“There is no tougher prison than the ones we create for ourselves within our mind”. We have the ability to fabricate in our minds events of our past and future, make narratives, create new situations and mentally gnaw on all the possible calamities that can likely occur in our lives. Some of us tend to overanalyse and deconstruct the contents of the events leaving us in a state of anguish. The same instance and event is played in our minds multiple times with various intensities hoping to come out with a different outcome every single time. Over analysing interferes with our ability to solve problems and does not help us move forward to a solution.
Over thinking, usually involves constant dwelling on how bad you feel and thinking about all the things you have no control over. Thinking is one of the greatest addictions that have not been recorded yet.
How do we know that we could be over thinking?
Check for some usual patterns:
- Getting completely caught up with all the scenarios that could go wrong in a situation
- Constantly worrying about one’s own response in all conversations and not paying attention to the spoken words
- Perennially worrying about what lies ahead and not enjoying the present moment
- Playing the troubled experiences over one’s own mind several times
How do we do stop over thinking??? We don’t….
We cannot bring an abrupt stop to our thinking patterns but we can start by:
- Taking the first step by bringing in the awareness towards the constant flow of thoughts.
- Listen to the thoughts …identify them and challenge them by asking questions like:
”Is this thought helpful?”
“Is this thought based on reality “
” Will this thought help me think right and solve my problems?”
“What is the worst thing that can happen if i hold on to this thought “?
“What is the best thing that can happen if i let go of this thought?”
- Break it down into categories and start classifying each one …”Are they assumptions?” “Are they over magnified? “, “Are they real or fictional?”
- Replace the unhelpful thoughts with helpful ones based on logic, facts and evidence.
- Bringing in a change in the view of a situation will help you find more constructive ways to cope.
Thoughts can be very powerful and are not always logical. It takes time and effort to replace unhelpful thinking patterns with helpful ones. The more you become aware of your thoughts it will help you identify your triggers, gives you options to handle a situation effectively and gain a better control over your life.
You could also reach out to a professional who will help you identify and recognize the unhelpful thinking pattern to a more realistic one. They could also help you practice new ways to deal with situations that have not been helpful.
The better you feel about yourself and your life, the quieter and more peaceful your mind will be.
AUTHOR: Smitha, Lead Counsellor
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