How to Stop Overthinking

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 “As long as ego runs your life there are two ways of being unhappy, not getting what you want and getting what you want.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

How much time do we spend trying or wishing to be something that we are not? Probably a lot more than you realize. In fact, without this belief that there is a goal to be achieved, a state of being that is better than the one we are in now.

Or an alleged time or place that will bring us more happiness than the present moment will, our ego-mind barely has a leg to stand on. The incessant need to “become” something keeps our ego valid.

Think about it. You wake up in the morning, your mind is telling you are still tired, it wants to become the person who is still laying in bed. You’re taking a shower, you  get hungry, it wants to become the person who is eating something.

You’re at work, all you want to do is get off, you are preoccupied with becoming the person who is done with work for the day. You are irritated by a co-worker, you don’t like having such judgmental thoughts, so you try to become the person who is not angry. You get the point.

And this is all on a small day-to-day scale. Let’s not forget about the constant underlying thoughts we have to become richer, skinnier, happier, in love, out of a relationship etc… And let’s say we finally get what we want, or what the ego thinks it wants. Do you think the ego is satisfied?

It can’t be. The mere state of being content, means death to our ego, so it can’t stay there for long. We either find another problem within our situation to then obsess about, or we become worried that we’re not worried, which manifests into a worry all on it’s own.

All of this can only lead us to one presumption. The ego cannot truly be at peace… for long, that is. Of course it gives us the illusion of being satisfied for short periods of time. Without these small bursts of relief by getting the object of our desire we would have no reward for indulging in our “solving a problem” based thought patterns. So all day long, we convince ourselves there’s a “problem”, being bored, being lonely, being upset, being too happy, etc..

Because we believe there is a problem to be fixed, we then spend time trying to become something else, to reach a state of mind that is different (and what we believe is better) than the one we are at.

We do this by either thinking about the problem more, until we have reached some sort of resolution in our minds, or by distracting ourselves with something else to forget about it for a short while, only to repeat the whole cycle again later.

This incessant act of “becoming” stems from one faulty core belief… that “there” is better than “here”. So how do we go about transcending all these alleged “problems” that beg for our attention on a day-to-day basis and come to a point of satisfaction within our own being?

“Look for the answer inside your question.” ~ Rumi

Anytime there is a problem we can be assured that it is stemming from the illusory world of our mind. Our real self doesn’t have a problem with anything. It isn’t operating off of the belief that there is any place, state of mind or time that is any better than the present moment. It doesn’t judge anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, or joy as being a good or a bad thing, but simply sees that they just are.

They are merely states of being that come and pass. Since emotions and feelings aren’t seen as good or bad to the authentic self, they don’t need to be run away from or run to.

When we see that our mind has come up with yet another issue to obsess about, we must ask ourselves, “Who is the ‘I’ that is unsatisfied here?” Since our true self is always content, it can only be the workings of our mind that is leading us to believe that there is a problem to be solved.

Once we have identified that it is our ego and not our real self that is leading us to believe that we need to become something different (whether that be a different emotion, or achieving a different circumstance) we can then take it down further and ask ourselves what limited belief we are holding about life that is causing our ego to be discontent. We do this by asking ourselves, “Why is (insert situation here) a problem?”

incessantimage3At this point we can identify the limited belief that is the culprit, and the problems begin to solve themselves. They resolve all on their own because we are no longer buying into the belief systems that caused them in the first place.

We begin to master the art of observing the mind with all of it’s supposed fears and cravings and wants without believing the story it is telling. Without our belief in them, they become merely thoughts that pass all on their own.

Even the emotions and feelings that come up throughout our day are simply experienced and allowed to run their course without the mind fiercely holding on to them to reinforce its sense of self.

“Be uncomfortable. Let fear, insecurities, and your ego run wild in the dark unseen and raw. Let them take you to the depths of hell until they devour themselves entirely and your only option is to watch, accept, and finally love.” ~ Amy Jalapeno

incessantimage4Your ego will beg for your attention. It will desperately try and make you believe that there are emergencies, there are things to stress about, there are people and things to compare yourself to and judge yourself against. Let it.

Become so completely comfortable and accepting of these supposed problems and issues that they can no longer be considered a problem. When a problem is accepted and loved, what can our minds threaten us with?

In the complete surrender and love of all the little stories our mind is coming up with every day the ego begins to become backed into a corner. It has nowhere to turn, and no more stories to feed us that can get us to be worked up.

In the complete and utter unconditional love for ourselves and our minds, the ego will slowly begin to lose it’s hold on us. In our acceptance of where we are, who we are, and what we are doing in this exact moment, we find that there was never really a “problem” at all.

“There” was not, nor will it ever be, better than “here.”

Image source

By HikingArtist (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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