Overthinking is something that many people experience, but few people understand.
In fact, most of the advice that’s given about overthinking is completely off the mark.
It’s given by people who aren’t actually overthinkers in the first place.
I’m an overthinker through and through. And I’ve managed to turn it into my greatest strength.
Find out how with these 5 simple steps.
If you can’t watch the video right now, keep on reading. I’ve summarized the 5 easy steps below.
1. Just Breathe
Buddhist and spiritual gurus had come to this profound realization: all we have is our breath.
It’s the one constant that will be with us for our whole life.
When you are aware of your breath, the way you inhale and exhale, it helps you focus on the present moment.
This way, you can switch your focus from thinking to your breath.
Exercise on its own won’t defeat overthinking.
However, if you introduce exercise as part of your daily routine, it will help your body to breathe much more deeply.
Therefore, combining steps 1 and 2 helps you to create a different relationship with your body.
You get your heart rate up and become much more aware of all your bodily processes.
This the basis in which you can start to stop overthinking from taking over your life.
3. Accept Multiple Identities For Your Thoughts
You may have come across situations where your inner thoughts seem to battle against each other.
The shaman Rudá Iandé taught me how to deal with these kinds of situations
Whenever you start questioning yourself, it’s okay to see that there are multiple identities or personalities living inside you.
What you should do get into a conversation with these different versions of you.
Try to learn to accept your negative identities and see that this is a side of you that has its own needs.
Listen and give space to those voices in your head, both positive and negative.
When you start to listen to those voices, it helps you stop questioning why they pop up because you have learned to accept your positive and negative thoughts.
4. A “Trick” To Meditation
This is a different approach to meditation that I learned from Alan Watts.
What you basically do is you just stand, sit still or lie down on the bed and just start to listen to all the noises around you without actually putting a label on it or judging it.
Then start to be aware of your breath until you get into a much more relaxed state.
Whenever thoughts start firing away and you start questioning yourself if you’re meditating properly, start to apply the same thing as you have done with noises.
Let the noise and thoughts come and just listen to it.
See the video I created below where I give an overview of this approach to meditation.
5. Enjoy The Struggle Of Overthinking
Do not be ashamed of who you are.
Overthinking may mean overanalyzing things but it actually helps you to be prepared for all the different scenarios that can possibly come about in your life.
It allows you to think about issues more thoroughly and help you make the best decision for yourself and for others.
Being an overthinker may have downsides. But ultimate it can be beneficial.
When you start to accept and embrace overthinking as one of your strength, you’ll probably get to enjoy the benefits of it.
If you can embrace these 5 hacks and implement them into your lives, you will start to live a much more satisfying life as a fellow overthinker.
This story originally appeared in Ideapod. Image courtesy of PeopleImages/Getty Images.