“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” – Eckhart Tolle
To ruminate is defined as follows: to bring up and chew again what has already been chewed and swallowed. This is what cows do when they chew their food over… and over… and over again.
Most of us call it overthinking.
What does overthinking ever do for you besides make you more stressed, more confused, more worried and tired and cranky?
Yet, we are all guilty of it. I certainly am. And I can bet that if you’ve made it this far into the article, you are too.
Do you want to reprogram your mind to stop overthinking? It’s possible. It may take a little elbow grease and awareness, but you CAN do it! And I promise that you will be healthier and happier for your efforts.
1. Take A Deep Breath
When you are overthinking, your mind is rolling at a million miles an hour and more likely than not, you are TENSE. Taking a deep breath is a simple technique that can help lower stress and bring you into the present moment.
2. Never Beat Yourself Up
A huge percentage of an overthinker’s thoughts are negative thoughts about themselves. Doubt, discouragement, worry, fear, frustration, etc. If you’ve become accustomed to walking down these negative thought paths, then now is the time to change!
3. Catch Yourself In The Process Of Overthinking
Come up with strategies to catch yourself when you start overthinking. Post sticky notes on your mirror, in your locker, on your fridge or in your car that remind you to not overthink things. They can be positive quotes, affirmations, code words, whatever you’d like.
4. Remove Yourself From Negative Groups
Your best and most valiant efforts towards better thinking habits can all be bulldozed if you keep hanging out with people who are the reason behind your over-thinking in the first place!
5. Resort To Hobbies
Keep your brain busy with things that you love to do! Move your body, spend time outside, pick up a sport, start sewing, start a new home project, volunteer at an animal shelter… whatever makes you happy and gets YOU out of your HEAD.
6. Change The Things You Can, Accept The Things You Cannot
If you are constantly thinking and worrying about things in your life that you have power over… do what it takes to change them. Do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said and then move on.