“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
Over-thinking is a problem that affects all of us. It is the constant bombardment of the mind, that takes us out of the present moment, and plummets us into thinking about the past or worrying about the future.
Over-thinking creates problems that may not have even presented themselves, had we not given them so much attention or “built them up in our minds”. It’s the art of making a big deal about something, that never was, to begin with.
While we may be thinking that by cycling this information in our minds that we are protecting ourselves somehow, on the contrary, the mind is acting as a defence mechanism to protect the constructs of our own individual identification.
According to Freud, there are three psychological aspects that make up our personalities. The first being the I.D, alike to a child, it is selfish and self-serving fuelling the pleasure-oriented portion of the personality. The second is the superego, which acts as the moral basis determining between what is good and bad, right and wrong and the third is the ego which acts as the moderator between the I.D and the Super-Ego, seeking compromise.”
This ego then creates defence mechanisms, which believes that it protects itself from uncomfortable life situations and it is through these defence mechanisms that we begin to fantasize, idealize and project internal unresolved emotions, as well as uncomfortable thoughts onto others through a process of overactive thinking.
Basically, the ego can’t face reality and so it creates an internalization of uncomfortable happenings and remoulds them into something that it is able to handle.
This processing of thoughts than cycles in the mind constantly as the ego continues to try to protect itself without dealing with the unresolved emotions and healing that is required.
In order to stop overactive thinking, and stay in the present moment we need to understand why we are fantasizing, what we are avoiding, and how we are projecting our internal states onto others.
When we can heal our unresolved emotions and past thoughts, it is then we can find peace in the present moment.
Unlike other articles you will find, I am not going to tell you to think positive or repeat positive affirmations, nor am I going to tell you to get out into nature or any other distractive process that masks the origin of the problem. What I am going to tell is this.
Take a deep breath, and let go.
What are you still holding onto? What hurts can you not forgive? and can you forgive yourself? It’s time that you give yourself the keys to your own freedom.
What is, what was and what is still to come.
For the hurts, you have caused and hurts you have endured.
For everything and anything in your life that you value.
To humble yourself is to know that you are not above or beneath anyone else. Go easy on yourself, its o.k to not be perfect.
In time you will see, that you were exactly where you were supposed to be.
We dream of the future, to distract ourselves from the present, in order to forget the past. Heal the past, live in the present and don’t rush to the future. Life is a journey and it will all be over before you know it.
This article 5 Ways to Stop Overthinking Everything In Your Life was originally published here on isouscience.com on November 2015.