Stop Overthinking: Meditate And Live in the Present

Have you ever been in that situation where you think this has happened to you before? Deja vu? When you feel like you can already predict the outcome based on your past experience or someone else’s? You tend to overthink things to bridge a better future from your past and hope that this will give greater solutions to your daily dilemmas. How calculated does that sound, right?

 

The Beauty of Planning

Planning is part of our everyday lives. From deciding what time, you will wake up to go to work or school, to planning what to eat or what to wear. It is also like planning for an out-of-town trip. Before you leave, you always make sure you have your itinerary listed so you can make the most out of your trip. Same with our daily lives, we always want to make sure we make the most out of our time so we can be productive and satisfied at the same time.

Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics published in 1960, if you learn to plan all your activities continuously within 21 days, it becomes a habit. With this, planning would be just a natural thing within your system. Having a great planning skill helps you from the smallest to the biggest aspects of your life. It helps you organize your daily routine and be more productive; more tasks will surely be done.

As you plan your daily activities, you will be able to set a specific time as to how long it takes for a task to be done. As a result, you will also have extra time to rest and won’t be exhausted. Furthermore, planning is like having a map with specific directions as to how you can reach your destination or life goal. It may be a small one, like working on a project before a deadline or a big one like working your way up to have your business be more successful.

 

The Negative of Overthinking

Most of us think compulsively all of the time. We place so much attention on what happened in the past and try to think of ways to forge a better future. Each day we try to find of a better solution. We try to predict an outcome based on past experiences. How screwed up does that sound like.

 

Oh no, that happened to me before so it will happen again.

I know this will happen because I heard that someone else went through the same thing. What will he think this time?

I knew she was going to say or do that.

 

What I am writing is not diminishing the power of planning. It’s the fact that once planning has finished, stop thinking about it, just do it. Instead, for so many, we talk to ourselves too much. We talk ourselves out of taking action. Funny that this phase would be associated with madness decades ago. Now, this behaviour has become commonplace in countless lives.

It’s already been proven that the human brain is being used to create great things such as art, architecture and infrastructure. It is also being used to study, get a degree, be a professional, or anything that can be done to be successful in life. This is why our mind is such a precious tool. We must take great care of what we let into our minds.

But what do you think can happen when our thoughts eat us up and they start to get out of control?

Overthinking is a very dangerous thing that we do. It controls our emotions which leads us to create a lot of scenarios in our minds from what happened in the past or what can happen next over and over again. The “what if” question often pops up in our minds, thinking about what could have been done better and we worry too much about the future which prevents us from being in the present moment.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be making plans for our lives. What I am saying is you should stop overthinking. Whatever we do, the past can’t be changed. What we can do is bring the lessons from our past experiences so that we can start making a better decision today.

If we keep talking all the time, we don’t listen anymore. Same goes for thinking all the time. When I constantly talk to myself, I can’t hear what my mind is trying to tell me. I only have thoughts and nothing else. These thoughts are programmed in my subconscious from past events and emotions generated from them. Therefore, by thinking all of the time, I keep reaffirming the symbols of my past. By doing this, I lose my relationship with reality. This is the first basic reason for meditation.

 

Tomorrow Never Comes

The future is just a concept and it doesn’t exist. It will never exist. Like the old proverb says: “Tomorrow never comes.” Tomorrow does not exist, it will never exist. We discover this only when we stop talking to ourselves. We discover that there is no future, there is only the present moment, only the eternal now.

Jerry Spinelli wrote, “Live today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.” After careful planning, stop, learn to wait for the result, and do not overthink. Stop predicting that the outcome will be the same. Afterall, if we make mistakes today, then we learn from it today. Focus on things that are in front of you. Your energy and time are precious. For me, what I do to help me achieve this, is through meditation.

 

Why I Meditate

When you find your inner self confused, anxious, and stressed, the best and most inexpensive remedy is to meditate. Meditation greatly improves not just your mental but also physical health. It lets you train your mind to focus your attention and awareness on your present state.

Meditation doesn’t have an end goal or a purpose unlike almost everything else we do in our lives. Contrary to what is taught in regard to meditation, it doesn’t have an end goal. There is no point to get to or finality to meditation.

Playing music is a great example. We don’t play music to get to the end of the piece. Or else the fastest players would obviously be the best. We play for the journey and the journey exists while we play, not by getting to the end.

Meditation is aligned in the same manner. Through meditation we get, the ability to discover the purpose of life is in the immediate moment. If meditation is used to create and project a new future for yourself, improve your station and acquire more wealth, you have your attention on the future, this is not meditating.

Meditation is tantamount to enjoyment and fulfillment. Some of my friends ask me why I do it, and I always respond that it’s because it centres me on the now and I enjoy it. I wouldn’t be doing it daily if I find it like a task or duty. There’s no fun in that. My essential principles of meditation is peace, mindfulness and enjoyment of life.

Meditation, when done correctly, it brings your mind into the present moment. Meditation lets you dive into the eternal now. It creates a state of peace where I discover that the point of life resides in the present moment, here and now.

Meditation quiets my mind. It does not need to take a lot of my time. People that meditate seem to have more time in the day. It is because they are aware of themselves and how to optimize their strengths to their advantage.

It is not difficult to meditate. Others think that you can’t meditate when your mind is crawling with many thoughts, when in fact, when you have a lot in your mind, that’s the best time to do it. It helps you redirect your thoughts and energy so you can create a better state of mind and prevents you getting easily distracted. 

While planning may give you head start, overthinking of the possibilities may lead to failure. Focus your attention on this moment because you will never have access to this precise moment twice. Use meditation to focus your energy where it will be most useful, now.

 

“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.” — Oprah Winfrey