Is Thinking Too Much A Problem?

Stop thinking too much and have quality of life

Have you ever found yourself lost in thought? One minute you're waiting in traffic, and the next you're thinking about some past or future conversation, hearing in your head the words each person is saying. You're there, but you're not in your body - you're lost in thought.

In fact, it's not that we 'think too much', but rather that we frequently let ourselves be pulled by the energy of thought. Thinking happens all the time; but you can be a detached observer of your own thoughts instead of continuously reacting to them.

Our perception, however, is that we think too much, because we seem to experience life from our thoughts instead of from the actual moment.

Being too entangled in one's own thoughts, or 'thinking too much', carries a number of 'problems'...

  • It takes you away from the present moment. Nothing wrong with this, initially - only that you actually only have the present moment, and you are not fully experiencing it.

    This is why so many people have the feeling that 'life goes too quickly', because they spend most of their time living in their thoughts rather than experiencing the actuality of each moment.

  • We become insensitive to other people's feelings. If we are lost in our own thoughts we tend to take whatever the other person expresses in relation to our own thoughts and feelings, instead of being fully receiving of the other person.

    So you may be present in a conversation, but in all effect you're not present to the other person. A different kind of relationship opens when you choose to be fully present to the other person.

  • It stops us from doing. We build thought stories in our heads as to why this thing is difficult to accomplish or why that thing takes us a lot of effort. In practicality, that doesn't exist - all that exists is the action that you may or may not take.

    In fact, 'thinking too much' is one of the reasons why we procrastinate. As I explain in my handbook 'Power Over Procrastination', sometimes we think so much about what we have to do that we don't do anything at all!

Stop thinking too much - your way

There are many paths to becoming free of thought - that is, to reach a sense of awareness of your own thoughts which allows you to not be pulled by the energy of the thoughts.

For instance, you can meditate; or you can use your senses to become more present to your surroundings; or you can make focusing on your breath your priority, regardless what you are doing. These ways will bring you out of thought and into awareness.

In my experience, awareness of one's own thoughts happens gradually. You experience a few moments of awareness, then you fall into living through your thoughts again; at a later moment awareness may reappear more strongly, and even later you may fall into 'darkness' again.

You can of course accelerate the process of becoming aware of your own thoughts by choosing to spend some time every day doing any of the things I mentioned above. I love focusing on my breath, since that's something I can do anywhere, any time.

The process of disentangling from 'thinking too much' is irreversible. Once you've experienced awareness for a few moments you can be sure you will experience more and more awareness, in due time. This, of course, is good news, as among other things it allows you to stop thinking too much ;-)

"Every human has four endowments - self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change."

Stephen Covey

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