After some time you will even be able to observe your chain of thought and break it at your will.
If you are still not sick and tired of your habit of overthinking, then this article is not for you. However, if you are part of the majority population, which is tired of excessive and repetitive thinking patterns, then lend a few minutes of your time to this article.
Acknowledge that you overthink: If every thought of yours was broadcast to you through a loudspeaker, you would go crazy in a matter of a few hours. Yet you broadcast your thoughts silently to yourself, sometimes for years. Understand what this habit is doing to your peace of mind.
Develop physical rituals to fill your time: After years of practice and observation, I have realised there are some effective ways to stop overthinking – rigorous physical activity, meditation, reciting any mantra without thinking, etc. You have to try them till you succeed in slowing down your rate of thoughts. Lazy people overthink and eventually become depressed beings.
Be an observer of your own thoughts: Magic happens when you get out of yourself, intellectually and emotionally. Observe how you think about your friends, family, colleagues and enemies, if any. When you observe your own breath, your mind stops thinking. After some time you will even be able to observe your chain of thought and break it at your will.
Problem/solution paradigm: Generally, overthinking happens when the mind senses a crisis or when it is idle. Always ask yourself if you are thinking about the problem or the solution. Spending too much time on the problem paralyses your ability to act and your mind gets into the worry loop. After a while, inaction becomes your natural response as your mind prefers to overthink rather than solve the problem.
Present moment wisdom: Have goals but no desires around those goals. Minimise distractions that kill your ability to concentrate on what is important to you. Mindfulness comes when you can concentrate on a goal. I have an hourly reminder set on my phone screen that flashes with the message — “Siddhartha, are you present in this moment?” Learn to do your best in the present and your future is automatically sorted.
Internalise these principles till they become your natural response. You will know what peace is once you overcome your greatest enemy – overthinking.
Siddhartha Sharma is the bestselling author of Love Your Mondays and retire young, 60 Keys to Success with NLP and many other books