Our mind always tries to categorize our past experiences and predict how our future actions will be in certain situations to protect us. Although the intention is the best, the mind can bend to overthink. Thinking in an unstoppable and obsessive way. The mind starts to disconnect us from life itself, from the present moment, where life happens. If overthinking guides us daily, the mind turns the driver of our life and we feel disconnected from ourselves and the world around us. Our mental health and as well emotional health can suffer.
Recognizing which type of thoughts we have daily is the first essential step in improving our mental health.
When we are conscious of what we think about and repeatedly have the same type of thoughts, we can take action.
Once we realize what the mind is occupied with, the mind has less power over us, and we can decide:
-if we want to reduce the negative thoughts and grow a more peaceful state of mind,
-if we want to acknowledge that overthinking is happening, and we want to continue with it. We are not yet prepared to let go of the overthinking mind's natural mechanism.
The choice is not as straightforward as one might think. It depends on our personal experiences and their impact on us.
Mindfulness supports you in both of these choices.
The starting point is to recognize your thought pattern. To begin, and if it helps, you can imagine you're a beautiful blue sky, and the thoughts are clouds. And like clouds, thoughts come and go. Once you recognize a negative thought, you can acknowledge it and decide what to do:
-Let go of the negative thought: one way is to acknowledge that you have the negative thought and then move your attention to something else, such as your breathing, the movement of your body, sounds, or something you see that brings you a pleasant or neutral feeling. Repeat as much as you need.
-Continuing with the negative thought: one way is to recognize the negative thought, being aware of the story the mind is telling. If it is nothing related to trauma, you can move your attention to the body. Observe how your body is now. Do you have any pressure in the chest or any other sensations? Are you cold or sweating? Are you trembling or calm? Continue as much as is tolerable. When a huge discomfort takes over, and it is intolerable, acknowledge it and move your attention to sounds, observe your surroundings or your breathing, and if it feels like it, you can embrace yourself.
Every time a negative thought passes by, repeat this strategy as much as you need. And maybe after some time, whatever time it is, you can be prepared to let go of those negative thoughts.
Both mindful strategies can help you to become more aware of your present experiences, take responsibility, and decide how to influence your mental health. Repeating the process can ground you more and more, with the possibility of discovering an internal safe and peaceful place to be.
Take your life into your hands with kindness toward yourself and your mind. But, be aware when the mind is the driver of your life. Your mental health is essential for your well-being and your happiness. And mindfulness is a powerful resource that we have in us to be used, supporting you in all your choices.
May you trust your choices with awareness and kindness.
Thank you for being there.