Saturday, February 23, 2019

12 Tips to nix #Overthinking

Our thoughts decide how we lead our lives.Every action or reaction stems from a thought.And inaction stems from many thoughts-or overthinking-which implies thinking too much for too long about any problem,event or person.Urban Dictionary describes it as "The art of creating problems that weren't even there."This seems tangy but it is quite true.Overthinking can certainly cause many problems.

When your mind goes round and round in circles about one single factor considering it's various variants,it receives multiple answers.Processing all that information,segregating the truth from chaff,the relevant from the irrelevant and the helpful from the harmful can be very trying.

Naturally this creates a lot of confusion.You swim in a sea of doubts and worries.As you straggle the pinwheel of your thoughts you lose sense of time and may neglect other,pressing matters.Overthinking blocks action,you cannot lead a decisive,progressive life if you are prone to overthinking. 

It also alienates you from others.The tangle of worries makes you irritable and reclusive.You are so immersed in your thoughts that you neglect the people around you.If you think too much about what somebody said or did,you may suspect hidden motives where none existed,and harbor baseless biases in your mind.The more you keep to yourself the more you will be with your thoughts;and the lonelier too.

This is not good for your mental health.You have no peace of mind and your sleep too is disturbed because overthinking is not adulatory in nature.It generates anxiety of course,but it can also devolve into depression or phobias.

There is no doubt overthinking is more destructive than constructive.It's genesis lies in insecurity and lack of confidence.Boosting your confidence  is therefore the best way to nix it.A few practical tips given below will assist you to be more decisive and less hesitant.
Discipline your thoughts
Thinking once,twice or thrice about anything is enough.Overthinking clogs the brain and decreases clarity of thought.
1)Decide how much time you need to come to a decision: 5 minutes,10 minutes or 15 minutes.
2)Don't breach that limit when you have to take a decision.
3)Apply the same rule even when you are merely going over the day's events.
Be active instead of ruminative
4)Our thoughts run wild when we are idle.Choose leisure time activities which interest you so that you do not just sit and think.
5)If you dislike something or do not agree with it,say so at that very time,instead of mulling over it later on.
Avoid second thoughts
6)Since you are an over thinker you are not likely to take a decision without due deliberation,but once you have reached a decision,stick to it.
7)Don't speculate whether it is in your best interest or not,because you have already considered all the pros and cons.
8)And don't worry what others will say about your endeavors either.Have the confidence to do what you believe in.
9)Pay no heed to the naysayers,there are plenty of them.
Live in the present
The present demands your full focus.Thinking of the past or worrying about the future is very often the cause of over thinking.
10)Don't go back to what happened yesterday,day before or even much earlier.
11)Cultivate the habit of putting quick closure to things,things which are likely to haunt you.
12)And don't envisage grey happenings in the future.

These are very small changes but they will take you far.You will be able to scrap over thinking and the associated tensions.Your anxiety will subside and you will progress in life.Even your relationships will improve as people spot the changes in you.In short,scrapping over thinking will prove to be a big game changer for you.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Your Self-help Guide For Eliminating #Anxiety

"Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness,unease or worry that typically occurs in the absence of imminent threat.It differs from fear,which is the body's natural response to immediate danger."
The wide tentacles of anxiety engulf all else.Even the activities which earlier pleased you are now ignored.In order to get rid of it you must first understand how it caught hold of you.

The brain learns from repetition.When you think fearful,worrisome,disturbing thoughts repeatedly,these thought engrave a pathway in the brain and the mind automatically latches on to that path whenever there is a ripple in the wind.Apprehension and worry become a way of reacting to every situation.These emotions trigger the release of stress hormones like Cortisol and Adrenalin which further aggravate your anxiety.

Living with anxiety is tough.You can try the tips given below to get rid of it and live a more enjoyable life:--
Understand your thoughts
Anxiety is the outcome of faulty thought processes.If you scrutinize your thoughts you may find that they are not a true reflection of reality.They are mostly marred by cognitive distortions.

For example you may be making a mountain of a molehill or jumping to the conclusion that an imminent change is going to be disastrous for you.In this way you maximize your difficulty and filter out your problem solving skills which have served you till now,thereby minimizing your own capability to solve your problem.Naturally,the outlook appears bleak.
Inculcate rational thinking
Try to be more rational while assessing situations and forming opinions.Inculcating rational thinking requires sustained efforts because you have to change an established habit which automatically butts in whenever you are in a thinking mode.If the thought of any contingency perturbs you repeatedly,evaluate it on the metric of logic and probability.Push it to the background with a stricture that you shall deal with it when it happens-if it does.Tell yourself that you have managed your affairs till now and shall do even better when the need arises.
Provide new pathways to your thoughts
Whenever you are at a loose end or tense about something,take up an activity which interests you very much and requires total concentration,so that a different line of thinking replaces your negative thoughts.

For example,those who are the intellectual type will forget all else when they play a brain game or solve a puzzle.

For the artistic folks nothing can be more absorbing than dabbling with paints and brushes.

I myself take up stitching when I want to forget my worries.It works like magic.

The spiritual kind experience peace when they listen to devotional songs and reinforce their faith in a supreme being.My own husband benefits immensely from this.

The sporty guys will forget their worries when they play a vigorous game or take up activities which make them sweat.This will have the double benefit of using up surplus stress hormones.

Take up the diversion which interests you to block distressing emotions.It is essential to prevent the mind from going into wrong channels.
Use up the stress hormones
The most effective cure for anxiety is to use up the surplus energy which is running in your blood stream through regular exercise,because it is this energy which robs you of restful sleep and keeps you on tenterhooks.There are so many activities to choose from: running,jogging,gymming,aerobics,dancing,swimming,gardening or yoga.Choose the one which appeals to you so that you will not shirk it.
Do what you feel you cannot do
Anxiety lies.It will tell you that you can't do so many things which you have been doing till now-like driving a vehicle,going to the market,attending a meeting,enjoying a party and talking to your neighbors.If you obey these diktats you will end up feeling morose and inadequate.Defy these directives.Catch the bull by the horns and do what you are scared of doing.This will help to reduce your anxiety.You will experience a wave of joy at having defeated anxiety. 
Stick to your routine
When you are in the grip of anxious thoughts you may not feel like leaving the bed,but if you continue to lie down and keep thinking of all that is going wrong in your life you will feel even worse.On the other hand if you force yourself to rise at the usual time,spruce up yourself and follow your daily routine,you will feel much more confident,optimistic,energetic and in control of your life.This is no mean achievement;considering how anxious thoughts are always rearing to pull you down.
Stay active
Since your mind is tilted towards negativity,such thoughts will come rushing in when your body is idle.Staying active is an effective way of curbing them.However,slogging from morning to night is not a good option too,because anxiety can certainly be very tiring.When your day's work is done pick up an engrossing activity or an old hobby.Meet friends,chat with family,organize your belongings,do whatever soothes your mind and body.
Go out,meet people
Anxiety isolates.Perhaps you think that if you go out and meet people they will spot you have changed.Well,they may or may not,but the longer you hole up in your house the more inept you will become at relating to others.So,put your chin up and saunter out.If you meet people,talk to them,ask about their welfare,take an interest in what is happening around you,you will forget your own problems for some time at least.
Find the root cause of your distress
There are many ways of diverting your attention from disturbing thoughts but the bottom line is to pinpoint where they come from:Is it your attitude which is basically pessimistic?Has your past been such that you do not expect anything good to happen to you?Are you short on confidence or self esteem?Is it your health or a relationship which is making you tense?

Try to strengthen the element which is the probable cause of your problems.And don't bash yourself for being this way.Be kind.Circumstances make us who we are and evolution is an ongoing process.Everybody has some weak point or the other.

Problems will come and you will have to solve them,but you will be better able to do this if the burden of distressing thoughts does not sap your energy.
Live in the present
The mind has no barriers of time or space.Sometimes we agonize about what we did or failed to do in the past or fret about what the future has in store for us.This can neither change what happened in the past nor alter the future in any way.It only destroys our peace of mind.That is why psychologists advise us to live in the moment,be mindful of what is around us.If we focus our thoughts on what needs to be done today,how we can improve our present and be mindfully aware of our surroundings we shall feel more at ease.

In case guilt or remorse are your arch-enemy this post will help you find peace.
Release the pressure
Anxiety overwhelms the mind and it is imperative to silence all that noise.Talk about your problems to someone who cares for you or a professional.Merely talking about it will confer enormous relief.

Life is never a bed of roses for anyone.The bad times too,have a utility.They make you stronger and enable you to learn new coping skills.

Secondly,even during the most traumatic times you will still be left with many things to be grateful for:people who care for you,the resources available to you and your own qualities which have always helped you to overcome your difficulties.

Thirdly,life is a dappled path,if you keep looking at the dark spots you shall miss the brighter hues of life.Don't allow one dark spot to darken your sky.

Rationality,positivity,hope and gratitude-these four are infallible companions on this dappled path.Keep a tight hold on them.

Finally,something for you to think about and remember :-
Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.
– Robert Eliot 
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