Let’s be honest: Overthinking is unpleasant.
Life is demanding.
We’re busy enough every day. We have responsibilities, stuff to take care of and when we don’t, people need us.
We’re all going throughout our daily ‘chores’ hoping that at last, we’ll have our well-deserved break — but it never happens because the moment we’re alone — our mind smiles like the devil — reminding us that we may not be that alone after all.
Just like having been kept captive, our thoughts rush out the moment we ask for some silence — and without realizing it — we go so far away into the future, that we start worrying. Somehow, some connections are made — and we dwell on the past.
It never ends.
We go from just wanting a break from everything to feeling angry or worried, for no apparent reason.
This is not pleasant.
It’s one of the reasons most of us are so eager to do those things we don’t really like. To keep ourselves busy so that we don’t have to face these thoughts and feelings.
While distracting ourselves may help us get a temporary ‘relief’ from the endless stream of thoughts — it’s not a practical solution because overdoing anything can be problematic.
Does it mean nothing can be done about it?
Of course not. While quieting the mind to a great extent may require some work, here are a few tips to use whenever you need your well-deserved break.
#1 Use your energy
Our modern lifestyle encourages the consumption of energy. But it doesn’t teach us to spend enough of it.
Most of our lives are spent on a desk or on a couch. This is today’s lifestyle. But we shouldn’t forget that our bodies were once in the ‘jungle’, always moving in one way or another.
The human body is designed to be active. Some days you’ll wake up feeling ‘angry’ for no apparent reason, that’s just excess energy. After a simple run or some push-ups, you’ll feel ‘discharged’.
Remember: if you don’t use your energy, it gives enough fuel to your mind to keep wandering aimlessly.
#2 Become aware of your body and surroundings
By giving too much attention to your thoughts, which means giving them more credit than they deserve — you lose touch with your body and your environment.
This literally ungrounds you. No one likes to feel ungrounded. Planes, anyone?
What’s real is this moment. Everything else is speculative.
We can’t have all the answers to life. Heck, we don’t know what will happen to us in the next hour. How can we then be so sure about what may happen if this and that?
Life’s too big to be contained in our little self-created bubbles. The sooner we realize this, the humbler we get and the less credit we give to our thoughts.
Start feeling your body. Notice its different parts. Feel it. Listen to the different sounds around you. Watch everything with attention and notice the details.
This will bring you back to reality. You’ll feel much more grounded. You’ll love to feel connected to everything around you.
#3 Don’t take your mind too seriously
The mind does what it’s designed to do. Think, analyze, dissect, categorize, discriminate, divide, find connections, and so on.
A mind is a wonderful tool that brought us progress in the outer world, but not in the inner one.
The mind’s place is outside. For work, for practical matters, for organization, for structure, for learning.
The mind combined with the body gives us the ability to navigate the Earth and experience life in this specific plane of existence.
That’s its place. That’s all there is to it.
Giving it more credit than the above un-grounds us.
Think of the mind as a child — you give it enough attention and it can become cocky. Cockiness turns the mind into a ‘hot air balloon’ — and obviously, one day we find ourselves in some fantasy realm of what if’s.
#4 Observe your thoughts and feelings
Pay attention to what is happening within you. Do it from time to time but make it your goal to be as aware of your internal state as you can.
The more observant you become of your mind, the more you’ll notice its different patterns, how it works, and why it does what it does.
No books or teachings will give you this experience. They can only teach you how to get there, but you’ll have to get there yourself.
And you won’t regret it for an instant because experiencing it for yourself will make you feel ecstatic.
We’ve all been taught that spiritual growth means living in a cave. It may have been practical in some ancient times but not anymore.
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen only in isolation. To live in seclusion, we need to experience our lives to the fullest first — which is done through this constant observation/awareness.
Spiritual growth happens when we bring our spirituality into everything we do — from work to home, to the different beings that populate our lives.
Gifting our attention to life is spirituality. And living with attention silences the mind.
As a final note.
If you’ve been meditating, using affirmations and thinking positively for a while now, without necessarily integrating spiritual truths at a soul level even though you understand them intellectually — I’ve written a book to help you understand the main blocks to true spiritual growth, and how to overcome them. I'm sure you're tired of "knowing" about God because you can't wait to experience God. That's what we explore in Spiritual Transition. Give the book a look here.