Are You An Overthinker? 4 Tangible Tips To Stop, From A Mindset Coach
So many of us are overthinkers, especially when things are uncertain—and since we don't have control over anything outside of us, we tend to worry our days away trying to maintain control of our inner world.
I used to suffer from constant overthinking. A couple of years ago, I found myself rabbit-holing down a deep, dark path of doomsday predictions. From potential tsunamis to meteor strikes, to losing everything I'd worked for, every day was filled with, "What's going to rear its ugly head today and try to harm us?" Manipulated by my own fear, I told myself I was being prepared and educating myself, not realizing this was worry that manifested into a preparation project.
To stop the worry, I started to turn to my spirituality and daily routine. Practicing mindfulness and compassion was key to transforming that fear into faith.
We may feel hopeless and powerless against the negative forces in the world, but we have more power than we've been taught to believe. As spiritual author Wayne Dyer once said, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
Rather than worrying, maybe the easiest path forward is to shift our perspective from worry to wonder—and the following steps can help:
Drop from your head into your heart.
Our thoughts are powerful directives. They will either help us or hurt us, depending on where we give our attention. The mind will analyze, judge, blame, and try to make sense of the world, but your heart trusts, allows, and loves.
Instead of focusing on changing the world, you can change your thoughts about the world, and this happens when we drop from our head into our heart. It's often been said that our thoughts create our outcome, so if this is the case, we must ask ourselves what we are thinking and projecting about a situation.
If something is causing you unease, go inward to your heart and see what your thoughts are about that situation. Feel your feelings and recognize where you've been trapped in fear or blame. We can ease our worries by giving up all thoughts that are derived from attack, blame, or shame.
Turn your resistance into assistance.
Instead of resisting things in your life you don't like, channel all the energy into assisting. Where can you help others and turn your pain into purpose? Go inward and ask yourself, "What is coming up for me, and how can I channel this energy into support for others?"
You can stabilize your focus by assisting others and helping those in need. Sometimes we don't have control of what is happening, but we can take a step to help the collective and the planet.
Instead of festering in your discomfort, shift into action and be of assistance to others. Being of service is the highest form of happiness and will help you stay focused on the big picture—that we are all in this together and we need each other.
Judge nothing that occurs.
It was Deepak Chopra who said, "If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world."
When the world seems upside down and nothing makes sense, it can be so easy to fall into judgment and blame. With so much angst, there can be a lot of separation.
Adopt a mentality of compassion and kindness by practicing nonjudgment and compassion for all. Today, practice nonjudgment with everything you see. As you live in a more neutral state, watch how aspects of yourself and life start to feel better.
Hold up the energetic mirror.
Look at what's triggering you and causing you distress. Hold up the energetic mirror and ask yourself, "How is this showing me what I need to heal within myself?" Your external world is a reflection of your internal state, mirroring the deepest truths of your soul. Use this time to recognize all areas, relationships, and situations that feel strained.
You have a divine assignment not to take things personally. Look at who and what is triggering you and what it is bringing up for you. When you feel your feelings, you release them, and as you do, you connect to the deeper message they can bring.
Using the energetic mirror will help you reconnect with your true self, the pure light and love within.
The bottom line.
We can choose peace, but it must start on the inside. You can access freedom from fear right here and now. No matter what is happening outside of you in the world, you can be calm in the chaos as your inner world is the only world you truly have control over.
Adapted and excerpted from Shannon Kaiser's new book Return to You: 11 Spiritual Lessons for Unshakable Inner Peace published by Sounds True, April 2022.
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment including The Self-Love Experiment and Adventures for Your Soul, Joy Seeker, and Unshakable Inner Peace Oracle card deck, and the forthcoming book Return to You. She has a B.A. in journalism and communications from the University of Oregon. As an international life coach, speaker, and retreat leader, she helps people awaken and align with their true selves so they can live their highest potential.
She's been named top 100 Women to Watch in wellness by mindbodygreen, alongside Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kris Carr and Gabriel Bernstein, and was listed as of the freshest voices in mental health and wellness by Chicken Soup for The Women's Soul. She's been named one of Entrepreneurs Must-Follow Instagram Accounts for Inspiration and Top Facebook Accounts for Daily Motivation by Mind Body Green.
Her website Playwiththeworld.com has been names top 75 Personal development websites and top 100 self-help websites by the institute for the Psychology of Eating. She's an international life coach and author mentor, and a full time world traveler with a home base in Portland, Oregon with her best friend, her Golden Retriever Chance, who she flew to China to Rescue.