The act of thinking is a mechanism used by humans, through which, a particular idea or belief is formed. And, like anything else, it's good in moderation. It can be "a good servant, but a bad master". (Alan Watts)
When did we get from thinking to overthinking?
Unfortunately this 'sickness' is well grounded in our DNA. We all have it, and sooner or later it pops up just to say 'Hello'. And from that moment on, it becomes a part of you. But it doesn’t come by its own. With it, it brings anxiety, panic, frustration and a long lasting feeling of unfulfillment.
And to make these feelings 'go away', we do one of these two things:
- Not think at all
'To overthink' means to think about something too much or for too long and 'to not think' is synonym with shallow, foolish, mindless. And we've all been there at least once.
It's so easy to cross the line from a responsible, thoughtful person to an overwhelmed, over worried and overworked human being. And from there, it takes only a second to jump directly into the shoes of a reckless person.
Does it sound familiar?! Of course it does! This is something that we are all facing almost each day of our life.
How can we break this pattern?
As infants we are born with the knowledge that: 'It’s a lot more to the mind than thinking' but somehow we lose this information along the way.
What this means: the art of staying still and enjoying every minute that’s passing you by, AND the art of feeling.
Ok, I admit, it's easier for me to preach about this right now, while I’m writing these words from the other side of the world, with just my laptop and a waterfall that sings sweet nothings in my ear. BUT still not impossible in other circumstances.
Let me tell you a trick or two I have learned trying to balance my overthinking and my reckless sides.
How to apply 'The art of staying still and enjoying every moment' to your day to day life:
In a world that is always moving and evolving you may get overwhelmed - I know I do! And all the time I might add. This feeling sometimes gives me anxiety and even panic attacks. The perks of being a overthinker, am I right?! That is why it is very important that we learn how to maintain a calm mind and a blissful feeling each day of our lives.
So, whenever I feel overwhelmed, I do 5 things:
- Find a quiet place or a not so crowded corner
- Close my eyes
- Stay completely still
- Breathe in & out with all of my being - 3 to 10 times
And, if I have enough time
- Try to imagine myself in MY safe place - this could be your house, a garden, even your mother's womb - imaginary or not, doesn't matter! You just have to feel safe there! ( more about this topic in another article soon to come)
How to apply 'The art of feeling rather than thinking' to your day to day life:
To properly do that, you will need to access something you already possess but for sure haven’t used properly in a long time: your INTUITION. Intuition is actually a TRAINED feeling, that can help you come to a decision, quicker and easier. It combines both the analytical side as well as the feelings we may have about a certain situation .
In all my years of being unsatisfied with the world and me, I have trained and learned to do 2 things that helped me overcome these problems:
- I never ignore my feelings - but instead, I have learned to accept them and take them into consideration whenever I wasn't sure about something;
- I never regret any decisions I make - Why?! Two reasons:
- there's nothing I can do to change the past;
- these decisions made me the person I am today. Maybe sometimes they've slowed me down, but they’ve always taught me how to improve myself and become a better person.
The funny part is, that even though I work hard every day to battle this monster, I still overthought this article… 😀