). If you just want to focus on Overthinking, then the title was a marketing ploy to pull you in. So forget the title. This is how to stop making bad things worse via a downward spiral of faulty thinking and emotional cascade.
Date published: 2023-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is a great course! As a severe inner thinker who has tried other avenues, I applaud this course. The instructor has a deep understanding of the problem and what will help. I love her introduction of Buddhist practices, they really work. Thank you, thank you! At the age of 77 I'm feeling relief from this painful habit for the first time in my life.
Date published: 2022-12-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overcome Your Overthinking The request for a review ALWAYS comes before I have had a chance to view the course. I can't give an accurate assessment in so short a time. I usually delete these emails to keep my inbox clear.
Date published: 2022-10-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Some good techniques, but... When I was asked to provide a review for this course, my first thought was to write something like this: "This is a firmly Four-star course. Its core is a composition of diverse techniques for changing physiological states, mostly resulted from stressful situations. Although the author emphasizes "overthinking", which in this case looks more like a brandish attempt, such techniques are applicable to a wider spectrum of conditions. The author attempted to give some scientific background explaining the origin of certain conditions and the workings of brain and nervous system. Not a Five-star rating is due to some rawness of the material and presentation, which is alright for a new course, aspiring to do a presentation within a newer conceptual framework compared to more traditional approaches." However, there was some subtle feeling of fallacy in this course, which was difficult to recognize at first, and this is why the above review was not posted - more time was needed to figure out what really alerted me. The fundamental flaw, in my view, resulted from superfluous understanding by the author of psychological mechanisms underlying the workings of brain, nervous system and of the organism in general. That won't be a big deal for a popular course, unless the author would make this understanding a cornerstone of the whole approach. In a nutshell, the author presents a painting in which two distinct parts of a human organism present - one part is subconscious workings of primordial organs and mechanisms (like amygdala, or "default network"), whose operations are independent and self-sufficient ("one way communication") and cannot be affected by conscious interference. The other part is a conscious one, which can take input from the first part and somehow mitigate its negative influence, converting the effect into a more desirable psychological state. This is rather a depressing idea that our ability to change the organismal response, and the organism's functioning as such, is limited this way. However, if it is not true, it will be also harmful, since accepting such an idea would mean that one even shouldn't attempt to go beyond simple adaptation to inputs from primordial subconscious mechanisms, without trying influencing such mechanisms. Fortunately the idea that we can do nothing with the primordial mechanisms is a flawed one. There are scientific proofs of that. For instance, regarding the one-way communication of amygdala, which the author insists upon, there is the opposite evidence in the following paper: Sudimac, S., Sale, V. & Kühn, S. How nature nurtures: Amygdala activity decreases as the result of a one-hour walk in nature. Mol Psychiatry (2022). And this makes a principal difference how we can manage and control the state of an entire organism, including the subconscious mechanisms. The same amygdala communicates with the rest of an organism through a TWO-WAY, as it turned out, but not through ONE-WAY, communication channel. Of course, it is not easy, it requires substantial efforts, but it is possible, we can do this. And this is the reason for a more optimistic view to handle our problems, and accordingly for developing new approaches and methods for that, and in the realm, which the author rather cuts off by her vision how the human organism works. I would rather prefer to not post this review, in order to not discourage the author or prospective buyers. However, the issue is not a minor one, it affects the entire vision of how one can CONTROL the psychological state, and in which direction such methods and approaches should develop. Hope the course will get enough favourable reviews to overwrite rating. Some concrete techniques suggested by the author are useful, in my opinion, like "Name it to tame it", Yoga exercises and others. Overall, my opinion - this is a THREE-STAR course. (P. S. Regarding my credentials. I am not a specialist in brain physiology; but I know the physics and chemistry of neurons, published three books on biology (growth mechanisms, metabolism), published articles in reputable biological journals, such as Journal of Experimental Biology, Acta Biotheoretica, Biophysical Reviews and Letters, etc.)
Date published: 2022-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Overcoming your overthinking Good stuff. Very helpful analysis of causes. Better understanding is always the start to dealing with an issue.
Date published: 2022-09-09
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Overthinking can disrupt our ability to relax, lead to self-doubt and self-confidence issues, and even manifest physically, causing a lack of sleep or digestive problems. Over the 12 engaging lessons of Overcome Your Overthinking, acclaimed meditation and yoga teacher Dr. Heidi Sormaz, who has a PhD in psychology from Yale University with an emphasis on cognitive psychology, not only provides the science behind cognitive behavioral therapy, but she’ll also arm you with a toolbox of exercises and techniques that are most effective at breaking the spell of overthinking.


Heidi Sormaz

Yoga can have a transformative effect on your body and mind, helping you move from disease to ease in the ways that you breathe, move, and think.


Certified Yoga Instructor

Dr. Heidi E. Sormaz is the founder, owner, and director of Fresh Yoga LLC in New Haven, Connecticut. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale and the University of California, Berkeley. She taught psychology at Yale, San Francisco State University, and Albertus Magnus College. Dr. Sormaz obtained the highest teaching credentials from both Forrest Yoga and Yoga Alliance.

In her academic work, Dr. Sormaz is an expert on the influence of arousal and attention on performance, the effects of anxiety on thinking, stress management, and performance in pressure situations. Her publications include the book Performance under Pressure: Managing Stress in the Workplace, published by HRD Press, and the article "Meditation Can Reduce Habitual Responding," published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Dr. Sormaz was awarded the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Award from Case Western Reserve University and the Wilhelm Wundt Award at the Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference.

In addition to teaching yoga in her own studio, she has presented workshops and teacher trainings at conferences and studios across the United States, including Kripalu and the Esalen Institute. Yoga Journal featured Dr. Sormaz on its list of "teachers who are shaping yoga's future" from across America.

By This Expert

Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body
Overcome Your Overthinking
Overcome Your Overthinking


Are You an Overthinker?

01: Are You an Overthinker?

Get a foundational overview of what makes a thinker become an overthinker. Heidi introduces you to the most common forms of overthinking and to a new way of working with your thoughts when they interfere with your life. This lesson includes a short, seated exercise.

31 min
Conquer the Illusion of Control

02: Conquer the Illusion of Control

Heidi helps you take a long, hard look at what you can and cannot control in your life—while demonstrating that spending time thinking about the things you cannot control leads to unproductive thoughts. This lesson introduces “name it, to tame it”, a short exercise meant to interrupt the habits of the mind.

32 min
Interrupt the Emotional Cascade

03: Interrupt the Emotional Cascade

By looking at how our physiology and psychology intertwine, Heidi shows us how easy it is to spin into a spiral of unproductive thoughts—and why it can be physically impossible to calm yourself down once you start. This lesson introduces you to the mindfulness practice referred to as vedanā.

32 min
Engage Your Body to Stop Overthinking

04: Engage Your Body to Stop Overthinking

See how unlike taking a run or going to the gym, practicing yoga is not a distraction or an avoidance, it’s a way to approach and address part of the emotional cascade. Heidi demonstrates how yoga soothes your system by changing your breath and connects your physical and mental state. This lesson introduces you to basic and accessible yoga poses and practices.

23 min
Simple Yoga to Calm the Mind

05: Simple Yoga to Calm the Mind

Move on to some more sophisticated techniques that can help demonstrate the power of yoga as Heidi introduces movements that challenge and work the core muscles that are associated with breathing. She’ll also provide alternative techniques, stretches, poses, and breathing exercises that can be done any at any time. They have many similar benefits to a full, 30-minute yoga session. This lesson introduces you to yoga postures.

30 min
Practice Mindfulness for Self-Soothing

06: Practice Mindfulness for Self-Soothing

Heidi builds upon the concept of soothing our system by deliberately changing the pattern of our attention through mindfulness meditation, and introduces different approaches to meditation. She also provides insight into how to practice both concentration and mindfulness. This lesson introduces you to some seated meditation techniques.

31 min
Try the Power of Yin Yoga

07: Try the Power of Yin Yoga

Combine the soothing elements of compassion practice with the physiological calm created by yoga, in a more passive form of yoga called yin yoga. Heidi demonstrates how this practice involves holding your body in a position for anywhere between three to five minutes, and then you settle, or relax your muscles, with gravity, toward the floor. This lesson introduces you to yin yoga techniques and meditation with mettā.

34 min
Name and Tame Your Emotions

08: Name and Tame Your Emotions

Circle back to the importance of emotions as Heidi reminds us that recognizing our emotions sounds easy enough, but most of us have made a habit of avoiding emotions, out of fear that they’ll be unpleasant. Revisit why moving toward thoughts and emotions, instead of away, is how we change our habit of overthinking. This lesson introduces you to some new mindful practices such as a body scan and emotion labels.

36 min
Express Gratitude to Change Your Thinking

09: Express Gratitude to Change Your Thinking

Shift your perspective to look at the importance of practicing gratitude in your life. Heidi shows how our brain can’t focus on positive and negative information at the same time. So, by consciously practicing gratitude, we can train the brain to be selectively focusing on positive emotions and thoughts, which reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.

25 min
Think Clearly with Cognitive Restructuring

10: Think Clearly with Cognitive Restructuring

Heidi introduces the technique from cognitive therapy called cognitive restructuring. This is a deliberate reappraisal of your thoughts, or simply changing your thoughts by thinking about them differently. It’s not easy, but Heidi provides some helpful tips and techniques, including words to be aware of and questions to ask yourself before you go down a rabbit-hole of assumptions.

26 min
Solve Problems More Effectively

11: Solve Problems More Effectively

Many people believe that by overthinking about an issue, they are working on solving their problem. Heidi spends this lecture showing that overthinking is the opposite. It keeps you stuck in the problem, likely making it worse. She provides some tools that can help you change your thoughts to effective problem-solving, such as goal setting and writing out your situation.

31 min
Cultivate an Upward Spiral

12: Cultivate an Upward Spiral

Backed up by scientific research, Heidi demonstrates how deliberately broadening your attention changes the content of your thoughts for the better. The more claustrophobically we view our situation, the more we obsess about how to control or fix it. She provides a final set of tools that can help you widen your attention and perspective and shift you into an upward spiral.

32 min