Mindfulness for Over-Thinkers and Busy People
Over-thinkers and overly busy people are near and dear to my heart- it’s my default mode too! You’re my people 🙂
When I realized that this way of being was connected to my negative experiences in the past, I knew I had to change because over-thinking and chronic busy-ness are defense mechanisms. Defense against what? Well, only you can decide that, but they are ways to intellectualize, distract, perform, control, stuff down and avoid things/or emotions.
Mindfulness was my way out of this distressing cycle. It was the best way to create a new experience or thought instead of referring back to the past and falling into the busy-ness/over-thinking habit.
Most of our thoughts and emotions now are merely references to past experiences so it’s a wonder we truly experience anything NOW…presently…when our frame of mind is typically linked to the past. You can snap your attention out of past references/experiences and pause in the present moment- that’s what mindfulness is!
When you experience the present moment in mindfulness, you’re breaking old patterns! You’re breaking mind tricks like over-thinking and body tricks like busy-ness.
The only control you have is of the present moment.
That’s important to remember because over-thinkers and busy people believe that their tactics help them control things yet most of their references are from the past and we can’t control anything there. So the cycle of helplessness and hopelessness continue when we use over-thinking and busy-ness to feel in control. All we can control is the present moment…and there’s a sense of peace about that.
The less painful way to deal with experiences, thoughts and emotions is through mindfulness.
That sense of peace grows the more you practice. And peace is really what we’re after. Some would say happiness, but I will insist, we’re seeking peace…even as a means to an end.
The following practices help over-thinkers process emotions and experiences so they don’t get “all up in their head”.
These practices also help busy people pause and investigate thoughts and experiences in a more meaningful way rather than rushing to take on more than they can handle- doing more so they can finally relax and feel at peace, that thing that is only really captured in the present moment.
Mindfulness Practice for Over-thinkers and Busy People:
- Words in the body- This practice helps bring your awareness into your body if you’re an over-thinker; building up the mind-body-spirit and intuitive self. Begin by noticing how you feel when someone says, “TROUBLE”? I don’t know about you but I instantly get a pit in my stomach. What about when I say, “KINDNESS”? Feels a little better, softer, gentler. Words produce real feelings in your body.
If you’re an over-thinker you have more words to deal with throughout your day than most people so imagine the mind-body effect of all those thoughts and words. You may not be aware of the effect and that’s the point here.
Pausing and allowing the body to experience how words feel, how words affect you, body, mind and spirit; therefore slowing down and balancing these areas so you can finally get out of your head.
We get overloaded when we take experiences and emotions and analyze or intellectualize them all.
Try this: List a handful of words, find a quiet place to meditate, and take a deep breath in while thinking of the word, TROUBLE, for instance. Notice how you feel, what associations you rushes to, what’s going on in your body. Now take a deep breath in and think of the word, KINDNESS. Feel it. Notice any associations. Pausing and noticing. Another couple of deep breaths in on the word, BUSY. Feel it. Notice it in your body and your mind’s associations. Next inhale, think of the word, FREEDOM.
You can use your own words to practice the exercise above. If there are words you use more regularly or hear and notice more often, then use those for this mindfulness exercise.
You are connecting your mind, body, and spirit!
When you realize the direct effects of your thoughts and words on your body and wellbeing, I promise you’ll automatically become more intentional with thoughts and gradually have less of the repetitive negative, worrisome, and unnecessary ones.
And it’s not just thoughts, it’s emotions too. People become over-thinkers and chronically busy to avoid, stuff down, and distract themselves from unpleasant emotions.
We tend to react rather than sit with an emotion. Sitting with an emotion can be difficult if we’re used to analyzing our emotions or keeping busy without fully noticing them (mindfulness).
When we over-think, we stop trusting our gut instincts or our intuitive side. We’re gathering too much info out there and squashing our inner knowledge.
Fun fact: Have you seen those hoarding TV shows? That would be me and information- I love scientific articles and books BUT something happened when I started writing a blog (my first blog, 10 yrs ago). I discovered myself through my own words; my own inner wisdom and knowledge.
Over-thinkers, like I can be, end up not knowing which thoughts are valuable or true and which aren’t so they collect more, leading to increased confusion and less clarity. You can see the cycle here. right?!
The excess of thoughts come spilling out, flooding the mind without a filter. Kind of like a person who says everything on their mind. It’s uncomfortable.
Filters are for our benefit, both socially and psychologically. This practice will help you pause, notice, sort and filter; reducing the static running your life.
- Investigate your illusion (thoughts)- Illusions are popular with busy people. We are under the illusion we’ll get everything done or that everything needs our doing.
Have you ever heard that saying, ‘99% of the things you worry about never come true‘. I would rephrase that to, ‘99% of the things you think you need to do, don’t need to be done by you.’
What’s more true is that your type of thoughts end up creating more doing. Those thoughts are illusions based on assumptions, emotions, triggers, (untrue) beliefs, insecurities, and worries.
Doing more and more always begins with negative thoughts and worries like, ‘What if I don’t do that?’ Or ‘I should do that.’
Again, we want to balance your mind and body. Not every thought needs to be done. Not every emotion needs a reaction. So the body here is overloaded just as the mind is overloaded in the over-thinker. In either case, there’s a lack of balance.
Your thoughts give you one version of reality. Mindfulness gives you the true experience of reality.
And the reality is, most things don’t need you to do them.
You may notice when your thoughts are based on more negative and worrisome things, you’ll feel more propelled to do more things than you need to, keeping you perpetually busy, increasing your grip on an unrealistic illusion.
Busy-bees have a tough time realizing 90% of their thoughts are illusions. The persistent thoughts of getting more done reflects a lack inside- ‘I’m not enough so I have to do more.’
People end up doing more because they’re invested in an outcome. That outcome is an illusion though.
Thoughts that drive busy-ness are comprised of assumptions, projections, worries, “Am I good enough?”… “What if?”
Many of these are illusions based on the experience you’re having in your head and rarely the experience you are having in the present moment.
Mindfulness, the power of pause, let’s you have a REAL experience. The thoughts that worry you into action, are investigated instead.
Illusion exists because it’s not investigated.
Investigation begins with a pause (mindfulness) and ends with new possibilities (new reality).
Try this: Become aware of your thoughts that trigger busy-ness; the assumptions, worries, limiting beliefs. And when one triggers you, investigate it. Imagine yourself walking down the road to that reality.
Now question that reality:
Is it true?
What’s the belief behind it?
What’s the fear?
How does it feel when you think about what you need to do?
Thoughts create your reality: After you investigate, go down another road and create another reality with your thoughts where that reality is peaceful and pleasant.
Asking any of these questions disrupts the thought patterns that alter your reality negatively.
There’s a reason you have certain triggers, thoughts, assumptions, worries, and limiting beliefs and why you react to them by doing too much.
Finding out what those reasons are can result in less over-thinking or distraction with busy-ness; less suffering. More possibilities.
Peace and Be well,