How To Stop Thinking So Much So You Actually Chill [8 Ways]

Published by Paul Martin Harrison on

how to stop thinking too much

Have you ever wondered how to stop thinking too much?

If so you’re not alone. Most people have heads full of noise.  

Do you suffer from stress and worry?

Would life feel so much better if you just knew how to stop thinking so much all the damned time?

Reality check:

If we weren’t able to think, we would never have invented the wheel, or any of the other inventions we now take for granted.

Yeah, but:

Thinking is a lot like the power supply to your laptop. Provide the right amount of power and you’re left with a powerful tool. Deliver too much power and that tool will simply melt in heat.

Too much thinking stops your mind from functioning properly.  That’s why you need to know how to stop thinking too much.  

 


How To Stop Thinking too Much — 8 Ways

If you think too much, make use of these 8 smart strategies.

1. Remove the causes of your over-thinking

In order to know how to stop thinking too much, you need to know what causes your thoughts.  

Every thought arises for a reason.

Most of the time thoughts are caused by external information that stimulates your mind in a certain way.

  • You see your Ex’s phone number, you start to think about that time you caught that text message.
  • You see an ad for a cure for cancer, your health anxiety flairs up.

So what’s the best way to remove thoughts? Get rid of the causes.

Here are some tips to remove the causes of overthinking:

 

2. To Stop Thinking So Much, Just Clean your room 

Ever wondered how to stop thinking too much at home or in your room? Simple. Clean it. 

If your room is a complete disaster you’re much more likely to have monkey mind.

While it is truth that  mess makes you more creative [1], you can remove all those energy-busters.

Energy-busters are those little things that get you thinking along the wrong path. For instance, let’s say that like me you work at home, and you work in a private little room. But in your room / office you have a TV. And next to the TV is a clock.

One time you’re working late trying to get things done when the clock hits 7 and you know it’s time for Jeopardy. You put the TV on. And Alex Trebeck totally ruins your Zen. You lose your focus. You’re done.

Get rid of all the distractions.

In 2010 the scientific journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletins published research in which they looked at 60 women whose homes were of various levels of cleanliness. Women with homes that were unfinished or cluttered were more likely to be fatigued and depressed than women whose homes were “restful” and “restorative”.

This is actually one of the most effective ways to stop thinking too much. 

[bctt tweet=” A clean home is a clean mind.   ” username=”t_d_meditation”]

3. Practice making quick decisions and going with them

A lot of your thoughts are actually quite beneficial and practical.

Let’s say you’re a student and you’re going to go to university to study for a degree in physchology. But you don’t know where. And there are a lot of choices. You need to think about which one.

But you cant decide. So you keep on and on, thinking, thinking, thinking, until it’s too late.

You need to train your mind to make decisions in the right way. Train yourself to think for a certain amount of time, and then make the best decision and stick to it.

When you have a decision to make do this:

  • Give yourself a set amount of time to decide in.
  • Think about it in-depth. Get all your thinking out the way.
  • Make a decision.
  • Take one course of action that will cement the decision. You want it finalised so there is no more thinking to do. If you’re thinking of sending an email, for instance, you either send it at that second or you delete it and forget about it.

There are also some really easy ways to improve your decision making skills. This is one way how to stop thinking too much while still making use of your thoughts.

 

 

4. To Quickly Get Rid Of  Too Much Thinking, Just Workout

Your mind is directly related to your body.

If your body is too stagnant your mind will be too.

The best way to cure your stagnant body-mind is to exercise.

Do a form of exercise that you will find liberating.

Exercise is one of the best ways how to stop thinking too much.

Research by the University of British Columbia  shows that regular aerobic exercise strengthens the hippocampus and improves thinking skills [6].

 

 

5. To Overcome Negative Thoughts, Get Over Your Fears

When a thought is stuck in your mind it is often to do with fear.

You decided to break up with your boyfriend. But now that you’re alone you can’t help but think of the good times you spent together. You have a fear. Your fear is that you will be alone forever. So what are you going to do?

Some people (fools?) rush in. But that doesn’t actually remove your fear. Instead, you need to learn how to stop your fear.

The best way to stop fear is to practice mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy.

 

6. Mindfulness 

What is thinking?

Thinking is not paying attention to what’s happening around you and instead being caught up in your own mind.

So what is the opposite of thinking.

The opposite of thinking is having a clear mind and focusing on reality in the present moment.

And that is basically mindfulness in a nutshell.

Mindfulness is a Buddhist technique that is all about non-judgmentally focusing the mind on the present moment. And it is arguably the best way how to stop thinking too much.

One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to practice some mindful habits.

 

7. Use Insight Meditation To Understand Your Thoughts And Stop Thinking The Same Thing All The Time

Sometimes you have a thought that you have no clue why it’s in your mind.

You might have bizarre thoughts or even daydreams about random events.

Most worries are also completely pointless. Science shows that 85 percent of the things we worry about never actually happen. [4]

So why do we bother thinking and worrying so darned much to begin with?!

Actually, some of what we think and imagine is important. Science recently proved that daydreams matter, for instance.

But most thoughts are pointless.

Problem is, it is difficult to stop your mind when you don’t understand what’s going on in there. That’s why you need to gain insight into your own mind. And you can do that using this meditation for insight.

 

8. Use Tai Chi To Slow Your Thoughts Down

Want to know a really great way to stop thinking right now? Got time to kill? Then you really should definitely try Tai Chi.

Tai Chi will make you more mindful of the present moment and of your own body. In my experience it does wonders for stopping unnecessary thoughts.

Tai Chi has a wide range of positive effects on thinking skills according to Harvard [5].

Research shows that Tai Chi is more effective at improving thinking skills than regular exercise. Tai chi helps us to slow down, to learn new skills, and be more mindful of the present moment.

 

 

 

Are you thinking too much? Answer these three questions.

1. Are you able to perceive each individual thought?

Many people think so quickly and so erratically that their thoughts become a blur.

These people need to slow down.

I like to use an analogy here.

Imagine your mind is like the stock market. Those stock prices are going up and down, round and round, all day long. And you never know where they are going to end up. So you never know where to invest your money.

The mind is the same.

Your thoughts are going round and round, up and down. (the average person thinks 70000 thoughts per day). Some times those thoughts are positive and sometimes negative (though scientifically, 95% are somewhat negative). You’re mind is never still. So you never really settle enough to see what’s going on. You can’t think effectively until it all stops, until you are inwardly still.

When your mind is racing you can’t see the individual thoughts, and if you can’t actually see what it is you’re thinking, your thoughts are useless to you.

Time to slow down, Speedy Gonzalez.

 

2. Are your thoughts distracting?

If your thoughts are distracting you throughout the day, they’re preventing you from getting on and enjoying your life.

It shouldn’t be this way.

Your thoughts should guide you. They should be helpful.

Science has proven that 96% of thoughts are unhelpful (based on the average person).

If that’s you, your thoughts are harming, not helping. You may even be the victim of your own thoughts. You’re listening to your thoughts and doing what they tell you to do, even when you don’t want to.

If this is the case you need to learn to stop your thoughts from controlling you. (Vipassana will help).

 

3. Can you focus?

Take five minutes right now to close your eyes and just focus on your breathing.

Try to empty your mind. Try not to think. Just focus on your breathing.

Notice the rate at which you are experiencing thoughts.

Are your thoughts preventing you from focusing?

If so, they’re getting in your way and holding you back.  If you really can’t focus, you will probably want to read this guide to developing your focus. Trust me. It will do you wonders.

And if you cannot focus right now, don’t worry too much. You’re not alone, at least. The average human attention span is shorter than a gold-fish’s [5].

 

 

Clearly we need to do something to stop thinking too much.

And there you are. The best ways how to stop thinking too much. I really hope these help you maintain your Zen.

Leave a comment.

Learn To Meditate Properly With Our eBook  best meditation book

Paul Martin Harrison

Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation