One of the chief advantages of the human brain is the ability to think of a multitude of ideas. We call the process “brainstorming,” and for good reason: when done right, an actual flood of ideas results. We can then grab the likely looking ones and start throwing them at the problem until something sticks. But human intelligence also has its drawbacks, including a tendency to think too much. That may seem unlikely to those of us who have suffered from the occasional maverick’s preference to operate purely on instinct, but believe me, overthinking can be nearly as deadly as a surprise tax audit.
Overthinking actually comes in two forms. One is the inability to stem the tide of ideas before virtually drowning in it. In this scenario, every idea seems equally valid, and making a choice becomes impossible. The other kind of overthinking stems from an obsessive focus on one specific idea or issue. You keep reviewing it, questioning your motives, and turning it over in your mind, until it practically drives you crazy.
Here are a few ways in which you can connect with your body through your senses. You’ll naturally let go of your racing thoughts as you mindfully bring all of your attention to one of the following things for 1-2 minutes :
- Touch – Feel the breath moving in and out through your nose. Rub your hands on your clothes. Feel the bumps of your fingerprints rubbing over the texture.
- Vision – Look around ad notice how may shades of green can you see. What things that you’re looking at have a smooth texture? Bumpy texture?
- Hearing – How many sounds can you hear right now? Listen for the quietest thing that you can hear.
- Taste – Centre your awareness totally on the taste and texture of your food.
- Small – Inhale deeply and notice how many smells you are aware of.
Try one right now to see if it helps you loosen up a little.