Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition.
There’s a whole other universe going on in my mind. As an overthinker, my brain goes through hoops, taking a simple idea and turning it into an overcomplicated dilemma that can keep me awake the entire night. Going roughly at a speed of a moving bullet, my consciousness overanalyzes a bit of information and produces sets of possible outcomes or worst-case scenarios. Even a simple gesture or comment coming from (a) certain person/s could trigger an onslaught of unnecessary thoughts always being taken to the extreme.
My mind is more alive than my entire body would ever be. I’m a timid person who doesn’t really talk much, but that’s mainly because of how loud the voices in my head are most of the time. To be trapped inside your own mind, alone and incapable of expressing your frustrations to other people is pure misery. It’s overwhelming to constantly have so many thoughts relentlessly circling around in your head chasing each other.
All of my waking hours are spent within my head. From the start of the day until the end, every move I make is pre-planned following a routine designed to lead me to my desired path in life. I exhaust energy by always thinking about my words and actions before saying or doing them. Sometimes, I’d have an outline for the flow of conversation I’d have with someone before we’d even say “Hi”. It’s like I’m directing a scene where the two actors are reading off the lines from the script I’ve already written.
But most of the time, things don’t go exactly how I pictured them in my head. Reality is full of things I have no control over which leaves me disappointed and unsatisfied. I’d freeze up and my anxiety would start kicking in looking back and second-guessing everything that just happened. Did I say something wrong that could have been misinterpreted? Did I do something that I shouldn’t have? How would this single decision affect the rest of my life? Regret instantly washes over me even where there isn’t a need for it if you look from an outsiders’ perspective.
Overthinking is the reason why I have so many worries, doubts, and anxieties in life. It’s exhausting trying to control your own life according to predictabilities, especially when a lot of things tend to happen unexpectedly. That’s why even if it seems like overthinking is embedded in my personality, I would very much like to work on killing it.
Kill Overthinking with 6 Nonattachment and Mindfulness Tips
I’ve been practicing letting go, non-attachment and mindfulness for a couple of months now. These I think, are the key to stopping our habit of overthinking. And for this particular blog, I wanted to incorporate those practices to give you some tips or things you could do to avoid overthinking. I would like to encourage you to seek peace and calmness with me! Let’s escape our minds and allow ourselves to enjoy living out in the open world.
1. Don’t hold on to anything from the past.
Let go. Practice non-attachment and accept that things will change over time. Don’t keep replaying the past wondering if things could have turned out differently. Past is past. You cannot change it. We don’t have the power to go back in time to undo our mistakes. There’s no point in having regrets. Own the decisions you made at that point in time and move on from them. Take what you’ve experienced and always use what you’ve learned to make better decisions moving forward. Be secure in your identity as a person, and know that nobody is perfect. Forgive and try to do better the next time around.
Be grateful for your past because it has turned you into the person you are now. Look back and appreciate the good old memories with the people you love, but don’t expect that it will be the same forever. We’re all growing and changing every day. We just need to be more patient with ourselves and be open to whatever life has in store for us.
2. Don’t fastforward into the future.
Yes, we should think about our future. We must prepare for what’s ahead. We should have dreams, goals, and savings. It’s important to have a plan so that we could navigate in the right direction. What we shouldn’t do is to focus too much on the end result that we’re not enjoying the work we put into it now. Remember that it’s the journey that matters more than the destination. Enjoy every step of the path you’re on because it will make reaching the destination all the more worthwhile. As long as you keep moving forward, trust that you will get there in just the right time.
Don’t try to predict what’s ahead.
You cannot predict the future no matter how many detailed scenarios you come up with in your head. There’s a higher probability that you’ll just end up disappointed than correct. Things won’t go a certain way just because they were what you expected. Don’t get too ahead of yourself because what you’d like to happen may not even happen at all.
Instead of obsessively hoping for things to go a certain way, keep your future open and allow yourself to be surprised. Many things can happen between now and then. Never assume something, especially when the situation involves people or events you’ve got no control over. Just be patient and go along with the flow. What’s meant to be will be. You’ll know it when you’re finally making the right decision. It won’t feel forced, but it will seem like everything is just falling right into place.
3. Be mindful of what’s happening now.
To escape your head, you must feel your body. Feel your current surroundings by experiencing them through all your senses. Disconnect from any distractions and let your own presence fill the space you’re in. Move your body by having a regular exercise routine and treat it with love and care.
Be fully present at this moment. Whatever you’re doing, pour your 100% focus into it whether it be as simple as eating or doing some household courses. Avoid multitasking or always having your phone on you. Live your life doing one thing at a time and appreciating every minute that passes by. Let the moment move you and take every opportunity that presents itself. Doing something as ordinary as taking a walk or sipping the same cup of tea every morning is enjoyable if you appreciate every second you’re alive.
4. Be grateful for what you have now.
For me, it’s when I stopped and looked around that I actually realized that there were so many things in my life that I should be grateful for. My family and I haven’t always had the easiest life, but it’s gotten better during the recent years when the kids finally all jobs. Be proud of the achievements your younger self made possible and look forward to the good things about to come. Hold your friends close and all of those who matter to you most. Count your blessing every single day because we never know if the world will end tomorrow. Yes, it’s important to have ambition and desire for something more, but don’t forget what you have now cause it’s pretty great!
5. Be selfless and open your life to other people.
Overthinking can be brought about by isolation and loneliness. You may like being alone, but even introverts need friends. We, humans, need the comfort of other people’s presence. Unload your stress and worries away by talking to your friends or doing activities that distract you from your thoughts.
Obsessively thinking about yourself is counterproductive because you may end up dwelling too much on your failures, insecurities, or past trauma. That’s when you’ll feel stuck, depressed, and hopeless.
Try to place your brain outside of your body and think of something bigger than yourself. Look for a hobby or passion you’ll be obsessed with learning about and then, dedicate your efforts to people other than yourself. It’s more fulfilling knowing that what you’re doing is for a great cause that actually helps people in need or creates change. Start thinking about what you can do with what you have to be the person this world needs you to be.
6. Journal or find an outlet to express your thoughts and feelings.
At the end of the day, we can’t really avoid overthinking especially when there’s a lot happening in our lives at the moment. That is why it’s very important to have an outlet to release all of our thoughts and feelings. Don’t keep everything in or try to push everything at the back of your mind just because you’re too busy with your life. You don’t need to figure everything out right now, but it is important to let your thoughts and feelings out of your head.
Vent to your friends. Write everything down on entries in your journal. (Click here to read about Free Journal Writing Prompts for Venting or Clearing your Head). Channel your pain through your art may it be singing, dancing, painting, or making TikTok videos. Your thoughts have to have somewhere to go and you have to allow them their sweet release.
Overthinking ruins everything. There are so many things I’ve worked for in this life to be grateful for and I don’t want my head questioning them just because I couldn’t sleep at night. I’m not sure if any of the tips I’ve listed here actually help. Mostly, I’m just trying to address the issues I’m currently going through. This blog is actually a product of days of overthinking which I just organized into an article that makes sense for me. If you guys could relate to my experience, I hope that this would help you as well. We’re all fighting our own battles and it’s us who has to figure out what exactly we should do so that we could feel a bit better.
For now, I’m going to live my life one day at a time. I’ll appreciate my existence on this earth at this point in time and live in the fleeting moments with people I love. Every time I think of the future, I picture my head switching to a different channel. I don’t think that there’s a point in overthinking because worrying about things I couldn’t control won’t do me any good.
I don’t want my life to play out just in my head. I want to be truly alive and conquer life by living out in the open and watching things happen with my own two eyes. Now that’s a show I’ll watch!
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