Is your brain on constant over-drive?
Envision your mind is like a computer. Imagine you have left that computer on for months, years even, it’s ram packed with data and almost full, you have every program running, heaps of documents open and multiple things uploading and downloading from the net. What happens? Well the poor over-worked machine starts to struggle. It freezes and over-heats. Documents go missing, programs constantly crash and nothing runs properly.
So many of us live our lives every day like this. Our heads running like an over-heated computer. You become totally merged with your thoughts and trapped in your minds. When we allow our minds to slip into that obsessive, dominating, compulsive, addictive over-thinking spiral, it causes havoc on our lives and kills our experiences of joy & happiness. We can’t think clearly, see reason and will tend to make mountains out of mole hills.
Other “Malfunctions” will occur such as;
* Creating problems where there are none
* Blocked creative flow
* Trouble sleeping
* Feeling overwhelmed and stagnant
* Body constantly in flight or fight stress response, so you are always getting sick or suffering a multitude of health problems.
* Gaining excess weight you can’t shift.
* Relationship and work problems as you aren’t present or clear.
* Difficulties with intimacy and troubles climaxing.
* Anxiety, depression and difficulty managing emotions.
* Addictions with food, alcohol, drugs, etc.
* Paranoia and suicidal thoughts.
Get the idea?
Over thinking kills your happiness.
Our minds love to analyze, judge, research, forecast and problem solve. They are brilliant at that. Our minds are wonderful processors. That’s it. They are meant to be wonderful servants to our life experience, not the master. Our thoughts aren’t who we truly are. In order to live and experience life our minds and thoughts must be balanced. The computer needs to be ‘switched off’ from time to time in order to run properly.
So how can you stop “over-thinking”?
1. Recognise you are in fact, ‘over-thinking’.
Sounds simple, but the key in breaking the obsessive thought spiral is to recognize and acknowledge you are, in fact, stuck in your head. Take a moment to observe your thoughts. Become aware of any thoughts that are in your mind, and then become aware of that part of you that is watching your thoughts. That’s the real “you”, the pure consciousness, loving awareness that observes your thoughts, feelings and sensations.
Often just that shift in perception is all you need to go. Okay, I’m in my head. Enough. You create some space and mindfulness to disconnect from the thoughts.
When I catch myself stuck and stressed with story of my mind one of the most powerful things to snap me out is to literally say, out loud
I encourage you to try it, often when I do it I will end up giggling to myself as I realize how ridiculous I had been with whatever story I was telling myself.
Another thing I will often do, especially if I catch myself over-thinking at an inappropriate time, eg, trying to fall asleep, talking to a friend, being intimate with a lover, having a massage, etc. Is to say to my mind
“Thank you for all that you do, right now its okay for you to take some time out, I am giving you a holiday”.
Again, that just creates some space, in a fun-loving way to give your mind permission to turn off.
2. Take a deep breath.
Often when we are stuck in your heads over thinking our breath will become short and shallow, depriving the body of oxygen and making us feel more anxious. So stop, take a few deeper than normal breaths and on your exhale really enjoy the sensation of letting go. Let your breath do the work to help you let go of whatever has been stressing or worrying you.
3. Connect with your physical body, engage with the senses.
A key to getting out of your mind is to get back into your body. Engage with the physical senses of touch, taste, listening, seeing and feeling. Use your physical senses to ground you back into the present moment. Give yourself a massage, have a shower, take a hot bath filled with delicious smelling oils, listen to music you love, make some wholesome flavoursome food, have sex or do some yoga.
Move your body in a joyful way, dance, shake, shimmy. If you enjoy working out, hit the gym. JUST GET MOVING. Your soul’s essence sits at your heart, so whenever you move your body it allows the energy of your soul to flow through your entire body. It helps you to get out of your head, shifts stagnant energy and brings more oxygen and light into your being.
4. Get outside in nature.
Nature is such a powerful antidote to an over heated mind. Being stuck inside in square boxes of our homes and offices, watching the square boxes of our computers, phones and TV’s is horrid for our energy. We NEED nature. Being outside in nature allows our energy to expand in fullness.
So get outside; walk barefoot in the grass, go for a swim in the ocean, sit with your back to a tree trunk, put your hands in the dirt. When I am in crazy mind over-drive I love nothing more than taking my dog Harvey outside for a walk along the river that is near my house. The fresh air, sun on my body, sound of running water always does wonders for helping me to reconnect and I always come back feeling a million times better than when I left.
5. Cultivate stillness.
Our lives are busy. They are noisy. We are constantly bombarded on a daily basis with information and sensory overload. We need stillness and quiet for integration, processing and healing. Stillness is vital for creating space for us to slow down, re-focus and step out of the busyness and connect to our inner truth.
The introduction of smart phones and tablets into our lifestyles has created a multitude of benefits, but it also means that we are constantly distracted by them. I know for many of my clients and friends their only opportunity for stillness & quiet is when they are in the shower or as they are lying down in bed after finally switching off their phones. It’s no wonder then that our minds use that micro moment of stillness to then flood our awareness with a gazillion worries & stresses about our lives.
So make sure you are giving yourself stillness on a daily basis. Turn off the phone, tv and computer. Spend AT LEAST 10 mins every day just being still. When you create space and stillness in your life it allows the knowing of your soul, your innate wisdom to surface, giving you comfort, direction and guidance. It gives your mind a moment of pause, a time out, to process all the information it needs to digest and organize.
6. Start a meditation practice.
The key to a happy, healthy, balanced mind is meditation. Everyone can meditate, it’s just a matter of finding a technique and method that you resonate with and enjoy. Its much like learning to drive a car, at the beginning it can feel hard like you are never going to get it, and then before you know it, meditation is part of your daily life and comes as naturally as brushing your teeth in the morning. If you are an over-thinker, meditation will give you SOO much relief. Meditation was key for me breaking the over-thinking cycle, and shifting my anxiety and depression. I can’t recommend it enough.
If you are keen to learn or are looking for support I have created two meditation albums, which are awesome for over-thinking minds. “Activate Your Inner Buddha” and “Activate Your Inner Healer” are jam-packed with effective meditations that are designed to be used daily to help you bring more peace and calm into your life. You can purchase both either as MP3 Download, or a physical CD here in my shop.
I also do 1:1 meditation coaching in person and worldwide via Skype.
7. Get a Reiki healing and learn how to do self-healing.
Whenever I am in extra obsessive thinking mode I know its time for me to have a reiki and also make sure I am giving myself regular self-healing. Getting a reiki when your mind has been in over-drive is like someone coming along with a gigantic broom and clearing out all the crazy thoughts, then when they are all cleared out you are left with that beautiful calm, satisfied “clean” feeling.
If you are interested in trying reiki I offer 1:1 in person sessions in Kensington and also do distant healing sessions worldwide. If you would love to learn how to do self-healing you can use this self-healing guided process I have created here and I highly recommend doing your Reiki 1 Training.
8. Use flower essences and essential oils.
I love using flower essences and essential oils in my daily life. There are different blends and mixes to help balance and heal every ailment. They are gentle, powerful and very effective for balancing thoughts and emotions.
For over-thinking minds my favourites that I use personally and prescribe clients are;
Remember, things are never as bad as the stories we tell ourselves about them in our heads.
It is my intention of sharing some of my well-loved and powerful tools for getting out of the “over-thinking” cycle that they support you to gain freedom from your mind. So you can enjoy all life has to offer you. I would love to hear how you go, and if you have another technique that you use to disengage from your mind, please share and leave a comment below.
Please note Buddha image in title image is “The Messenger” by Susan Farrell Art. Prints available, contact Sue directly.