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One of the greatest mysteries of the human mind, how to stop overthinking? Evolution favors the strong, intelligent, adaptive, and willing. And so humans were the chosen creature of this domain. However, a gift such as this demands a price. A price so high and mighty it brings havoc and suffering to all.
Excessive thinking. Useless and over-thinking. Worries, anxiety, stress, and unpleasant emotions that plague our feelings. This is what it means to be a human. Humans evolved into something that no creatures on this earth has even come close to, yet for some, it is a cursing. If it weren’t for our minds, then perhaps our ways would still be primitive.
Thoughts are good, that’s where invention and innovation starts, but overthinking isn’t. This golden modern era brings much fortune yet not all is well. How does one stop overthinking? It’s easier than you think, after all, isn’t it just in your mind?
Before we tackle the problem, we must understand its origin. Thoughts lurk in our minds and arise verbally or mentally. Our surroundings, appearance, family, friends, education, jobs, and all these things cause questions. And what are questions?
Nothing but thoughts that our minds want an answer or solution for. For instance, I once suffered from severe acne for many ages. Every day I would ask myself how can I cure such things, why do I have acne, how come my friend’s skin is so clear, does she think I’m ugly? You see, it only takes one thing to give birth to many.
So one thought becomes two, and two becomes five, and five becomes infinite. Everyone’s mind is different. I believe girls overthink more than guys, and here’s the proof. It’s because girls have more active minds than guys. Active mind produces active thoughts, how logical is that? Very.
It may be a hereditary thing but as for me, growing up with 2 mothers who were excessive thinker may have given birth to my overthinking. A son wants to be like his father, but only if the father gives enough attention to the son and the son likes his father’s attributions. Living with my mom for 18 years and having to see and hear her express her thoughts made it apparent, over time of course. I once was an innocent, carefree, and worry-less child. Now my mind is super active, which in turn leads to overthinking.
Our environment can bring out the solution or the problem. You know the problem, now you must be the solution. It’s not where you come from, it’s where you want to go. Just because I’m 168cm doesn’t mean I can’t be the strongest man in the world. Just because you were born a woman doesn’t mean you have to marry one. Many think that because they lived and grew up that way, then it shall be so until time changes.
Curiosity, stress, worries, organization, perfection, excitement, fear, and misery are some of the causes of excessive thinking. Emotions control people. We let it run our lives. People die, go to prison, live a miserable life, and the likes because they can’t control their emotions.
Let’s take debt for example. You have 2 options. One is to continue worrying and thinking about debt which does absolutely nothing but produce more useless and harmful thoughts. The alternative is to get up, work more, do something to make it go away. At least you have something to do which keeps your mind off the cause.
Action is the cure to all things. Perhaps things aren’t going right is because all you do is think about it. Think 1% and do 99%. It takes a day to think about marrying a hot girl. It’ll take many more to marry one, assuming that you do. Thinking is good, but answers are needed if you want to ease your thoughts.
Your problems and pain are the cause. We all suffer from one thing or another. Some have it much worse than others. Literally, I kid you not, anything and everything can cause excessive thinking. You could say that cause and origin are of one. The origin is my family so they must be the cause of my overthinking. Sometimes we have to live with the cause like disability. In this case, getting rid of the cause isn’t advisable. We must think of an alternative way.
The most vital part of any lesson, the solution. It has taken billions of years for humans to get to this level. Yet, now we want to so desperately turn off the switch, or at least whenever we feel like it. Let’s set religion and God aside for this one.
Of course, that can be done, with practice and knowledge. Here’s something to convince you. I’ve dealt with acne, loneliness, depression, stress, anxiety, certain addictions, smoking, drinking, vengeance, and the likes. You best believe me when I tell you that I had the most active and vivid mind. Plus, I smoked marijuana for a few years so that only made its effect multiple.
The solution is easy, yet the first part isn’t. The first part of anything is always the most challenging. I dealt with those issues for 4-13 years, depending on what it was. I looked to the internet, books, doctors, successful, and influential people for aid and advice. Do you wish to know what I’ve uncovered?
It’s all in the mind! No one knows, sees, or hears your thoughts. They probably don’t care either. Here’s what you can do to ease your mind and relax. Don’t get overwhelmed, just stick to one, two, or even three methods. Preferably the ones that works for you. Try each one out and see which is the most convenient and efficient for you.
Meditation tops the list because of its super duper obvious reasons. There are many forms of meditation, the one we will cover is transcendental meditation which is one of the easiest and most practiced meditation worldwide. Basically, sit in a comfortable position with your legs cross and fingers interlocked resting above your knees. You’ll want to repeat a word or sentence in your mind for 5-20 minutes. It could be, “I am happy,” “I am brave,” “Today is wonderful,” and anything that’s positive and uplifting.
Keep repeating the same word or sentence over and over but slowly. Don’t just say you are happy. Visualize, feel, and make evident of your words. Once the time is up, then you’ll want to think about nothing. This may take some time, but the ultimate goal is to just think about nothing. Meditation is a vast subject. It’s impossible to cover everything so have a look here to get a better understanding. It’s also the most effective, so if you want to skip the other parts and just focus on one solution, then meditation is the way to go.
B) Physical Activity
This can include stretching, yoga, exercise, karate, and any movements. When you move, you must give attention to the action that you are executing. If you’re lifting weights, are you thinking about what would happen if the Sun was blue or are you thinking about them gains! Although it may be temporary, at least this eases your mind for some time.
Physical activity outdoors can be quite beneficial to your well being and a study by Harvard University suggest that it promotes mental health. Embrace the Sun, smell the fresh air, and feast your sight at the lushes and bright green grass. Isn’t it better to think about such things than to worry about whether or not Trump will be re-elected?
Physical activity is renovation to your house, except your body really is your temple. It’s just the average being doesn’t think that way. If your body is fit, healthy, and without fault, then shouldn’t your mind be as well? The body and mind must go hand in hand. The mind controls the body yet a great body can affect the thoughts of the mind.
Not everyone is going to agree with this one due to their circumstances. Being born in a wealthy family or a first world country can definitely take a huge load off your shoulders. Working 12 hours a day for 2 meals isn’t fair when some people work 20 minutes for 3 square meals. I know, I came from a 3rd world country, Vietnam. Now a developing country.
I’ve seen the sick, touched the disabled, and heard the unfortunate. But you know what, they try. They have too because they live in a world that shuns and rejects them. You think in excessive because it gives you something to do and you believe it’s helpful. What could be so bad? Do you have a roof, eat 2-3 meals a day, drive a car, and whatever is it that 1st world countries possess? Then appreciate your existence.
Many would risk their lives so they can have this opportunity. You are born in that opportunity. Maybe you don’t have it bad, you just think you do. Reassess your priorities and values. You want a bigger house. Need to drive a fast car. Must marry a hot spouse. If so, then maybe that is why you can’t stop thinking. You want, want, want but won’t do, do, do. The material world can bring out the worst in us. Want what only matters, life and happiness. Nothing else. Try that for a change and see how your thoughts response.
We all breath every second, yet it’s not the quantity that makes the difference. Breathing correctly can make all the difference. Whenever stress or harmful thoughts start to arise, I begin the 4×4 breathing technique. Inhale deeply for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and repeat 4 times.
Breathing relaxes the body. Releases stress and tension. Oxygen is great for the human body. More oxygen produces more happiness, increase focus, stamina, energy, and the likes. Breathing is vital when working out, as well as in stressful situations. So the next time your head is about to explode, take a seat and apply the 4×4 technique.
You are what you eat, do not forget that. If you eat crab, you will feel and think crap. If you eat well, then guess what’s going to happen? Sweets, fats, excessive meat, simple carbs, and dairy. I used to consume these regularly. Diet never registered into my mind as one of the causes of overthinking.
You don’t want to believe it plays a role because you love the taste of junk in your mouth. I get it, 20-60 years of eating that way makes it permanent. You grew up eating the way you do. Go green or more of it. Instead of eating 1 serving on veggies a day, try eating 5-8. Instead of eating 1 apple a day, try eating 2-3 servings of fruit every day.
Oh, it’s not worth it. You want to enjoy this life and food is life. Then continue suffering in denial and keep thinking about whatever it is that you contemplate over. Specific food raises blood levels, increases heart rate, makes you fatter, reduces your ability to focus efficiently, and so on. If foods can do that, then is it possible that they can affect the way you think? Now you’re speaking my language.
Either you do too much, or you do too little, both can give rise to excessive thinking. Too much work makes you think about what you need to do and how to do it. Too little work makes you think about other things like, how you can be rich or what you need to do to have the things that you want.
If you are overworked, then perhaps you can delegate your task or take it day by day. Remember, the world ain’t going nowhere, and the Universe will continue. If you barely work, then isn’t it obvious you think about work or how you can afford or do things? Well, what are you waiting for? More thoughts? Get up and do something. Go outside, plant a garden, help the poor, improve thyself physically and mentality.
Life is balance. Too much goodness can be bad. And too much destruction can’t be good. Working 40-60 hours a week is good. Working 80-100 hours a week may not be. Eating 1 serving of meat a day is good. Eating 1 serving of meat every meal is not. You get the point. When your life is balanced, and the energy and vibe around you are vibrating in sync with your feelings and the Universe, then your thoughts will settle down.
We, humans, are the Universe. We are literally made out of stardust and here’s proof you infidel. The Universe is old, 13.8 billion years. Humans? Maybe 200,000 years. That’s insignificant. So do what makes you happy. We all have only but a short amount of time. Is it really necessary to waste your existence on thoughts and matter that will never happen? What a meaningless existence. To ponder on questions and ideas that have no answer or cause.
Thoughts will continue to exist as long as brains exist. Unfortunately shutting down your thoughts completely is only possible with death. Keep yourself busy. Focus on your purpose and goals. Do what gives you meaning and pure joy. Worry less about idiocy and things that will never be.
If something can’t be fixed or it doesn’t benefit you, then have no involvement in such things. You feed the things that you do, and it grows and grows until it has taken over your very life. Instead of feeding your mind with more and more useless thoughts, feed it with productivity, education, wisdom, and so forth. You become what you think. If you think about useless stuff, then you will be useless. Do you want to be useless?