Clear Your Mind: Step-by-Step Guide
to Stop Overthinking
By Estelle Liotard
Wouldn’t it be great if we could always live in the moment, experiencing every second of our life fully? Unfortunately, achieving this type of mindset isn’t easy. Most of us struggle with overthinking. It doesn’t just tend to ruin our chances to live in the moment but it creates anxiety, stress, and in some cases – depression.
Living in this worry cycle where you can’t stop thinking and stressing can be exhausting. That is why you should actively work on that until you get to the point when you start feeling more calm and grounded.
This guide will provide you with useful tips on how to clear your mind and break this overthinking habit.
Notice your thoughts
Whenever the urge for overthinking comes and thoughts come rushing in, one by one, stop and notice your thoughts.
Intentionally ask yourself important questions like “Is this thought helpful or productive?” or “Is it gonna get me further in life or is it getting in my way?”
If the answer is no, then think if that thought isn’t helpful, what thought could be.
This is not about criticizing, judging, or blaming yourself for having all these thoughts, it is about being curious.
Of course, you won’t be able to instantly change your mindset and think positively. What you will achieve is being aware that all that overthinking doesn’t have any purpose. Ultimately, it will decrease its value and importance.
Get a reality check
Once you get in the overthinking zone it is hard to get out of it. In such moments, you are only capable of absorbing all the negativity and stress that comes with those thoughts. You feel like things will never going to get better.
When you are in that cycle, try to get a different perspective on things. Realistically, is this really going to matter in 5 five years? Or even in 5 hours?
Will the fact that you have problems with co-workers matter when you get home and see your loving family? No.
Zoom out of that situation and see how that black dot which you are in is just a black dot on a white paper. Even if that bad situation lasts for a week or more, it is still small compared to your whole life.
Usually when we overthink we focus on something in the future or even something in the past. It is not that something bad is happening at that moment but it’s only when we start with those thoughts do we get ourselves worked up.
There is a great exercise that is actually very helpful for becoming mindful and experience the power of presence. Whenever you start overthinking, remind yourself that besides your regrets from the past and worries for the future, at this moment you are okay.
What can also help with achieving mindfulness is becoming aware of everything around you. Focus on your hands, on your movements, on sounds, or on what you are currently looking at. Don’t think about it. Just absorb every scenery.
Don’t aim for perfection
Perfection is overrated. It holds us back and creates unrealistic expectations. It doesn’t allow you to be happy with what you have because it is not perfect. Well, here is a groundbreaking realization – whoever you are and whatever you do, you are perfect.
Realize that perfection is subjective. For some, living in a big mansion is perfect, while for others it is having a small farm in the outskirts of town. You see, there is no way that you can actually pinpoint perfection. The most important part is that sometimes you overthink and get frustrated about not having something, but if you achieve that, it still won’t guarantee happiness.
There are no perfect situations, perfect bodies, or perfect personalities. You are who you are – unique and one of kind. Be proud of that and accept who you really are.
Change the perspective on fear
Fear can really hold you back in life. Being scared about new opportunities and situations usually leads to overthinking. It starts with the thought about what can go wrong and then it just builds up to different scenarios.
Instead of looking at fear as something negative and turning it into a continuous process of overthinking, look at that situation as a challenge and ultimately, a positive change.
Things can’t progress if you are always in your comfort zone. The feeling of fear is actually a sign that something is changing. Our bodies are programmed to send unconscious signs in the form of fear as a warning.
When this feeling comes along, consider it as a signal that you are making a progress in life. You never know where this new path will lead you.
For example, if you are scared of getting fired, instead of thinking about all the situations that can lead up to that, think about how if that happens it means that you are destined to take a different path in life. Don’t focus on that situation but think about the big picture in life.
Write it down
When you can’t stop the thoughts from pouring in, let them exist in some other place that is not your mind. Take a pen and paper and write everything that bothers you.
Give yourself that time to express every worry and concern but once you put the final full stop on that piece of paper, you are done. There are no more getting back to those thoughts and reviving them.
Allowing yourself to get that out of your system will help you to leave it behind. Just be careful, because you will need to be strict with yourself. Realize that when you write down the last thought, there is no more contemplating.
In those moments when we exist in that enchanted circle of overwhelming thoughts, we forget about the good things in life.
Instead of worrying about your new job and how that will work out, be thankful for the opportunity to work and make a living for yourself.
What you can do is to write down the things you are grateful for at night and read them in the morning. In this way, you’ll achieve a positive mindset at the very beginning of your day.
Being thankful will keep you grounded and help you to realize how happy you actually are. Express your gratitude for health, family, friends, being able to see, to touch, to listen. Focus on the important parts of life which most of us tend to overlook.
Are you ready to make a change?
These steps can seem small but they can completely change your perspective. It will take some time until you can loosen up your overthinking habits but you can achieve it.
The last step is up to you. In order to clear your mind, you need to actively work on it and use these methods regularly. Decide that you really want to improve your life and stop letting overthinking get in your way.
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