Can’t get out of your head? Here’s how to breathe, relax and feel better almost instantly.
Have you ever been stuck in your head playing out the worst-case scenario? Even though I’ve taught yoga and meditation for 20 years, I still have to actively manage my mischievous mind.
Not long ago, I had a mammogram. The next day I received a message from my primary: “There is an issue with your scan.” I called back, but it was after hours on a Friday. Within minutes, I received a text confirming an appointment with the Oncology Unit. I thought, “Am I dying? They scheduled it and didn’t even wait to talk to me!”
The entire weekend, my mind was racing: “I need to film a bunch of yoga flows before I lose my hair.” “I wonder if I can cut my hair and make a wig out of it.” “Do I have enough life insurance?” “What is my bucket list?” I kept praying that I wouldn’t die. The runaway train of thoughts caused my stress level to soar, which made it so I couldn’t sleep. I woke up nauseous, which gave me “evidence” something was wrong. There was no way to be present with my family. It was a downward vicious spiral. Can you relate?
On Monday morning, I called the Oncology Unit. The woman said, “I see Kennedy scheduled but it’s not you.” It dawned on me that it could be an 87-year-old relative since I manage her appointments. It was! She had cancer a few years ago and it was her annual checkup. The timing was a total coincidence. Extremely grateful, I went in for the new scans, and all was fine.
Critical thinking is an important skill to help you plan systematically, solve problems and better express yourself. In our world of “fake news” and AI-generated everything, the ability to question if something is true, spot your own biases, gather evidence and make more informed decisions is, well, critical.
However, if you realize you’ve been thinking about the same issue over and over again without taking action, you may be overthinking — spinning into a worrying “what-if” cycle like in my case or falling down the rabbit hole of rumination. In a 2021 study published in World Psychiatry, rumination was defined as “a process of repetitive negative thinking,” and was found to increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
To learn why the quickest way to get out of your mind is to get into your body, from AARP, CLICK HERE.