How Do I stop overthinking and Start Living in Present

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Overthinking is one of the prominent problems that people are dealing with since ages and more than ever these days.

How to Stop Overthinking and Relax

And why not, competition is tough, times are uncertain, the internet has made our lives accessible to everyone which makes us feel under constant observation and not to mention the regular ups and downs that one faces in day to day personal and professional relationships. Sometimes it feels like everything around exists only to make our brain continuously function and figure out ways for survival or anticipate what can go wrong or even conversing with ourselves on how somebody did something to us or can do in future. Even when we think we are resting, our brain is running the marathon against itself.

The problem of overthinking is dire than it sounds as the consequences that one faces because of this are often unaccounted due to lack of awareness. However, the key to awareness, once mastered, makes the situation turn around like magic. There are no words to describe when the heaviness of the brain which we have been carrying for years is taken off. 

I personally was also a victim of this condition or rather would say still working on my way out of it but surely there is a hell and heaven difference between the person I was a few years back vs the one I am now. I must say my inclination towards spirituality has played an important role in helping me pull out of the dig and knowing the true nature of the being within really helps to be in better control of mind functioning.

Tips to Stop Overthinking

Art of letting go

Following thoughts and actions if brought to life can really strengthen ones’ situation and moreover make them a better person:

1. Reality is what we are living in the present, neither past nor future is real

This must have been said or heard a million times, and this may be the reason we tend to overlook the importance of it. The reality is, we have become so used to anticipating our future and remorse for our past that we have forgotten that both are just either memory or imagination. Living the same pain again is literally of no use, instead our focus should be on experiencing the present beautifully.

Life is going to bring its rough patches along its way but breaking them in the chronology of past present and future is going to help us understand what’s gone is gone and what’s about to come is imagination. 

After achieving enlightenment, Buddha was once asked for forgiveness by his brother who resented him throughout his life and even tried to kill him multiple times out of the feelings of jealousy. To his request for forgiveness, Buddha simply replied, I can’t remember what you have done to me, but if it makes you feel any better, I forgive you. A disciple listening to this conversation asked Buddha, why did you forgive the brother so easily, to which Buddha replied, I really can’t remember any emotions of hurt or anger against my brother. My life is happening right now and the emotions that I am living are only the ones that are occurring in the present.

The lesson to be learnt here doesn’t require one to achieve enlightenment, it just requires the awareness of how the ideal state of being is and even though we are human beings entrapped in the web cob created by our minds, we can simplify it by simplifying the ways of handling things. This leads me to the second and extremely important teaching in spiritual studies.

2. Simplify your actions to simplify your life

This is one thing that people rarely address these days when speaking about mental wellbeing. While running to achieve life goals, we seldom take a pause and think about the cleansing that our mind deserves. Think about living in a messy room throughout your life. Everything is hard to find, no good sight for eyes, no proper place to rest. Now think, aren’t we actually living in such a room, if not physically than mental?

Our minds have become so burned out running after everything that we hardly pause and clean it up. So many things in life are so much simpler than we make it. A simple act of stopping ourselves from lying or speaking our heart to someone or putting ourselves to work than just thinking about it can make a huge difference.

Let’s be truthful to ourselves in addressing the things we can fix around us to put the mind at rest. I assure you, the day you take the first step in this direction, you will see a sudden change, one that you will love enough to take it further and continue the cleansing.

Going by this virtue in life, I experienced quick changes in my general state of being and I am convinced that it will work for you too. 

3. Meditation

This is so much discussed and yet so less practiced tool humans are gifted with. Andy Puddicombe (founder of headspace) has described mediation in a simple and beautiful way. He says meditation is like sitting alongside a highway and observing the vehicles coming and going. Here, the entity that sits alongside the highway is the soul within and vehicles are emotions and thoughts that our body is generating.

An unaware person tends to get carried away in one or more of these vehicles and move along with it. With practice of meditation, one learns to just keep the self on the roadside and let the vehicles come and go.

After practicing meditation and knowing about it, if I have to tell you the summary of it, I will just say that it is a miracle of our existence that we unleash by being in a state of awareness instead of getting carried away by external stimuli. I have so much to say about this practice that I need a dedicated blog for it, but for now I would insist you on using this and make the most of your lives.

There are tons of videos on guided meditation all over the internet that you can use. If still found difficult, you can join a group meditation course nearby you and reap the advantages of it.

4. Find a productive distraction

This is an immediate antidote to your overthinking. The moment you realize that you have been taken away by the chain of thoughts, try and kill the series by engaging yourself into something else. The key here is that the activity that you are involving yourself should be productive and not self-destructive. Reason is, once you are done with the activity, you should feel confident and great about yourself.

Learning/ listening to music, writing, reading, watching good content on TV, meditation etc. and so much more that you can do that will not only make you feel good about yourself, but also bring your mind back to living in the present.

5. Writing your thoughts and compare with reality

This has been an extremely helpful practice. Especially people who have the habit of anticipating the future and staying under the influence of constant fear, should write down everything they feel. It is important here to also write down the actual outcomes from the events in their lives and compare against the fears and thoughts which they had while engaged into anticipation. You will be surprised to see that in cost of the events while they happened, you were in a much better state compared to when you were anticipating it. Our mind has the ability of exaggerating things keeping ourselves in the center while the reality is much easier to deal with

I hope you find this blog helpful and comment below to share your experiences and questions.

Related Read:

How to Practice Gratitude Everyday?



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