5 Easy Steps To Stop Overthinking
By Drew Canole
“Let’s not go and ruin it by thinking too much.” – Clint Eastwood
To ruminate is defined as follows: to bring up and chew again what has already been chewed and swallowed. This is what cows do when they chew their food over… and over… and over again.
It also means to think carefully and deeply about something.
Thinking can quite literally take over our mind if we let it. It can become addictive. It seems like as soon as we learn to think, we can’t figure out how to stop… and so we are left with a constant hum of thoughts. Always thinking.
The mind is a tool, but it is not us. Harnessed and used correctly, the power of our mind is unbelievable. But left to its own devices it can turn us into addicted thinkers, constant worriers and a feeling that we are never truly at peace.
Some people believe that they are their thoughts. This can be devastating to some because they think a lot of their thoughts are bad. They feel like whenever something bad comes up in their mind, that it means they are bad as well. This simply isn’t true.
You are not your mind! Don’t believe everything you think!
Some thoughts come and go and then you never have to see them again. It is only what we dwell on and think consistently that may become part of our character and being.
Over thinking is similar to worry and both have been shown to lead to depression and anxiety. They take us out of the present and drag us through the past over and over again and get us thinking endlessly about the possibilities of the future. It is exhausting.
No wonder so many people are trying to distract themselves. Television, drinking, social media, books… we are scared to be left alone with nothing but our own thoughts. It’s as if we believe that if we don’t have anything to think about, we will stop existing.
The reality is, when you are able to stop thinking, you will finally understand what it means to be alive.
5 Ways to stop overthinking
1) Admit that you’re an overthinker
It would be easy to blow through this article and not stress that you might be an over thinker. I cannot emphasize how important it is to analyze your mind and your thought patterns. Your mind is one of your most powerful tools to becoming unstoppable; to reaching your goals and realizing the future of your dreams. Don’t assume that you’ve got everything under control. Be humble and be open to the possibility that you might need to do some work upstairs.
2) Move your body – get physical
I’ve always been a dog person. When a dog has aggressive tendencies, one of the biggest things most trainers teach is how to snap a dog’s mind out of an aggressive state before anything bad happens.
For instance if an owner notices their dog begin to tense or get anxious, like they might lash out at another dog, the owner gives them a little tap on the back leg with their heel. This is usually accompanied with some sort of verbal cue. This snaps the dog out of their current thoughts and gives them a chance to focus on something else.
Our mind can be much the same way. When you begin to spiral down into a stream of aggressive thoughts, try doing something physical. It can be as simple as moving around the house, doing some dishes, or going for a walk. Many people find that working out daily helps them keep their thoughts smooth and in check. Moving your body consciously can help snap your mind out of its current thought train and give you the chance to become present.
3) Practice meditation
I know I know, you see this advice in articles all over the web. Most people think they don’t have time or patience to meditate. But hey! Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting cross-legged on a mat with your eyes closed for an hour. Find your own way to meditate.
A friend of mine turns on river sounds and just lays on the floor until his mind is clear. Chakra balancing can also be considered a great meditation. Whatever clears your mind and pulls you into the now can be called meditation. You can even clean the house or do dishes if that works best for you! Just dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to any form of calming meditation. This is a powerful way to soothe the mind and perhaps the most neglected!
4) Don’t believe everything you think
Remember – you are not your mind. Everything you think may not be true. The way you think is based on how you were raised, the environment, what you eat, how you sleep, what you watch, listen to and read… the variables that play into how you think are endless. So question what you think. Especially thoughts that are negative or detrimental to your growth.
You know the kinds of thoughts I’m talking about. When a negative thought floats by, say, “why am I thinking that?” and let it pass. Imagine throwing the thought out into space and seeing it explode. Don’t let it live in your mind unless it is going to help you get where you want to be.
5) Focus on positive affirmations
Need something to think about? Focus on positive affirmations. Focus on replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations instead. When you think, “I can’t do this. This is too hard,” instead try something like, “I am powerful. I am accomplishing amazing things.” When you think, “I am ugly” or “I am not good enough,” throw that thought into space and replace it with, “I am an infinite being full of light and beauty” and “I am enough.”
I don’t care if you think it is true or not. It is! So fake it ‘till you make it, my friend. The world is yours for the taking. It all starts in your mind.
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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