6 Ways To Stop Overthinking And Keep Yourself In The Present Moment
By Jenna Barrington
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” – Eckhart Tolle
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.
Most of us call it overthinking.
What does overthinking ever do for you besides make you more stressed, more confused, more worried and tired and cranky?
Yet, we are all guilty of it. I certainly am. And I can bet that if you’ve made it this far into the article, you are too.
Do you want to reprogram your mind to stop overthinking? It’s possible. It may take a little elbow grease and awareness, but you CAN do it! And I promise that you will be healthier and happier for your efforts.
6 Ways To Stop Overthinking and Keep Yourself In The Present:
1. Take A Deep Breath
When you are overthinking, your mind is rolling at a million miles an hour and more likely than not, you are TENSE. Taking a deep breath is a simple technique that can help lower stress and bring you into the present moment.
Try this: breath in for 4 counts, breath out for 8 counts. The specific length of each count isn’t important – simply do what is most comfortable for you. This method of breathing has been shown to regulate your heartbeat and lower stress.
Remember that the only thing you need to deal with in this moment is RIGHT NOW. Tomorrow will come when it comes, but you will only ever be in the now. Breathe. Relax. Everything is going to workout just the way it should.
2. Never Beat Yourself Up
A huge percentage of an overthinker’s thoughts are negative thoughts about themselves. Doubt, discouragement, worry, fear, frustration, etc. If you’ve become accustomed to walking down these negative thought paths, then now is the time to change!
When you start beating yourself up over one thing or another, remember this: IT IS OKAY TO MESS UP! You are perfect, whole and complete just the way you are. Your life and the universe are unfolding as they should. Life is not about living up to the expectation of being what society deems as “perfect.” Be kind to yourself. Start treating yourself as you treat the people you love most in your life.
3. Catch Yourself In The Process Of Overthinking
Come up with strategies to catch yourself when you start overthinking. Post sticky notes on your mirror, in your locker, on your fridge or in your car that remind you to not overthink things. They can be positive quotes, affirmations, code words, whatever you’d like.
Replace the time you would spend over-thinking on something else. Talk a walk, go to the gym, read a book, listen to music, look for something beautiful in your surroundings or think about things that you are grateful for.
4. Remove Yourself From Negative Groups
Your best and most valiant efforts towards better thinking habits can all be bulldozed if you keep hanging out with people who are the reason behind your over-thinking in the first place!
You become the average of the people you spend the most time with. If you are with people who are negative, doubtful, fearful, constantly gossiping and bringing up the worst-case scenario, then guess what… you will probably be just like them! Even if only in your mind.
Start spending less time with people who exude this type of energy. Start hanging out with people who build you up, encourage you, have faith in themselves and have hope for the world. It will make all the difference.
5. Resort To Hobbies
Keep your brain busy with things that you love to do! Move your body, spend time outside, pick up a sport, start sewing, start a new home project, volunteer at an animal shelter… whatever makes you happy and gets YOU out of your HEAD.
6. Change The Things You Can, Accept The Things You Cannot
If you are constantly thinking and worrying about things in your life that you have power over… do what it takes to change them. Do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said and then move on.
Recognize those things you worry about that are completely out of your control. Realize that thinking about them constantly will not make a difference and that it will only contribute to your health and happiness to LET GO.
I hope these things make a difference for you! If you have any other tips, I would love to hear about them and share them with our readers. Let us know in the comments below!
Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.
Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
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