Welcome to your path towards inner peace and to taming that overactive mind of yours. Hi, I’m Steven Webb, your mindfulness companion, and today we’re delving into the best meditation practices you can adopt when overthinking threatens to consume your serenity.
They say life starts at 40, but for many of us, so does the wave of uncertainty, exhaustion, and the aching feeling that we’re running a relentless race against time. But hey, who invited time to this marathon anyway? Let’s sideline it for a while and focus on what truly matters: you.
So, here are my top recommended practices to help you navigate those stormy seas of thoughts. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single (deep) breath.
Don’t underestimate the power of your breath. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to sit comfortably, close your eyes, and direct your attention to your breathing. Feel the air enter your nostrils, fill your lungs, and leave your body. Focus on that. Become aware of the life force within you, one breath at a time.
Overthinking can make us feel detached from our bodies. The body scan is a simple yet powerful practice that reconnects you with your physical presence. Start at the top of your head and move down to your toes, consciously relaxing each muscle group as you go.
When your thoughts are racing, it’s easy to become self-critical. Counteract this by cultivating feelings of love and kindness towards yourself. Repeat phrases like “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease.” Feel the warmth radiating from within and let it envelop you.
Sometimes, a mental escape can create a buffer against overthinking. Guided imagery offers that. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and imagine a serene place – a beach, a forest or even a cozy room. Feel the associated sensations and let them soothe you.
Whether it’s yoga, tai chi, or a simple walk in nature, moving mindfully can help distract your overactive mind and ground you in the present.
I know meditation might seem like a lofty mountain to climb if you’re new to it. But remember this: every master was once a beginner. Embrace your journey and don’t forget to pack a good dose of patience and humor – it will make the trip a whole lot easier.
Here’s to you finding tranquility amidst the turmoil and rediscovering yourself with every mindful breath. After all, if life is a marathon, wouldn’t it be better to enjoy the scenery along the way, instead of focusing solely on the finish line?
One of the main things about meditating is being okay with thinking. When we sit down to meditate, we realize how much the mind constantly bombards us with thoughts. That’s perfectly normal. What is not normal is to have no thinking unless you are in deep sleep or have already passed into another realm. So, one of the most important things to remember is that it’s not about closing off those thoughts.
As much as we want that peaceful moment and that tranquil state of no thinking, it’s not realistic. You’re better off running a bath and lighting some candles if that’s what you’re after. Meditation is not the answer, although it is the answer to overthinking, but not to stop thinking. So, how do you meditate if you are an overthinker? Quite simply, observe your thoughts but don’t do anything with them. Recognize that thinking is okay. You can almost be entertained.
Updated for 2023