Q&A: I'm driving myself to insanity with over-thinking, self-analysis, self-doubt, self-loathing, internal misery and zero action. What the heck can I do to completely change my brain and actually enjoy my life?
For several years of my life, I feel like I could really relate to this question. But I’ll keep this answer as short & sweet as I can.
First, know that you can get out of your brain. You are suffering in your inner world, but it’s because you are unwittingly using your brain to process things it was not meant to process. Your brain is not meant to dominate your entire life. You are not your thoughts. You have other processing units, like emotions, will, wisdom, higher guidance, perhaps a “soul” (depending on your beliefs), sexuality, instinct, etc.
If you are anything like me, you cannot stop your brain from thinking a lot. It’s just what it does. And consciously trying to stop it does not work. It’s like what they say about how you cannot fix an overactive ego by trying to (because paying attention to it just feeds the ego even more).
There are two practices I’d recommend to change your brain:
1) Bring your brain under control by practicing *asking* for its input. It sounds weird, but next time you are considering something, say to yourself: “Ok brain, what do you think?” and wait for the answer. The answer is not what matters - it’s the practice of asking the question that shows the brain its proper role: the brain is your TOOL, not your master. Cultivate this practice as often as possible. It’s like building a muscle. Do it for small issues at first, then bigger issues as you feel more comfortable.
2) Cultivate an attitude of gratitude (I didn’t intend the rhyme but I’ll take it). Try writing down 5 different things you are grateful for every evening. It could be as simple as being grateful for food on the table tonight, or two eyes that work whenever you want them to. You need more balance in your brain and body. Every minute you spend thinking of things that make you feel gratitude is a minute that you are NOT over-thinking, over-analyzing, and self-loathing. It’s impossible to feel internal misery at the same moment that you are feeling gratitude. If you really want to get fast results, practice hugging yourself as well - reach down and sincerely hug your stomach area and say “thank you” out loud. It may seem ridiculous at first, but ignore that feeling.
Do these things as often as possible - they really are like building a muscle - and you will be shocked at how quickly your inner environment changes for the better, allowing you to enjoy your life. And have a little faith that your brain will fall in line with the rest of you. If you operate with this positive intention, it absolutely will.
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James L Poole
I am a holistic health therapist: Emmett Technique practitioner, aromatherapist, nutritional therapist, and Reiki healer. This is my blog about natural healing.