How to Stop Overthinking?

Do you find yourself caught in a vicious cycle of compulsive thinking? Find out what Sadhguru has to say about being stuck in the mind and how one can come out of it and become more conscious.
overthinking
 
Table of Content
1. Getting in Touch with the Source of Creation
2. Are You Out of Your Mind?
3. The Present Moment
4. Overcoming Negative Thoughts
5. Yoga for Mental Health
6. Paying Attention
7. Taking a Deep Breath
8. Reducing Stress
9. Feel Overwhelmed by Life

Sadhguru: The moment you get identified with something other than what you really are, the activity of the mind begins. You cannot stop it. Have you tried? You entertain yourself and just pass life. Do not entertain yourself. Just sit down for 24 hours and try very hard to stop the mind. You will see where it will take you. In three days you will be in madness. This is like you ate bad food, and now there is gas. It will not help if you try to hold it. You should just stop eating bad food.

You have wrong identifications and once the wrong identifications happen, the activity of the mind goes on nonstop. You cannot stop it, no matter what you do. It is just that if it is within a certain limit, you think it is normal. It is not normal. You are in socially accepted levels of madness. Everyone is the same way, so you think it is okay. But you do not know the joy of simply sitting here without a single thought on your mind. If I close myself up for four-five days, those four-five days I do not have a single thought. I do not read anything or even look out of the window. I simply sit without a single thought.

 

Suppose you started looking at a glorious sunrise, your thought disappeared for some time because something much bigger was happening. Or you got involved with something that you considered as important, at that time the thought disappeared for some time. Those have been the most beautiful moments of your life.

The source of life which is functioning within you is a far bigger phenomenon than the thought process.

If you get in touch with something bigger, the smaller things naturally evaporate. The source of life which is functioning within you is a far bigger phenomenon than the thought process. Because you never came in touch with that, this thought has become so important. Or in other words, if your thought is very important, it means that somewhere in your distorted perception, the creator’s creation is not important. Your own creation has become very important. You do not pay attention to the creator within, nor his creation, but you are busy with your own creation. Isn’t this the worst sacrilege towards the creator? Not even for a moment has your attention shifted to the source of life within you. If you know the blissfulness of just being able to simply sit here, not thinking or doing anything, just being life, then life would be very different.

Getting in Touch with the Source of Creation

When it comes to the outside world, different human beings are capable in different ways. But when it comes to the interiority, all of us are equally capable. It has not happened because you have never paid attention, not because it is difficult or unapproachable or because you are unqualified. Every human being is equally qualified for inner nature. For external work, whether you want to build a building or cook a meal, or do something else, each one of us is differently capable. But when it comes to inner realities, all of us are equally capable. It has happened to one and not happened to the other simply because one has not paid attention, that is all.

What is within you, no one can deny you except yourself.

People have come to these conclusions that spiritual process is very difficult because they keep doing the wrong things. With the outside world, you have realized that unless you do the right thing it will not work. The same is true with the inside. On a certain day, a tourist came to a village close by and asked, “How far is Isha Yoga Center?”

The local village boy said, “It is 24,996 miles.”

He said, “What! That far?”

The boy said, “Yes, the way you are going. If you turn around, it is just four miles.”

You are looking in one direction and trying to be spiritual – now it is a very long way. You have to go across the universe and come back. If you just turn around, it is right here because what you are looking for is within you, not outside of you. What is within you, no one can deny you except yourself. Can anyone deny you entry to your own interiority? If it is not happening, you must understand that you have not created the necessary willingness. There is no other reason. 

Are You Out of Your Mind?

Right now, do not try to suppress the thought. The biggest mistake has been that people have told you, “Control your mind.” Once you try to control your mind, you are finished! Let us say that right now you are practicing Shambhavi Mahamudra. If you do the process, it will create a certain distance between you and the body and between you and the mind. You do Shambhavi and simply sit – your body is here, your mind is out there and what you see as “myself” is somewhere else. Once this distinction arises, now there is no struggle with the mind.

If someone tells you, “You are out of your mind,” do not you feel insulted. It is the greatest compliment that they can give you.

Once you are out of the mind, there is no problem. If someone tells you, “You are out of your mind,” do not you feel insulted. It is the greatest compliment that they can give you. They are telling you, “You are a Buddha.” Buddha means he is out of his mind. People think being out of mind is madness. It is not madness. Madness is always of the mind. If you are out of your mind, you will be one hundred percent sane. That is the end of madness. Now you see life just the way it is.

Once you see life the way it is, not the way your mind is reflecting it, then you will see everything is just so small. What your mind can do, what the world can do, is so petty that you can just play with it to the extent that you wish. If you do not wish to, you can just withdraw. Both are conscious. There is no more compulsiveness in you. The moment you start witnessing the very source of creation, all compulsiveness in you is gone, now everything is by choice and life becomes beautiful.

Life becomes beautiful not because of what is happening but because you are choosing to do it. Nothing is beautiful or ugly. If you choose to do it and you involve yourself, everything is beautiful. If it is imposed upon you or it is compulsive, then everything is terrible. The same goes for mental activity. If this was conscious, you could have played with the mind which is quite a wonderful instrument, but because it is compulsive, it has become stressful. 

Editor's Note: Ready to dig deeper? Here is a collection of eye-opening articles and videos by Sadhguru covering different aspects of the mind. A smorgasbord of key insights, every aspect is explored at a fundamental level and provides pragmatic tools to enhance your life.

The Present Moment

In this blog, Sadhguru explains how shedding the burden of the past to move into the present moment as a completely fresh life is a significant step towards inner freedom. He narrates the story of sage Vyasa and his son Suka to illustrate that only a person who does not carry the past is truly sinless.

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Overcoming Negative Thoughts

When life situations become hard to handle and just going through the day seems like a challenge, many succumb to the vicious cycle of negative thinking. But can negative thoughts be avoided? Is it better to always look at the bright side rather than at the whole picture? Sadhguru promptly dismantles such questions by explaining that there is no such thing as positive or negative thoughts.

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Yoga for Mental Health

The human mind is a powerful instrument and when it goes out of control, it can cause enormous misery. It is unfortunate that mental illness is on the rise and in these challenging times, there seems to be no solution in sight. Approaching a delicate topic with artful tenderness, Sadhguru reveals the fragility of human sanity and explores various factors that are leading to the rise in mental illness, from culture to religion and even the chemistry of the human body.

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Paying Attention

In this poignant article, Sadhguru explains how one’s ability to function well in the world is largely a product of one’s ability to pay attention. Adding a spiritual aspect to the topic, he reveals that heightening one’s attention can open up miraculous dimensions beyond one’s normal capability. Sadhguru reveals how he consciously crafts situations for people around him so that they need to pay deeper levels of attention as a means for their spiritual growth.

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Taking a Deep Breath

The Yogic sciences have given enormous importance to the ability of breath and mind to affect each other. However, the breath can become more than just a means to manage the mind. In this article, Sadhguru expounds on the deeper aspects of breath and how it can be used as a passageway to a dimension beyond the physical. Approaching the topic from a hardcore Yogic perspective, he explains how the breath can lead one to mukti or ultimate liberation.

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Reducing Stress

Minister of State (I/C) for Information & Broadcasting and Olympic Silver medalist Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore asks Sadhguru about how youth can stay stress-free and focused during challenging times. In response, Sadhguru talks about information overload, social media, ambition, lifestyle and enhancing one’s life to a higher possibility. He clarifies that technology is not a source of stress but can be a tremendous empowerment if handled well.                     

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Feel Overwhelmed by Life

In this video, Indian actress Juhi Chawla asks Sadhguru about what to do when life overwhelms you. In his typical straight-shooting fashion, Sadhguru exclaims that every moment of life should overwhelm you! This comes as a potent reminder to step out of the straight jacket of one’s mind and experience the pure grandeur of life.

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