Overthinking is, perhaps, one of the most common problem people, especially ages from 15 to 29, have. In the moment, you were going okay, you were feeling good, you were at peace but eventually, one thought came to your mind. It was the name of your ex-partner who you still have feelings for. After that, another thought came up and you wondered, “Why did he/she leave me?” You questioned what happened and afterwards, another thought came up and you said, “What’s wrong with me?” Of course, another thought popped up in your mind, “Am I ugly?”
You see, the loop of endless thinking went on and on.
It was all started from the thought of the name of your ex-partner that ended up questioning your self-worth. It was all started from the “name” of your ex that ended you up saying, “Am I ugly? Am I not lovable?”
It was all started from one thought, just one thought that leads to many, unhealthy, self-destructive, and addictive negative thoughts.
It was all started from one thought that made your mind and body so occupied.
Think of a basketball, it is comprised of two things, the air inside and the rubber itself. Amidst of overthinking, we are like the air inside the basketball and our thoughts are the rubber itself. It is very difficult to escape, right? We are being covered, controlled, and manipulated by the rubber which are our unhealthy and negative thoughts. We are being shaped by those thoughts that we lose control of our actions. It destroys our neutral thinking, emotions, and actions.
I experienced this a hundred times and I must say, overthinking affected me negatively over a long period of time. But, if you let me say, humans are so incredible that we can apply certain lessons we have gained from our repeated mistakes.
The first thing I do when “overthinking” is unveiling itself is becoming aware.
We need to be aware of how our thinking goes and what our predominant thoughts are. Experiment this, observe your thoughts for the next 24 hours and you will notice that most of them are negative. We need to be consciously aware of the thoughts in our mind.
Becoming aware of our thinking will truly let us know the moment when “overthinking” is approaching. If the negative thought arises, notice that thought and become aware that that thought has popped in your mind.
When you are starting to see those negative thoughts, say to yourself,
“I am beginning to think negatively and this will lead to overthinking, but now is different because I am aware of it”
The moment we become aware of the negative thoughts in our mind is really a strong tool to prevent the overthinking. Additionally, it gives us the power to either continue to think those negative thoughts like before or change the way we think about it like never before.
We tend to overthink because we are oblivious and unconscious with every thoughts in our mind. Mind can be a useful tool in some times but most often, it is a destroyer.
When you notice yourself having negative thoughts, change them quickly and immediately because you know that if you continue, you will again, overthink.
However, if your thinking are already filled with negative thoughts or if you notice that you are already in a state of overthinking, meditation can help, too.
Awareness and meditation are helpful solutions to prevent and stop overthinking.
Meditation lets us become strongly aware of the thoughts popping in our mind. And being strongly aware makes us realize one thing: it is only our thoughts which make things complicated.
Try it for yourself. Sit or lie still, close your eyes and begin to breath deeply. Be conscious of your breathing pattern. Be conscious of how you inhale and exhale and how the air is moving from your lungs into your mouth. During this process, you will often think other thoughts which are usually happenings from the past. Do not worry, it is normal. You can not stop the mind from having thoughts. But go back quickly in being aware of your conscious breathing. Always go back to the present moment.
Continue do this for several minutes, continue being aware of your conscious breathing. As you do this, your thoughts will become less and less, slowly quieting your mind. After several minutes of doing this, open your eyes and you will feel better.
At first, we may feel uncomfortable and may treat it as boring activity, but once experienced the benefits, it will truly give us an enormous power to achieve peace in our own lives. It will be hard to achieve its benefits at first, but doing it continuously will grow our presence and awareness over time.
Awareness and meditation are helpful tools to achieve consciousness, blissness, stillness, and peace. Becoming aware and doing meditation prove that it is only our mind that makes things sensitive, overrated, and complicated.