Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Overthinking sounds harmless enough but if can lead to all kinds of problems including anxiety, depression and burnout. When we fall into patterns of overthinking and rumination our mind becomes unclear, we can experience heightened levels of harmful stress hormones and make decisions based on reactivity rather than values.
We can however change our patterns of overthinking and with some practice and skill development we can free ourself from the prison of an endlessly looping mindset. Todays blog shares some mindfulness based coaching tips to change cycles of over thinking.
Develop a self-awareness practice through mindfulness meditation. Having a formal practise that you do regularly will help you develop the capacity to get spaciousness from thoughts. Check out the meditations that are free on my website to get started.
Once you develop some spaciousness you can have the capacity to choose more wholesome responses and move away from reactions based solely on the ego and fear. Shift your attention to feelings and felt sense in the body.
Surf the urge to perpetuate fearful thinking. We have an inbuilt bias for negativity called the default mode network but just being aware of how this works personally means we are less likely to continue to perpetuate it.
Give up the idea of perfection because it's an illusion. Reality is inherently uncertain, we don't have control and the more we can find peace with not being in control of everything the closer we will be to the real experience of being alive.
Accepting the past more wholeheartedly we can change our relationship with the fearful aspects we may not have fully processed. This just means we find ways to integrate our whole selves into our present experience. We stop blindly seeking pleasure or avoiding pain.
Cultivate beginners mind. See each new experience for the first time and move away from mental loops that seek to replay past experience through bias and filters. Notice when triggers arise but see them for what they are.
Look for the goodness in life. Be grateful for being alive and cultivate a grateful heart for everything that supports your life. When you are feeling grateful for what you have you are not focussed on fearful thinking and a mindset of lack.
Practice self-compassion and love yourself into wholeness. Every human experiences suffering; this is the human condition. See your vulnerabilities as opportunities to be gentle and kind and work to soften your edges so they require less energy to avoid or resist.
Practice not knowing. We often draw from past thinking in order to feel a sense of control over our experience. If we can dwell more fully in the mystery of new experience we are less likely to rely on past to inform our present and can show up for it as it unfolds.
Work on yourself. Commit yourself to being in touch with your authentic self. This might mean working with a coach or counsellor, starting a mindfulness program or looking at ways you can learn, develop and continue to grow.