Sometimes, it happens that when you are overtired or feel under stress, anything can seem like it’s true. Anxiety and unrealistic thinking sets in, which causes you to over-examine every detail in your life and suddenly, every day life seems strenuous and exhausting. While these thoughts may seem counterproductive and difficult to handle, attributing them to the category of “not true” is important in order to distinguish them from ideas that may be more beneficial. Life may seem like it is out of your control when you are entranced under maladaptive thinking, but there are definitely ways to help you move through this negative energy in a strong, mature way!

In retrospect, an overactive imagination has another extreme where in place of paranoia, idealism clouds your thinking. Perhaps you hold a completely different view of a situation than someone else does, one that does not actually fit with the reality of the situation. This is a common occurrence in the internet age, as you can almost build up a whole relationship through text messaging or Facebook. This “false” closeness, while it may be genuine if combined with one-to-one interaction in person, can sometimes make it as seem as if you know a person better than you actually do. To think of it in another way, idealism can occur is if your penchant for optimism is not balanced with a grounded knowledge of what is going on around you. Keeping a level head is an invaluable way to avoid overactive thoughts, since either extreme can cause real damage if you don’t have a realistic hold on life.

We often convince ourselves of unrealistic ideas when our minds are on overdrive because the act of holding onto a tangible idea, no matter how far-fetched, makes us feel like we are in control of the situation. What we think is logical under extreme strain or exhaustion is usually not something we would think if we were neutral and well-balanced. In order to combat these extravagant thoughts, adding a bit of balance to one’s life can help keep everything in perspective. If you try not to think of ideas or situations in extremes, you will not be overly disappointed if in the end, things don’t go your way. Keeping a healthy optimism and lack of obsession in one’s life is important in order to deflect negative or positive energy that might put you off-balance in the end.

Some other tips for taming an overactive mind:

  • Listen to your favorite music to ground your thinking. Sometimes, all you need is an old jam to rekindle a good mood and lyrics can sometimes spawn ideas that click everything into place.
  • Keep yourself busy with your daily life. You won’t have time to over-think when you’re in the zone of productivity!
  • Be communicative with others IN PERSON. This is important for overly worrisome and idealistic people, as talking with people face-to-face more strongly cements your relationship than a computer or phone screen ever will. Also, if something is bothering you, speak up! People who care about you will listen and give you advice if needed.
  • Live life like it’s your last day on earth. Don’t waste your time worrying or living your life in your head! Your energy can be sapped so easily if you keep rehashing old events and drowning in the past. Look toward the future when you are down and DREAM.
  • Break down the barriers of your mind through meditation. Sometimes all you need to do is stop thinking and just focus on your own breathing. Realizing a moment that you are not paralyzed by your thoughts is the best feeling ever and can change your life from the moment you start knocking down the walls!

Keeping your life calm and free of maladaptive thinking can be a difficult task, but in the end, life is sweeter when it can be enjoyed through a calmer frame of mind! While having an imagination is a very important and creative part of being human, there is a difference between a balanced perspective on reality versus fantasy and not seeing what is truly in front of you. When your mind is at ease and focused, you are able to go through life with a stronger sense of self than if you are anxious or overly dreamy. If in the end, you decide to center yourself and find the happy medium between imagination and reality, you might eventually find that your dreams are not so far-fetched after all! It all has to do with perspective and finding your true place in the world through a balanced perspective.