Recently I wrote a post on Ruby Wax’s Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled and it got me thinking about living in the present.
I am a deep thinker, an overthinker. I don’t make decisions lightly, nor do I ever really throw caution to the wind and do something I want to do without considering the consequences. Usually I would say this is a positive aspect of my personality, but the overthinking? Not so much.
A lot of my time is spent considering the futility of life, our existence, my deep seated fear of death (I wish I was joking) when I really think I’d be happier if I could just let all of that go. Of course, ‘just letting it go’ isn’t all that easy.
So I’ve made a list of things that might help me get out of this never-ending spiral of thought.
If there’s one thing that makes me really appreciate life and find meaning in things, it’s connecting with other people. By nature I am an introvert and I do not generally like to socialise. It takes me a long time to recharge after spending time with people but in the moments when I am socialising, it feels good.
I love the feeling of breathing in fresh air. I love the tingle on the cold on my skin or the heat in the Summer. One of my favourites things to do that helps me feel grounded is getting outside, somewhere in the countryside. Somewhere where I feel tiny. Just a small speck on the earth’s surface.
Lots of people say that what they love about running, is that it gives them time to think. What I love about running, is that it gives me time to not think. When I first started running I was useless at it, so to distract myself from the fact I was running I would scroll through song lyrics in my head. If I was feeling stressed, I would go out for a run so whilst I was running I could mull through my problems. But once my running improved I realised that this was the perfect time to not be thinking. So now when I run, I concentrate solely on my body, on my breath, on the ways my skin is getting redder, on the way my feet hit the ground.
Reading is my favourite pastime. I love the idea that you can sit down with a book and be transported somewhere else, into someone else’s world. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of self-improvement books, but sometimes I feel like they’re doing the opposite to what I want them to. I find myself getting too caught up in ‘improving’ myself and I spend too much time thinking. So this year I’m trying to get back into fiction, so instead of living in my head, I can live in someone else’s for a short while.
Some of my favourite recents reads have been some gritty thrillers like Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben and The Gift by Louise Jensen.
Do you find that you spend too much time thinking? Have you ever tried to combat that? Let me know in the comments!