FRACTAL ENLIGHTENMENT: “5 Signs You are Complicating Your Life”

Life is complicated. Relationships are complicated. Friendships are complicated. Life choices are complicated. Or are they? Is it possible that our excessive need to complicate life is just merely giving us something to do?

In our utter and complete fear of being bored are we perhaps overcomplicating every single thing in our life for the mere fact that it just gives us something to think about incessantly, or to complain about to our friends, or to distract ourselves from ourselves?

Could it be that our fragile little egos claim they want happiness, and inner peace, and simplicity from life situations but deep down are deathly afraid of this because in order to have true happiness and simple joy and uncomplicated relationships with others would mean the death of a majority of the jibber-jabber mind chatter that our ego spews out all day long?

Without over-thinking, worrying, complaining, and complicating everything to the point that we overanalyze every single situation the ego would lose 90% of its hold on us.

Our true self thrives in simplicity, in fact it is simplicity. It knows that anything outside of simplicity is merely our ego or false self begging for our attention.

As long as it has our attention we won’t pay attention to what is real and true… which is that we don’t need to spend so much time thinking about how we can go about achieving happiness. We already are happiness. We don’t need to spend all our time trying to get love from another person, we already are love.

As long as the ego can overcomplicate every situation to the point that we don’t see that all is well and perfect, it has already won. But the reality of the situation is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

As Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Here are five ways you may be making your life more complicated than it needs to be:

1) You live in your head too much

Our minds are constantly trying to make sense of everything. They are going over every single “what if?”, “why did they do that?”, “what does this all mean?” so much so that they forget that all of life is happening in the present moment.

Literally only this present moment exists. So mulling over past conversations, or stressing about future events literally just drives us mad. We spend hours playing out scenarios in our head that have never happened and may or may not ever happen. We overthink everything that we are completely disconnected from what is real and the beauty of experiencing the present moment when it actually happens… in the present moment.

2) You want to make everyone happy all the time

Trying to please everyone might work every once in a while, but most of the time it will be an impossible feat. In order to please one person, it is inevitable that you will upset another person to some extent.

There will be times when everyone in your life is going to have their own opinion on how you should live yours, so trying to satisfy them all would be undoable. How about you just do what makes you happy?

Yes some people will have something to say, or may be disappointed, but this is your life right? Once people in your life catch on that you have made yourself your first priority, they will be less inclined to ask you to go out of your way just to please them.

Also, they won’t be so shocked when you tell them “no” instead of desperately trying to prevent them from being upset by just doing exactly what they tell you to.

3) You believe your perception of life is the absolute truth

Here’s a secret: Your perception does not equal truth, it only means just that… YOUR perception. So the cashier at the store isn’t necessarily a rude witch, just because you perceived her that way. Did it occur to you that maybe she is dealing with a problem in her personal life? And the girl/guy you went on a date with isn’t necessarily an insensitive jerk.

Maybe they’ve had a really difficult childhood and they don’t know how to open up to people very easily. Regardless of the situation, we must realize that there are always two sides to every coin.

When we stop convincing ourselves and others that we know exactly what is going on in other people’s heads and why they act the way they do, we stop wasting so much time judging, complaining and criticizing others.

We simply see things and people as they are, without imposing our own little story on them which may or may not be anywhere near the actual truth.

4) You don’t trust that there is a higher intelligence at work

Whether you call it the universe, or God, or Source, or the all that is, there is a force that is working behind the scenes in every single aspect of our lives. There is never a moment that we are separate from its presence because in all actuality we come from it, meaning we ARE it, just a tiny little slice of it.

Our feeble little minds can’t comprehend this, so because of that we try to make our own plans and agendas on how things in our life will go. News flash: things rarely go the way we thought they would, right?

This is because the higher intelligence knows what’s best for us, even though we are convinced we know. The higher intelligence sees a bigger picture, it knows the reason your car wouldn’t start today was because there was going to be huge collision on the highway right when you would have been driving on it.

Accept and surrender to whatever it brings to you or brings you to. It is always giving you exactly what you need in any given moment, your only assignment is to: TRUST

5) You’re not honest with yourself

This is a big one and actually a lot harder than it seems mainly because so many of us hide ourselves from ourselves so much that we don’t even know what the truth is anymore. Believe it or not a lot of people are comfortable in their misery. They have become so accustomed to it that the mere thought of not having something to be miserable about sounds like the scariest thing ever. So they fool themselves.
admire the simple beauty in life
They rationalize, justify, and make excuses of why they still need to work at the job that they feel sucks the soul out of them, or they need to continue to cling on to an addiction of whatever the object of their desire is.

As long as they can evade actually being honest with themselves, which 9 times out of 10 is that they are afraid, they can stay comfortably unhappy. This for some reason sounds better than simply admitting that whoever or whatever or wherever is never going to bring them any closer to the happiness they claim they want.

Life really doesn’t need to be hard. In fact, when we start to simplify it we realize that the simple life is where true joy and happiness actually lives. We take things and people at face value. We trust the process of life and don’t overanalyze everyone and everything. So, if you do anything, do this… keep it simple.

 

~via FractalEnlightenment.com

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DR. KELLY NEFF: “8 Ways To Stop Over-Thinking And Find Peace In The Present Moment”

Overthinking (3)

We all do our best to stay positive, but occasionally we can slip into negative thinking patterns that can wreak havoc on our lives. We might worry about our past mistakes or current stresses, and how these could lead to negative outcomes in the future. We might obsess about or over-analyze regular experiences and interactions, reading into them things that aren’t actually there. We might find that as soon as one bad thing happens, we associate it with all the other bad things that have happened in our lives and begin to feel miserable. We might feel anxious in the present, having a hard time getting out of our own heads as we worry and obsess about the things that could go wrong.

If you find yourself in this place frequently, you are what psychologists call a ruminator, or, an over-thinker, and this way of thinking can be harmful to your health. Psychologists have found that over-thinking can be detrimental to human performance, and can lead to anxiety and depression, especially in women, who are much more likely than men to ruminate on stress and disappointments than men.

As a psychologist and recovering over-thinker myself, I have a lot of compassion for people who end up in these spiraling negative thought patterns. Many over-thinkers are lovely, intelligent, nurturing people who value relationships and care deeply for the people in their lives. Unfortunately, they often push away the very people that they are worrying about or seeking support and reassurance from, because they can become obsessive, anxious, depressed, negative and difficult to be around. This is not a switch in the brain that can be easily flipped off, but rather, a pattern from which it requires dedication and work to recover. Based on research in psychology and my personal experiences, here is my advice for how to stop over-thinking and find peace in the present moment:

1) Accept that You Have a Problem with Over-Thinking.

The first step to healing is acknowledging that you have a problem. If you feel like you can’t get out of your own head and over-thinking is stopping you from living a happy life, making decisions, getting things done, or forming meaningful relationships, then you have a problem. If you find yourself spiraling into negativity and depression when a bad thing happens, you have a problem. If your anxiety about the future is stopping you from enjoying the present, you have a problem. Burying your head in the sand or denying this reality will only make the situation worse. If you are not sure if you have a problem, ask your friends and loved ones to be honest with you, because they are usually the ones who will see it even if you cannot.

2) Forgive Yourself: Our Brains are Hardwired This Way

Once you can admit that you are an over-thinker, forgive yourself, because the brain is actually wired to make over-thinking a natural tendency. According to Psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, the leading expert in this field, “the organization of our brains sets us up for over-thinking” because our thoughts and memories are intrinsically woven together, not compartmentalized. So when stressors are triggered or you get into a bad mood, it can unlock a ‘cascade’ of racing negative thoughts that have nothing to do with the original trigger for the bad mood. Nolen-Hoeksema gives the example of “when poor job performance causes you to think about your aunt who died last year.”

Furthermore, when something bad happens or someone is feeling negative, they are more likely to think negative things and also see connections (that may not actually exist) between all the bad events that have happened in their lives. The more frequently this happens, the more likely the individual is to engage in this over-thinking pattern in the future.

While the brain might be wired to make these associations, once you become aware you can begin to solve the problem.

3) Breathe More

If our brains are wired in this ‘interconnected spider web’ where one bad event can trigger a tidal wave of negative thought associations, how can we break this pattern?

The first and easiest thing you can do is BREATHE. Breathing will relax you, calm you, connect you to the present moment, and ground you to Mother Earth. It sounds so simple but often when our mind starts to race to bad places, we become manic and frantic when what we need to do is relax the body and mind.

The breathing technique that works for me involves lying down and taking a two-second long deep inhalation in through the nose, followed by a four-second long exhalation out through the mouth. This breathing pattern increases the CO2 in the bloodstream, which can relax the body and calm the adrenal system’s response to the obsessive thoughts. Do this for 10 minutes or until the excessive thinking slows down.

4) Talk Less

So many over-thinkers, especially those of us of the female persuasion, can’t help but want to ‘talk it out’ when we are feeling stressed and worried. While talking about the worries can sometimes help, it usually will make things worse, especially if the person you are talking to is also an over-thinker, and you spend the entire time over-analyzing and dissecting every detail of every negative problem in your lives. You might end up working yourself up into a frenzy of negativity and feeling even more upset after the conversation.

This type of co-rumination, where two ruminators get together to over-think about their lives together, can lead both people deeper into negativity and stress. For example, research has uncovered an association between co-rumination amongst female friends and increases in the stress hormone cortisol.

If you really feel the need to express your issues, you can always write them down, to clear them out of your mind and realize that your concerns might sound silly when you read them back to yourself. This type of free-association journaling has been incredibly beneficial for me.

5) Get Physical and Get Busy

What should you do instead of talking? Well, you already know to breathe to calm the body and mind, but sometimes you just want to let the energy out! In this case it can be incredibly beneficial to do something physical, whether it is going for a brisk walk, playing with a pet or children, doing yoga, playing sports, swimming, or running. Activities that are both mentally and physically engrossing are the best, because they require enough absorption to pull you out of obsessive thinking patterns and into a state of flow.

In addition to physical exercises, engrossing activities that stimulate the brain can also be effective for redirecting obsessive thought patterns. Playing cards, learning a language, or playing all different types of games can be great diversions or interrupters of these thoughts. Or you could always learn a new hobby, make art, draw, paint or take up crafting, such as making jewelry, clothes, dream catchers, hair extensions, really anything, You might actually discover a hidden talent you never knew you had, or be able to start a new career or meet new people as a result.

6) Practice Mindfulness

One of the big things that over-thinkers struggle with is the ability to live in the present moment. So consumed by the failures of the past and the worries over the future, the present moment does not get the attention and love it deserves. Lao Tzu said that “if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present.” So how can we live in peace in the present moment?

Well, we have already discussed some of the strategies that can help you quiet the mind and ground yourself to present moment, including breathing, talking less, getting physical and doing other activities that help redirect attention and bring the mind into flow. But one of the best things you can possibly do is practice mindfulness, a form of meditation where you focus on the present moment without judgment. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in, you acknowledge them, and then let them go, energetically releasing them and clearing your space. I strongly recommend learning mindful meditation techniques such as Transcendental Meditation, or if you are having trouble doing it yourself, seeking counseling from someone who practices Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

7)   Surrender to the Universe

When we worry, we are essentially hoping to control the flow of life because we are attached to the outcome of a situation. We want things to happen a certain way, and we are terrified that things could go wrong or that bad things could happen. In reality, we have little to no control over the unfolding of events in life, at least not from the conscious standpoint that our worrying will directly impact the outcome in the way we want. So, we can worry and obsess, or we can accept all that IS and let go of our attachment to the outcomes. The universe is way older and wiser than us, and instead of obsessively worrying, we can let go of control and with love and trust, surrender to the universe.

Surrender does not mean giving up; It just means you are willing to go with the flow of the current, instead of trying to swim against it and getting repeatedly bashed into the rocks. Surrender is a form of release and a form of peace, because it means you are willing to trust that everything will work out as it is supposed to: Trust that everything happens in its proper time and place and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Even the concept of worrying about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ outcomes is flawed from this perspective and nothing more than a symptom of duality, which is only an illusion. As you zoom out to the grand scheme of the universe, there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – it is all ONE, two sides of the same coin.

8)   Remember, Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

Even though I just said that ‘we have no control over the unfolding of events in life,’ and this is true at least from the part of the conscious mind and its ability to dictate events, our thoughts do energetically shape and create our reality over time. Like attracts like, and so the more you worry about something, the more you will begin to attract exactly the energy you are worried about! If you still haven’t seen the wonderful online series Spirit Science, I strongly recommend you view Episode 1, which does an excellent job explaining how our thoughts create our reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmN2RL4VJsE

 

We must be mindful of our thoughts because our thoughts have power, more than we realize. If you obsessively fear losing your job, you are actually INCREASING the likelihood of getting fired, not decreasing it. Same if you are worrying about contracting a life-threatening disease or medical condition: The more energy you send in that direction, the more likely you are to unknowingly give permission to your body to manifest this condition.

Your thoughts and feelings will energetically create your life, which is why my life partner, sound healer Jimmy Ohm always says, “Worrying is a misuse of creative energy.” Do you want to create a happy life, living at peace in the moment? If so, you have all of the tools to make this a reality by being mindful and present in your thoughts. You also have all of the tools to create a life of worry and negativity, if you continue to over-think and obsess about negative events. The choice is yours and I lovingly hope that you choose wisely. Blessings and Love!

Authors Note: Do you agree? Are you an over-thinker or recovering over-thinker? Have these tips worked for you? What other suggestions can you make to break this cycle? I would love to hear from you on Facebook!

About the author:
Dr. Kelly Neff is a renowned psychologist, author, founder of The Lucid Planet and the host of the hit new show, Lucid Planet Radio. She has reached millions of people with her articles on psychology, transformation, and wellness, which have been featured on websites like The Mind Unleashed, Mind Body Green, My Tiny Secrets, and now, The Lucid Planet. Before she became a full-time author, Dr. Neff spent seven years as a psychology professor where she helped thousands of students learn about health, relationships, love and sexuality, and co-authored the groundbreaking manual in her field, Teaching Psychology Online. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Neff is an avid participant in the visionary art, music and culture scene in her home state of Colorado and beyond. You might find her traveling the globe to give workshops, speeches and do research at transformational festivals. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Light and Love!

~viaBodyMindSoulSpirit.com