#2 Stop Overthinking

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#2

Stop Overthinking

Do you think a thought and then ‘run with it’? Do you thoughts ever take on a life of their own? Do you find yourself getting anxious or worried?  Do you have a hard time focusing or sleeping? Do thoughts get stuck in your mind and go round and round? These are all symptoms of overthinking.

Consequences

Overthinking is generally not good for your overall health. It can cause anxiety, depression, and persistent worry. It promotes obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors. It can strain relationships, work performance, and self-worth. To cope with overthinking, many people try to escape the distress by abusing food, alcohol, or drugs.

Notice

The first step to stopping the pattern of overthinking is to notice when you do it. Take another look at the list in the first paragraph and honestly assess your own processes. When does it happen? About what topic(s)? What is your response? How do you (if you do) get them under control? How do they prevent you from living your best life?

Facts

Are your thoughts based on facts? Or Fears? Are they happening now? Or at some point in the future? Stay focused on the facts that exist in the here and now. When you are facing facts, it’s easier to problem solve. There aren’t any real solutions to fantastical problems.

Distraction

Get busy! There’s only so much space in your brain for active thinking. When your thoughts go into busy mode, overrule them with direct action on something else; pulling energy away from the overrunning thinking. The more involved you are in the distraction, the better.

Meditation

When we are overthinking, it’s not really the thoughts that are problematic, but our feelings and associations we have with the thoughts that are the problem. If we can learn to become observers of the thoughts, their impact is reduced. Meditation is one of the best ways to achieve this. Using this technique may allow you to detach from the thoughts so that they become nothing more than something that moves through your brain.

We all do it from time to time but if your life is negatively impacted by too many thoughts too much of the time, follow these steps in an effort to …

Stop overthinking.

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#121 Make a list of Positive Affirmations

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#121

Make a list of positive affirmations

The idea that positive thinking is at the core of positive developments and manifestations is now more than one hundred years old. It is thought to have been born out of Wallace Wattles’s 1910 book, The Science of Getting Rich. One of the primary tenets of the ideology is the value of affirmation.

Affirmation

By definition, an affirmation is “the action or process of affirming something” as well as “emotional support or encouragement”. In the New Thought movement, an affirmation is defined as “a carefully formatted statement that should be repeated to one’s self and written down frequently”.  As they are formulated, attention is directed so that they are “present tense, positive, personal, and specific”.

Louise Hay

Louise Hay, may be one of the original ‘self-help’ gurus as her book You Can Heal Your Life has had a permanent place on the bestseller list for that genre since its publication in 1984 – more than 30  years. She teaches the power of affirmations and offers specific instruction on how to craft them for effectiveness.

Creating Affirmation

An affirmation – as mentioned earlier – needs to be:

Personal – I, my life, I know, I believe, I trust

Positive – absolute, all, always, in fact, everyday, at all times, in every way.

Specific – (naming the ‘thing’ that you want to affirm)

Present – now, as I breathe, in this moment, at this time, here, am, is.

Example: I am (Personal) always (positive) extending compassion (the ‘thing’) as I breathe (present moment).

It doesn’t have to be in that exact order or using only those words of course. The internet has a gazillion examples of you need help choosing the ones that are meaningful to you.

Using affirmations

For many of us, the use of affirmations is a way of teaching ourselves a new language. It’s a way to overturn critical and negative self talk with something encouraging and healthy. Instead of a personal beratement of “I never do anything right” – the affirmation of “I am always learning from mistakes I have made”.

I recommend making a set of flashcards – just like you would if you were learning a new language vocabulary (because you are) – and practice them on a regular basis. I’ve had clients who kept them in their car, their purse, on their nightstand, etc. and reviewed them several times a day. Eventually, they become memorized and etched in our mindsets just like the vocabulary we learned as students.

Consider for a few minutes, those positive elements that you want to become more pronounced in your day-to-day life and …

Create a list of positive affirmations.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.