Fighting Anxiety and Over-Thinking with Yoga Wisdom

Yoga wisdom helps manage anxiety and over-thinking

Has anxiety and over-thinking got your mind running so fast all day long that it can’t stop? Are you exhausted but unable to sleep?

These things are so common, but this is a super challenging way to live.  Yoga philosophy has been a source of wisdom for thousands of years and can offer some wisdom into why this happens.

Your Mind as a Tool

In Yoga Philosophy, our intellect (Buddhi – one of four parts of the mind) is often regarded as a cutting instrument. When we try to figure things out, what we do is analyze. From this perspective, when you analyze something, you’re cutting it into small pieces. This allows you to understand how they are structured and connected. It’s an important method that helps us understand complex things. 

That’s why we often call a person with superb intellect “sharp”. Sharp people can penetrate complexity and make connections so that they can respond. This is why we want our intellect to be sharp rather than soft or dull. Would you agree? 

This sharp tool has surely helped the human race to excel in this material world. Our everyday life has been aided by technology almost to the point of it taking us over. How many times a day are we overloaded with too much information and data overload? The analytical function of our mind is even more valuable. 

The Whole vs. The Sum of Its Parts

On the other hand, the knife is just a tool for cutting. When you cut things into smaller pieces, you can minimize the mystical part of the joy of life. The fact is that whole is more than the sum of its parts. Consider that a florist may enjoy focusing on a flower’s structure and it’s separate parts like the stigma, style, anther, etc. Alternately, a 5-year-old girl may experience the pure joy of a simple flower. A medical student can dissect a human body in an anatomy lab to the smallest pieces and learn much about the composition of the body or function of its organs. Will they ever get to know the person? 

Intellect helps explain love, connection, liveliness, and many other wonderful and mysterious parts of life. However, over-using your mind as a knife to over-think, over-analyze, and intellectualize the parts of life will not lead you to a deeper joy in life. Rather, it will lead you to become very dry, numb, and senseless without knowing the beauty and mystical joy of life. Of course, a knife is an indispensable tool in the kitchen, but you need to put it down and enjoy the food when you are done chopping. 

Anxiety and Over-Thinking is Exhausting

When anxiety and over-thinking has your mind continually working, you can get as exhausted as if you had been swinging a sharp knife all day long. Even though you’re exhausted, it feels impossible to stop. When you can’t stop, it’s as if the sharp blade is making many cuts on your own heart and on the people around you even though you didn’t intend to do so. Now you feel scared. You are swinging even faster and faster and feel you are losing control.  Doing more of the same isn’t getting you where you want to be.

This is how Yogic science explains anxiety and over-thinking. When your thoughts are running constantly, they bring fears to the surface. Over time, there’s no break from it.  

Taking a Break from Anxiety and Over-Thinking

Sharp cutting tools, like our intellect, are essential for our lives. The issue is that we’ve been educated to sharpen them and swing them faster, but we’ve never learned how to put them down and how to use them properly. They become so compulsive that it pushes your life to all different directions. 

Intellect is a very limited tool, just for cutting a few, or at most several, things. It can only handle a limited number of variables. It cannot perceive the immensity of LIFE where infinite variables and forces are intertwined. Our intellect cannot give proper justice to all the beautiful and complex things in our lives like love or joy. We can talk about this more and other aspects of our mind, but it is time for you to learn how to use this tool properly. 

Imagine yourself putting down the knife when it is not needed. You will pick it up when it is needed, but you also know how to use it better. It is like becoming a skilled swordsman who draws its sword only when needed so his cut will be precise, effortless and efficient without inflicting unnecessary wounds.  

That’s what’s needed. Let’s learn how your knife is shaped, how to have better grip and how to put it down when it is not needed Are you ready to give up anxiety and over-thinking? Are you ready for this swordsmanship? 

Palms joined.

Han Kim, LMSW helps successful mid-career professionals stop chasing things that make them feel miserable without feeling lost and exhausted. He specializes in leveraging the deep understanding of spiritual Yogic science and Buddhist psychology, while utilizing therapeutic tools like CBT and DBT. Schedule an intake appointment with him.



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