Yoganda

How to stop overthinking during the lockdown to

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Can’t stop overthinking? The lockdown might increase this state of mind, but there are great ways to turn this time into an inner evolution.

It’s been a month and more of lockdown, it feels like we’ve got used to the strict measures that almost all the countries in the world have taken to contain the spread of the Covid19 epidemic (have you noticed that this is the only time all countries agreed to something, ever?).
However, it’s important not to get overwhelmed by the situation and learn how to stop overthinking. Being alone at home, can trigger thoughts and fears, it’s normal, but how can we keep a balanced state of mind and accept this situation without getting mad and paranoid?

There’s a beautiful sutra that recites ‘Complete surrendering to the higher reality”. It’s not possible to control certain things, people, situations and, sometimes, surrendering to it-is-what-it-is it’s the only action we can take.
We are all part of something bigger and divine. If the virus is nature’s way to send us a message, we must accept it. Either we like it or not, this is the situation right now, and we don’t have a choice.
We have a choice, actually: we can choose to keep our mind balanced and use this time alone to get creative and do something that helps to stop overthinking.
Too easy to say, too hard to do, told me a friend.
Let me answer with a quote ‘You have two choices: to control your mind or let your mind control you.
In life, nothing is permanent, all situations change constantly but we can’t let them put us down. The sooner we react and accept the situation, the better it is for our mental and physical well-being.

What can I do to stop overthinking?

Here a few tips I’ve tried myself during this month of lockdown:

START A HOBBY

I bet at least on time you said I’d start a hobby if I’d have time. Now, there’s plenty of time! And what is better than spending this time to focus on something you’ve never had time for before?
I’ve recently rediscovered two activities I liked very much when a was a child: watercolour painting and hula hoop. I’ve decided a day of the week in which I only practice creative hobbies, and since I’ve started, my mind is more relaxed, less chatting and my skills are improving. Worth a try! Pick anything you enjoyed the most and start! It can be singing, playing music, sewing, cooking, really, anything. Get creative and free your mind.

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

Like above, you’ve plenty of time! Learning a new language is a great way to develop mental flexibility, to improve memory, increase brain power, and enhances your networking skills to communicate with the world.
Get this opportunity to join an online language course, or download a free language app to learn a new language or brush up your high school language books. As I leave in the Netherlands, I am learning Dutch. It’s not an easy one, I tell you.

DECLUTTERING

Omitting if it is a real term, remove unnecessary items, create space, in a word: decluttering. At a psychological level, it helps to feel calmer, because it is a way to practice self-care, creates a sense of confidence, as you feel efficient and competent. Decluttering helps you take control of your home, your life.
You might also find a forgotten treasure. My wardrobe just gave me back my watercolours kit!

BREATH

One of the 8 limbs of yoga is pranayama, control of the breath. If we forget how to breathe properly, we lose contact with our bodies, with our inner selves. Ancients texts write that the activity of the mind moves with the quality of the breath.
Take 5 minutes before bedtime to breathe in and out with awareness. Breathing slow, sending the breath down, into the belly. Noticing the movement of the belly. It’s a great relaxing breathing technique that you can practice directly in the bed. Improves the quality of sleep. Tested!

PRACTICE YOGA

There wouldn’t be enough space to explain why yoga is beneficial, for everyone. When I started practicing yoga I was going through hard times, and it changed my life. Whenever you feel anxious, depressed, low in power try yoga! It’s a great way to keep your mind steady and balanced, as well as your body fit and healthy. You don’t need much, 10-15 minutes a day, and you will notice its magic. Grab a towel, a rug or, even better, a yoga mat and check out any beginners’ online class. Plenty of good quality content, and often for free! Check my YouTube channel.

CALL A FRIEND

One of my favourite and inspiring women, Audrey Hepburn, said: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Whatever happens, true friends are there. Although you are not talking every day, not even for months, once you need to be cheered up call your besties! Have you ever tried an online happy hour on WhatsApp? Or toast with your parents and family on the other side of the world? Very heartwarming.

READ A BOOK

Reading is important to stop overthinking because it keeps our minds active and smarter. It also helps develop our thoughts, providing knowledge. Books make us learn and understand. Not to mention the vocabulary expansion and thinking skills we develop. Since I was a kid, I liked reading very much. I could read up to 2-3 books per month, but as adult life started to change my habits, my reading time dropped dramatically. I bought many books during my travels, and still didn’t have the time to start one! I know it’s not an excuse, but since I’ve started teaching yoga, I read only about, guess what? For this reason, I’ve decided to give myself a little challenge during this lockdown and read at least two books in a month not related to yoga.
I’ve almost finished the second! Reading is like yoga, it’s addictive and helps to stop overthinking.

Well, these are my tricks to stop overthinking and keep at pace my monkey mind, what are yours? How are you spending these days during lockdown at home?

Sending you all my blessings. Stay safe.
Jolanda

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