How to Quiet The Mind – Overthinking
Did you ever find yourself overthinking??? I know I did. I think most of us overthink sometimes. A session I had with one of my clients this week made me think about the topic of this post and I thought to myself that it would be great to discuss how to help overthinkers out there quiet their minds and understand why it is important to do so.
“According to psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D., the way our human brain is organized makes overthinking an easy habit to fall into….Our amazing neurological network is a blessing that allows us to think creatively, but feels like a curse when it is stuck in negativity. Once our mind starts spinning around negative emotions and memories, it is difficult to stop. The more we engage this type of thinking the more habitual it becomes” (Read more here).
For people who suffer from addiction, or people related to people suffering from addiction this can be a difficult issue. There is so much that is not understood and clear when it comes to the decision process of an addict in active addiction and many times it is hard to let go of what was done. Overthinking on both parts only makes it worse. Going into the solution we can discuss few things. First, we need to realize that mostly overthinking relates to trying to find answers or solutions to things that are either out of our control or beyond our understanding. Second we need to start practicing distracting our minds when we realize we begin overthinking. You can watch a movie, call a friend, go running, listen to music, or read. Practicing meditation can also be a great tool. Learning how to embrace your thoughts and let them go can help tremendously.
Learning how to problem solve more effectively can help as well. However, if we dwell on something out of our control that we cannot seem to let go of (i.e. “why did my boyfriend dump me”), it would be difficult to solve. We need to be able to have a clear mind, accept situations we cannot control, and learn how to let go. Acceptance is highly important when it comes to the process of recovery. This is a whole different topic we can discuss another time. I found this interesting post about a 5 step process to end overthinking. I think they had some good pointers to help people who are overthinkers. They talk about the importance of collecting data about the problem, exploring why you are stuck, naming it, giving it a rest (to let your mind process everything you collected), and finally resolve to solving it. I wish it was that easy!! 😉 For some of us it is not that easy and it takes more time or effort. Some might need professional help, such as a counselor to help them become aware of the way they think and how to improve it. Cognitive distortions are a huge problem for many people (mainly overthinkers).
If you feel that you need assistance, I would be happy to help. You can reach me here.