Part 1 of 3: Letting Go of Your Thoughts
1. Accept that you’re thinking too much. Just like eating, thinking is something we need to do to survive, so it is sometimes hard to judge when you are doing too much of it. However, there are several red flags that you are doing too much thinking for your own good. Here are a few of them:
- Are you consumed by the same thought over and over again? Are you not making progress by thinking about this particular thing? If so, this may be a sign that you should move on.
- Have you analyzed the same situation from a million angles? If you’ve found too many ways to look at something before you decide how to act, you may be being counterproductive.
- Have you enlisted the help of your twenty closest friends in thinking about a particular thing? If so, then it’s time to realize that you can only ask for so many opinions about the same idea before you drive yourself insane.
- Are people constantly telling you to stop over-thinking things? Do people tease you for brooding, being a philosopher, or staring out of rainy windows all the time? If so, they may have a point.
2. Meditate. If you feel like you don’t know how to stop thinking, you need to learn what it’s like to “let go” of your thoughts, so that it’s something you can do deliberately. Imagine that thinking is like breathing; you do it all the time, without even realizing it. But if you need to, you can hold your breath. Meditating will help you learn how to release your thoughts.
- Just spending 15-20 minutes meditating every morning can make a dramatic impact on your ability to stay in the present and let go of all of your nagging thoughts.
- You can also meditate at night to help yourself wind down.