Have you become a master of over-thinking? Over-thinking is skill we learn to do automatically to protect ourselves. We can un-learn it, too.
Notice your thoughts
Pay attention to your thoughts when you start over-thinking. What is the subject matter? Is there a certain time of day (or night) that the over-thinking starts?
There are different reasons for over-thinking, which are personal to each of us.
In Five Element Theory fear, uncertainty and anxiety are closely linked with the Bladder and Kidney meridians. These are at their lowest ebb at 3-5am and 5-7am in the morning. A symptom of these being out of balance is waking at theses times, over-thinking and worrying.
Ask yourself, is the over-thinking useful? Will you find a solution by focusing on it mentally or is it just worry?
Is there action you can take to remedy the problem? If it is out of your control can you accept it or let it go?
Is self doubt the cause?
Are you going over issues from the past, or a recent social meeting? Or worrying about future events?
Sometimes it helps to talk to a friend or professional to get to the root cause, so you can consider the best ways to tackle it.
In my practice we work toward what it is you want by creating a a goal-statement for each session. A goal around over-thinking might be something like, " My mind is calm, I know I am enough and take action to make positive changes."
We would look at the root cause/s and depending on that, see what we can do to help you reach your goal.
This could be a combination of past stress release and reiki to heal something that happened in the past, followed with practicing new habits in your day-to-day life.
You may have tried before, but these new habits and positive changes should now stick, having addressed the underlying stress.
10 ways to stop over-thinking
Here are a few ways you can stop yourself from over-thinking.
- Notice your thoughts and where they stem from.
- Ask yourself if there is anything practical you can do to remedy the things you are thinking about. If there is, take action.
- Clear feelings of stress, anxiety or worry by hold your Emotional Stress Release Points.
- Write down any troublesome thoughts. Putting them on paper means they are out of your head.
- Ask yourself if any fear-based thoughts are actually true.
- You can journal around these thoughts to find solutions or support and encourage yourself.
- Reframe negative thoughts. Notice them objectively and see how you can turn them around. Can you get a better perspective on the situation? What supportive thoughts can replace the unhelpful ones?
- Take calming breaths. Calming the physical body down also relaxes the mind. Turning your attention to your breath and doing this exercise distracts the mind, taking you out of over-think. Breath in for 5 breaths, out for 5 breaths and hold for 5 breaths. Repeat 3 times. Notice how you feel.
- Do some physical exercise. Dance, walk, cycle. Yoga is great for moving into full body awareness and being calmed by proper breathing.
- Remember you are not your mind - you are far more than that. You have the power to change your mind so that it works for you like a supportive, loving friend.
If over-thinking is taking over and it really is time to hush the mind-monkeys, talk to a professional and allow yourself to be supported in making changes and feeling better.