Do you find yourself thinking too much?
Do you try to stay busy, maybe pick up your phone and check social media or Youtube, desperately trying to stop thinking so that you can get some rest.
Why you overthink
The first reason is that it is easier to think about your problems rather than feel them.
Thinking gives you distance from feelings like anxiety, fear and sadness. These emotions are driven by the need to sort out issues in your life.
All of these thoughts are your mind trying to understand those hard to deal with, or hidden feelings and by not connecting to those feelings or listening to those thoughts, they will keep springing up over and over. When you don’t allow yourself to connect to those feelings, they can arise repeatedly in a variety of ways, from unpredictable outbursts, to heightened stress and even physical health problems. Hartmann have a really insightful article on the relation between mind and gut health.
The second reason is that some of you might feel first and connect that feeling to a thought. While others think first and connect that thought to a feeling.
In fact, most of us think, and never connect that thought to a feeling at all. You just keep thinking and thinking hoping that you will find a way out.
You never connect to your feelings and so you never know what is wrong or how to fix the emotional problems in your life.
Step 1. Recognise Your Thoughts
Recognise that the thoughts are just a voice in your head.
Those thoughts are not you but just a part of you. You have the power to listen to them or not. Use them to your advantage rather than allowing them to dictate how you think, act and feel.
Recognise and believe that you have control over them and not the other way around.
Step 2. Separate Yourself From Your Thoughts
In order to quieten those thoughts, you need to start concentrating on the here and now.
This is easier said than done, as those thoughts keeps coming into your mind. However, the more you practice living in the moment, finishing that work project, enjoying the feeling of the sun on your back or being fully present in a conversation with friends, the more you will be able to do it.
Think about when you are doing something you really enjoy; you don’t think about anything else. You are fully engaged in the event or situation.
You can do that in any area of your life but practice makes perfect.
Step 3. Learn to reshape your thoughts so that you have control over them
I am sure you have spent so much time thinking that you are your thoughts, and that you have no control over them but that is not true.
You have the power to control what you think, and when you think about it. As you continue to separate yourself from your thoughts (Step 2) notice that you have the ability to see them as a part of you, and not your whole identity.
So when these thoughts come up imagine they are trying to tell you something. What would they be saying?
Step 4. Understand the feelings attached to your thoughts
Once you have started to implement Steps 1, 2 and 3, you can start looking inward and uncover the feelings attached to your thoughts.
The feelings that you must recognise and overcome in order to stop overthinking.
You have more power over your thoughts than you think.
Remember to recognise, separate, control and understand these repetitive thoughts in your life so that you can start to get an understanding of the feelings and problems that they are trying to remind you of.