How many of you are aware what is going in your mind . Are these thoughts useful in achieving your goals? or these thoughts are taking away your peace and have bad effects on your health.I would like you to observe your thoughts for 10 minutes and write them down on a piece of paper.A couple of years ago I was not aware what is going in my mind until I visited in an Ashram for the seek of peace.Lots of things were going in my life. I was thinking that these people and situations are the cause of my problems.
In Satsang ( spiritual discourse ) I came to know that our present situation or problem is the result of our previous karma ( action ).Suddenly question came in my mind how is it possible. That relative has insulted me so many times,my husband is not doing things as per my wishes and my business partner has cheated me blah blah blah…I was clueless how I am responsible for my pain.I could not pay attention to satsang because interlinked thoughts had diverted my attention.
In later spiritual discourses things became clearer and clearer.That person has insulted or cheated me once. But I am recreating that pain again and again by rethinking.For the first time I came to know about the nature of my thoughts that my mind is creating web of negative thoughts.Non stop chattering was going on and on even if I was doing something important.The result was that I feel irritated and even a small thing trigger me and I used to over react and get angry. I was of the opinion that I have to shout if I had to get things done from others.I did not stop here lots of negative chattering was going in my mind all the time. Sometimes I keep on thinking and creating what could happen if he or she says so or do so. So many irrelevant thought had caught my mind that I started thinking no one loves or care me, I am good for nothing,Why this happened to me?Why always me? I did so much for them and so on.
But one good thing happened now is that I started noticing my thoughts. But I did not know how to control non stop negative thoughts. Here I will share some tips how I control my habit of overthinking.
1 . Labeling thoughts :–
First of all we have to observe the chatter of our mind.Are these wasteful thoughts or useful thoughts? We can not say that overthinking is always bad because many inventions in the world have been done by great thinkers.So if these thoughts are helping us to achieve the purpose of our life then these are useful thoughts. If these are creating negative feeling in our mind then these are wasteful thoughts.
2. Be aware :-
After labeling your thoughts be aware of negative thoughts. When ever these occurs in your mind then immediately use some tactics to slow them down.Do not get yourself caught in the flow of these wasteful thoughts but pause them and separate yourself from your thoughts. Now see your thoughts as an observer,you will see these will come and go if you will not feed them with another thought of this type.
3. Clear your mind :-
Always be clear in your mind.No comparison but learn from that person. If some one is jealous of you then do not give jealousy place in your mind. It is their sanskar ( sacraments ).We are unhappy when people are not in our way. We should think this is our perception others can also have their point of view.They are also right according to them. We can not force others to behave the way we want them to behave.
4. Be kind to yourself :-
Sometimes the opinion of others badly effect our self esteem. And we start blaming ourselves on the judgment of others. Failures,relationship problem,if we see someone performing well then we start negative self talk.We start thinking that we are good for nothing.Here my opinion is to be kind to yourself. Everyone make mistakes. And you are not the only one person on this planet who did mistake.Learn from it and move away. Do not think too much what others think of you what you think about yourself that matter much.
5. Forgive others :-
Our much negative self talk is about how others have treated us.Sometimes they said not nice words to us. We feel bad and think I wish I could have said this to him.Their behavior and words keep on haunting in our mind.In my opinion we should forgive them because our peace is more important than anything else. I know it is not easy to forgive and forget. But believe me if you start doing you will feel calm. Instead of thinking about them you can focus on other things of your life.
6. Stop fighting with thoughts :-
These are web of thoughts and our mind is recreating those situations in which we feel pity and helpless.We can not fight with these thoughts rather we should see them as an observer and let them go, use affirmation of your choice or get your self busy in some new activity. The idea is to divert your attention on other positive things happening in your life.
7. Tackle the fear of unknown :-
Sometimes we are afraid of new ideas and immediately reject them.Due to some past experience of failure sometimes this fear of unknown wants to protect us and we do not want to come out of our comfort zone.But if you face your fear then you will realize the situation is not as bad as you have imagined in your thoughts.
8. Forced mind to be engaged :-
We should do some creative activities to divert our attention. If will do some thing new then our mind will focus on that and this will help to curb our habit of overthinking for some time.For this you can play any music instrument or learn how to play new one.You can write poetry,join painting classes or learn art of photography.Visit new places,go to museum or historical site.Learn how to speak new language. The idea is to try new activities just for fun.
9. Live in present :-
If you observe your thoughts you will see either you are doing self talk of something happened in past or worrying about future.Suppose If you are constantly waiting for Saturday and Sunday then you should find new job that you actually enjoy or find something that you appreciate about your current job.Sometimes we dream so much about future that we forget to enjoy our present moments.By accepting past and rejecting future you will allow yourself to live in present. Go to park,enjoy the smell of flowers,bird chirping,wind blowing. I mean to say touch something ,smell something,hear something,see something which is happening now at this moment. This is your life.Do not waste this time but try to develop the awareness of this moment .
10. Use of affirmations :-
You can curb your wasteful thoughts by using positive affirmations. I used these affirmations : – I am peaceful being, I am powerful, I am the best and Supreme power is always protecting me. Whenever negative thoughts came I tried to chant one of these at once. This has helped me a lot.
11. Take care of your mental food :-
Never say they have hurted me. The fact is that they have said something to me but I have created hurt in my mind. It does not matter what people say. Always remember this I need only one person who can always make me feel better that person is not other but only me.We should not become victim of our own thoughts. We loose our mental strength when we blame others and situations for our pain.When we do not react but respond to people or situation then we strengthen our inner power.We do so much to take care our body but we pay no attention what kind of information we are feeding in our mind . We get information from TV,Newspaper,Internet,Social media,friends,family and society. We should focus what we read,listen or watch that should be pure and divine.When you start doing this then the quality of your thoughts will be changed and you will feel peaceful. One thing more before going to sleep switch off mobile ,TV and laptop one hour before you are going to sleep. Spend some time with family or read good book and also resolve every issue in your mind happened during day by forgiving yourself and others and then sleep with peaceful mind.
12. Find purpose of your life :-
When you know the purpose of your life then you will think and work to achieve it and leave behind unnecessary thoughts and actions.Taking care of family,job,playing roles and responsibilities are the duties of our life.We are peaceful soul having human experience.Ask yourself a question, can I be peaceful ? Whatever we are creating inside effects how we feel. Suppose If I create a thought that everyone loves and respect me.I will feel good first of all.This thought reaches every cell of my body.And my health will improve. This energy is vibrating from me and reaches to the people around me and as a result my relations with them improves.
But If I create a thought that no one loves and respect me.Just observe and you’ll will see so many thoughts relating to this thought our mind start creating. Sometimes we start crying also.We don’t stop here we call on phone or talk to people around us.They also exchange same vibration.Each negative thought first lowers my feeling then this reaches every cell of my body.So many years we are giving this type of energy to our body and our body will start reflecting its results. I have send this negative energy of no body loves and respect me .People around me will start feeling the same way.This negative energy has spread the atmosphere around me .See its result. This is not only one thought. We create so many thoughts of this type and so many times.Now see who has created this negative atmosphere around me? Who will change this atmosphere. I’ll do it. This is the purpose of my life.This is how tried to overcome my habit of overthinking.
13. Exercise and Meditation :-
Exercise and meditation also helped me a lot in this regard.When you begin your day with exercise your mental capacity of handling stress improve and as a result your mind creates positive thoughts. Meditation also calm our mind. For this you can sit straight for 10 to 15 minutes in morning and at night and observe your breath and do nothing.This will increase focus and present moment awareness which will help us to control our mind and thoughts which we do not need and thus we can live happy life.
These are the few tips which I used to control my habit of overthinking. I will appreciate if you will share some different tips.