Being trapped in your mind can be exhausting, whether it’s over-analyzing every single thing, or creating fictitious situations. It seems there are no limits to how far the mind can wander, and sometimes no way to switch it off. As a result, you become a victim of your overthinking day in and day out. That’s when Tony Robbins famous line “when you get in your head, you’re dead” becomes apparent.. Re-thinking about overthinking might just be the answer!
We for example spend so much time thinking about the past, what could’ve been, worrying about the future, or how we should’ve done things differently, when the reality is: overthinking isn’t going to change the past or the future! We can however use these past lessons to improve our current and future self, but overthinking all day is simply no good for us. It can create unnecessary stress, anxiety and it prevents you from living in the present moment. When we are so hyper-focused on the thoughts in our mind we tend to miss what’s right in front of us. Too much overthinking can be a bad recipe for happiness and success, considering how hard it can be to achieve those things when you are stuck in your head all the time.
So how can we make a healthy change? First, it’s important to be conscious of why you are stuck in your head in the first place -- sometimes we can be so unaware of the fact were stuck in this state of overthinking. The more awareness we have, the better control we can have over our thoughts and attention.
Hence, understanding what causes these types of thoughts will help you gain control control of your mind:
Top perpetrators keeping you stuck in your head
- Painful situations
If you can recognize that you are overthinking, that means you are already making improvements simply by noticing the separation between you and your mind.
Practice healthy habits
According to Psychology Today, you can practice simple exercises to effectively train your brain to regain focus. They say practice makes perfect and these simple methods are proven to strengthen your ability to control your attention.
Training your attention 101
Find a mantra you like an repeat it
This is an effective practice to gain control of your attention and help snap you out of overthinking.
- “I am in charge of how I feel and today I’m choosing happiness”
- “I have the power to create change”
- “I am the creator of my life and I turn my thoughts into reality”
Mantras like the ones listed above can ground you and your thoughts bringing your awareness into the present moment.
Release emotions connected to your thoughts
You are not what you think! It is essential for people (especially overthinkers) to know that our thoughts are completely separate from who we are. With this understanding you will become more accepting of what is and begin to judge yourself less.
Focus on something else
If you’re looking for a quick way to shift your attention: call a friend, listen to music, pay attention to your breathing, practice gratitude or go for a walk outside.
By using a few simple practices you can train and strengthen your ability to recognize which thoughts aren’t serving you so you can get back to refocusing your attention on the important stuff. Keep in mind that you're always in control, and you have the power to choose your thoughts/what you want to pay attention to. It can be very empowering knowing that you have the ability to choose what thoughts you want to engage with and what thoughts you want to forgo.
“You are not your thoughts”