International Yoga Day: 6 tips for de-stressing the overthinker in you


Published: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 7:45 PM

The mind loves to drift. It will either entertain itself with daydreams, anxiety about the future or rumination over the past. Sometimes, this pattern can get out of control when an overwhelming thought takes over our mind, and that’s when we start overthinking. Here’s how you can avoid this.

By Namita Piparaiya

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1.Practise Yoga Asanas

Gentle yoga that focuses on relaxing stretches doesn’t take a lot of energy. It can be done anywhere, in any mood, and is still rewarding. Yoga creates a sense of relaxation as deep stretches release endorphins that uplift your mood. Even 5-10 minutes of stretches done while taking deep breaths can do the trick. Practising simple asanas is an excellent place to get started. It improves both your physical and psychological health.

2. Check your posture

How you position your body can have a tremendous influence on your state of mind. So, if depressive thoughts are bothering you, your posture may naturally close in, making you smaller as you slouch. If it’s fear or anxiety, then you may be fidgety or restless. It helps to pace around for a bit and then sit again with a comfortably upright spine. Back bending poses in yoga like cobra, locust and bow poses are excellent to maintain a good posture.

3. Practise Breath Awareness

Once you’ve set a good posture, you can do some deep breathing. It’s a great way to stimulate the vagus nerve, which activates the relaxation response in your body. Overthinking is often a result of an underlying stressor. Deep breathing is a simple but powerful technique that allows your body to switch from stressed to relaxed mode. So, use it often; you can practise 10-20 deep breaths. Just make sure you’re not on a full stomach.

4. Practise Gratitude

Our minds are hard-wired to think more about adverse events. So, if you have two positive experiences in a day and one negative experience, you’ll still think about the latter. That is why we need to think about the positive aspects of life consciously. It requires a little effort as it doesn’t happen naturally. Practising gratitude is one way that we can bring our focus back on the positive. A daily gratitude meditation practice can be of great help.

5. Build a Meditation Practice

Meditation is simple training of your mind, and as a bonus, it’s immensely relaxing. Just like we train our body by staying physically active, it’s essential to train our minds daily through meditation. Without meditation, we are constantly being pulled around by our senses, going wherever they take us. But with regular mindfulness practice, we can gradually develop more control over what we pay attention to or what kind of thoughts we prioritise.

6. Create a Vata-balancing Lifestyle

In Ayurveda, thoughts are governed by Vata Dosha, which is a mix of air and other elements and its imbalance causes anxiety or overthinking. An excellent way to balance Vata is to strengthen the Earth aspect of our personality. Since air is light and constantly changing, an excellent way to balance it is to create stability and structure by having a fixed routine and set meal times. Weight training, grounding activities like gardening can also help balance Vata.

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