Home ART Silence the Chatter: How to Stop Overthinking and Take Back Your Life

Silence the Chatter: How to Stop Overthinking and Take Back Your Life

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Have you ever laid in bed at night, replaying every awkward moment from the day over and over in your head? Or maybe you’re constantly worrying about the future, what-if’ing every possible scenario until you drive yourself crazy? If so, then you’re probably familiar with the feeling of overthinking. It’s like a mental hamster wheel that you just can’t seem to get off of.

 

You’re not alone.

 

Overthinking is a common enemy that steals our joy and keeps us from living our best lives. But fear not! There are ways to silence the chatter and take back control of your thoughts.

 

As an artist, I work with mixed media and love experimenting with modeling paste, colors, figures, and patterns. But while creating patterns and shapes, I used to get stuck overthinking my creative decisions. Should I create dunes or waves? Both are wavy and visually interesting, yet one evokes dryness and the other evokes water. I’d harshly criticize my work, agonizing over every detail – texture, line work – and this overthinking paralyzed me. I never felt truly satisfied with my work.

 

That’s when I learned to quiet my inner critic. I learned to direct my mind to overcome my confusion and doubts, and I implemented the following tips:

 

Tip #1: Awareness is Key

The first step to overcoming overthinking is becoming aware of it. I started by paying attention to my thoughts and identifying the situations that triggered me into overthinking spirals. For example, whenever I began a new mixed-media piece, I’d get overwhelmed by options and freeze. Recognizing this pattern was the first step to breaking free.

 

Tip #2: Stop Judging

When I noticed myself overthinking, I stopped judging myself harshly. Instead, I simply observed my thoughts – the doubts, the what-ifs – without getting caught up in them. This non-judgmental approach helped me detach from the negativity and gain perspective.

 

Tip #3: Accept Your Triggers

Once I identified my triggers (feeling overwhelmed by creative choices), I stopped trying to push them away. Instead, I accepted them as part of the creative process. This acceptance helped me deal with them calmly and move forward.

 

Tip #4: Dissociate Yourself from the Situation

I used to get stuck comparing my new work to past pieces, which fueled my overthinking. I learned to separate each creation as its own unique project, allowing me to approach it with fresh eyes and avoid getting bogged down in comparisons.

 

 

Tip #5: Stop Trying to Be Normal

There’s no single “right” way to create art. I stopped trying to fit into some mold of what art “should” be and embraced my own unique style and vision. This newfound freedom unleashed a wellspring of creativity.

 

Tip #6: Accept What You Cannot Change

Some things are simply out of our control. I used to get hung up on the outcome of art shows or competitions, but I realized I can only control the quality of the work I create. Letting go of the need to control the results allowed me to focus on the joy of the creative process.

 

Tip #7: Practice Detachment

Detachment is about observing situations and emotions without getting overly attached to them. This allows you to see the bigger picture and reduces the urge to overthink every detail. Stepping back from my work allowed me to appreciate it more objectively and make adjustments with a clearer mind.

 

Tip #8: Be Grateful

Gratitude is a powerful tool. Even when facing creative challenges, I took a moment to appreciate the opportunity to create and express myself. This shift in perspective lifted my spirits and helped me approach problems with a more positive outlook.

 

Tip #9: Surrender Yourself to the Flow of Life

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is let go and trust the creative process. By letting go of the need to control every aspect of my art, I opened myself up to new ideas and unexpected inspiration. This surrender allowed me to create some of my most successful pieces.

 

Remember, overthinking is a habit, and breaking any habit takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself, and keep implementing these tips. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can enjoy the creative process and embrace your artistic voice!

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