There are many fortunate people who can face life easily, and just as easily embrace things, and then just as easily let things go. Then there are the rest of us. During the last few weeks I have heard the same thing from clients and friends alike: They just can’t stop thinking about the things that they have to do, or the things that bother them, or the things they wish they hadn’t done. The list goes on and on. There is one common denominator. We over-do it.
Of course there are those who act rashly and haphazardly without ever giving things much thought at all. That’s not good either, and can be very foolish and lead to trouble. At least the overthinkers of the world are aware they are doing something that is disturbing their peace of mind, and they have the ability to reason through some solutions.
In order to be excessive you have to have the basic requirements of sound thought, and so I applaud you. Many people may criticize you, but I understand you and I feel for you, and today I hope to offer a few very basic and very concrete ideas on how to stop overthinking, to help you control your mind at those times when your mind wants to control you.
First – Stop. Physically stop whatever it is you’re doing, and mentally give yourself the command to ‘stop’. You know when you have slipped into a cycle of reasoning that has become stuck and unproductive, so take control. You are in control of your mind. You can determine what to think about and when to think about it. Remember that, and when you need to – say ‘stop’ – either silently but forcefully to yourself – or out loud if you are alone.
Second – Then take a few deep breaths and think about nothing but breathing in and out for a few moments.
Third – Designate a time to sit and look at the issue and redefine it. Give it a title. “I am focusing too much on this project”. “I am projecting too many disastrous outcomes to my future”. I am spending far too much time going over my ‘to do’ lists.” “I cannot let go of things that I wish I hadn’t said or done,” – or – “I cannot let go of things that I wish I had said or done.”
Fourth – Let’s look at those issues one at a time:
“I am focusing too much on this project”. Get yourself a notebook and set aside a specific amount of time to sit undisturbed and list your goals and all the steps you need to take to walk in the direction of that goal. Once it is down on paper you don’t have to be concerned about forgetting something, and if a new idea comes to you, stop and write it down. Then pick one thing off the list for today, or for now, and just go do that. You don’t need to keep the list mentally once you have written it down.
“I am projecting too many disastrous outcomes.” In this case, you also need to designate a specific time to sit and figure this out. You will need to list, either mentally, or better yet on paper, everything that is truth. Even the best psychic in the world cannot predict your future with certainty. They can see probable futures and the direction you are walking in and they can project an outcome based on that, but you have free will. You can change direction at any time. So you can determine with certainty which direction you choose to walk in. Since we can never be sure of the form, we can send out our intentions for the feeling. “I intend to walk in the direction of my highest and greatest good, and my healthiest, most abundant, and most joyous future.”
Once you have the positive statement of intention written down, pull it out and read it every time your thoughts want to take you somewhere else.
‘I am spending far too much time going over my ‘to do’ lists. Once again, set aside a designated time, take a pen and notebook and make a list. You can always add to it and cross things off as your finish them, but you don’t have to carry it around in your head.
“I cannot let go of things that I wish I hadn’t said or done”. We’ve all said it. We’ve all done it. We all wish we could have a re-do moment. We are human. It happens. In fact, it happens all the time. Some things are more important than others, and sometimes the consequences are more dire than others, but the solution is pretty much the same. Learn to forgive yourself. Of course you didn’t mean it. Or you meant it in the moment but you don’t mean it now. Of course you dropped it, forgot it, broke it, lost it, did too much, did too little, didn’t do it right. This is planet earth. This is what human beings do. And human beings need to learn the ever so important lesson of self-forgiveness. God doesn’t judge you. Your angels, and spiritual family, don’t judge you. They know you are trying your best, and that some days your best might look and feel pretty inadequate to you. They don’t judge that either. They just love you. I hope you can learn to just love yourself – absolutely and completely the way you are in this moment, and then if there are some changes you would like to make, go and do that. But forgive yourself first. Love yourself first.
You are a blessed, beloved, marvelous child of God with a wonderful, creative, and sometimes overly busy mind. It’s okay. Once in a while, put all this aside, find something fun, and just go play.