Today, I’m going to teach you how I stopped overthinking in just 30 minutes.
I noticed I was calmer, happier and more present throughout my day.
How did I do it?
The Effortless Meditation Method.
And in this case study, I’m going to show you exactly how I did it, step-by-step.
How I used the Effortless Meditation Method to Stop Overthinking in Just 30 Minutes
I started my meditation journey after quitting my job and as you can imagine, my life and mind was a mess during that phase of my life.
Overthinking was driving me crazy!
I didn’t know where I was going in life, what I was going to do next or even how to quiet the constant, self-degrading dialogue in my mind so I could think clearly.
I decided to start meditating and here are some of the results I got:
- I was calmer, happier and more present throughout my day.
- I was able to bring my mind to stillness and stop negative thoughts completely.
- I was able to stop overthinking, think clearly and plan my next steps with clarity.
- I found direction and purpose in life.
- I released stress and trauma that I had been holding onto for years without even being consciously aware of it.
- I released self-limiting beliefs and thought patterns that were keeping me stuck in a mode of being that no longer served me.
The 3 Steps to Using the Effortless Meditation Method to Stop Overthinking and Find Clarity in Life
There are 3 steps to use the Effortless Meditation Method to stop overthinking:
Step 1: Practice breath work
Step 2: Practice yoga postures
Most people will see this step and immediately close this page; but not you.
Because you believe me when I say you do not need to be flexible to practice yoga and you’re interested in the undeniable benefits of the practices I’m sharing with you today.
You also believe me when I say that this is a critical part of the journey to stop overthinking.
And that leaves:
Step 3: Practice yoga nidra
The reason this method works so well is because it leans on the ancient lifestyle and philosophy of Raja Yoga (The Effortless Path).
Meditation is a happening and it is the result of everything else that you do leading up to the point where you sit down to meditate.
That means that if you can understand the nature of the mind and the things that affect it, you can make the appropriate changes to be able to slip effortlessly into meditation every single time.
That said, when I started my journey, I didn’t begin by studying scriptures. I began with things I already knew. By putting them together, I was able to develop the Effortless Meditation Method that helped me stop overthinking and continues to help me stop overthinking every time I want to sit to meditate.
Let’s break down each step you need to implement the Effortless Meditation Method into your life.
Step 1: Practice breath work
Breathing techniques (or pranayama) are a part of the ancient practice of yoga and there are many, many techniques out there.
We’re going to focus on one simple technique.
To begin with, find a quiet, comfortable space with minimal distractions. The key to finding an effective space is that you need to feel safe in this space.
Remove all distractions and potential distractions from this space. That includes turning your phone off, closing your door and leaving your children, pets and family members outside.
If you’re concerned someone will walk in and disturb you, let everyone know that you’ll be meditating and you don’t want to be distracted. You could also choose a time of day when you’re least likely to be disturbed.
The idea is to remove all possible places where your mind could drift off to and keep it in the present moment.
I personally like to practice early mornings when the entire world is fast asleep. I also don’t look at my phone or check my notifications until after I’m done my morning routine.
Once you’ve found or created your space, lay out your yoga mat or something you’re comfortable practicing yoga postures on (this is the next step in the process).
Sit easily and comfortably on your mat, preferably cross-legged.
Close your eyes and take a long, slow, deep breath in, hold for a moment, and slowly release the breath.
Repeat two more times, breathing in and out through the nose.
Then, place your right hand on your belly and breathe into your belly.
As you breathe in, expand the belly in all directions. To exhale, pull the belly in toward the spine and let the breath empty out on its own.
Inhale, expand and exhale, pull the belly in.
Repeat until you can feel your body beginning to relax and settle into your mat.
If at any point the mind wanders, bring it gently back to the breath.
Then, place the left hand on the chest and breathe into just the chest this time. As you inhale, expand the chest in all directions, make yourself larger. Expand the ribcage, lift the collarbone. To exhale, pull the ribcage inwards and give your heart a little squeeze.
Continue at your own pace, keeping the awareness on the breath and the movement of the breath.
Again, if the mind wanders, just bring it gently back to the breath.
Continue until you can feel your body relaxing even more. After a few minutes, your shoulders will begin to relax downwards as the stress of the day is slowly released.
Next, we’re going to combine the two for Full Yogic Breath.
Inhale, fill the belly, expand in all directions, expand the chest, lift the collarbone. Hold for a moment. Gently pull the belly in toward the spine and let the exhalation happen all on its own.
Close your eyes and repeat 5-9 times.
At the end of your final exhale, you can relax your hands down to your knees and relax your breath.
This entire process should take you 5-10 minutes and by the end of this step, you should start to notice that this process has already helped you settle the mind and stop overthinking to some degree.
Step 2: Practice yoga postures
As I mentioned earlier, yoga postures (or asanas) have nothing to do with flexibility. In fact, flexibility is a result of practicing yoga and the more you practice, the more flexible you will become in both your body and mind.
This step is all about releasing pent-up energy from your system by starting to move and loosen up the body.
This is perhaps the most important step to stop overthinking because excess thoughts come from excess energy in the system.
Begin with joint rotations and go through every joint in the body making sure to move with the breath.
Here are some examples of joint rotations.
Neck – rotations, look up and down, left and right, tilt your head left and right.
Shoulders – rotations, bounce the shoulders up and down.
Wrists – make fists and rotate, open and close your fists.
Spine – sway side to side like a pendulum, focussing on beginning the movement at the base of the spine, get on all 4 (hands and knees) and arch and curl your back (cat-cow pose).
Hips – on all fours, lift one knee up to the side and make big circles with the knee, reverse direction and repeat with the other knee.
Knees – knee rotations.
Ankles – raise one leg up in front of you, rotate your ankle and then in the opposite direction. Repeat for the other foot.
Once you’ve gone through the entire body, shake out your body to release any remaining tension and do some warm-ups.
Here are some examples of warm-ups:
- Freestyle dance
- Jogging in place
- Squats, wide-legged squats
- Sun Salutations
- Jumping Jacks
Close the eyes, tune into your body and then move in any way that your body wants to move in.
Note that you do not need to get into any specific postures here.
Sit down and repeat this process, stretching the arms and legs in any way that feels good to you. Here, you can use gravity to help you get into the deeper muscle groups.
Lie down on your back and take a few long deep breaths.
Bend your right knee, place the foot on the ground and take the knee over to the left side. Twist your head to the right and relax in the twist.
Repeat on the other side.
Lie flat on your back, feet slightly apart and arms a little away from the body. Have the palms facing the ceiling and close your eyes.
Long deep breath in, and out.
By this point, if you have moved the body enough, you will almost completely stop overthinking and you’re ready to move onto Step 3.
Step 3: Practice yoga nidra
Yoga nidra is yogic sleep. You are not sleeping but instead taking your attention consciously through your body.
This is a powerful form of meditation that rejuvenates the body, the internal organs and allows the mind to rest.
Keeping the eyes closed, take your attention through your body, beginning with your feet and working your way up to the top of the head.
You can be as specific or as vague as you’d like, for example, you can begin with your right big toe or your right leg.
The more specific you are, the deeper relaxation you will experience.
By the time you get to the top of your head, you’ll be so relaxed that you won’t even remember where you are.
Stay in this space for as long as you’d like and once you’re ready to get up, roll over to your right side.
Take a few breaths here and then with the help of your hands, press yourself up into a seated position.
From here spend a few more minutes with your eyes closed in deep stillness and when you’re ready, you can open your eyes.
And that’s it!
That’s how to use the Effortless Meditation Method to quickly and easily stop overthinking.
By the end of this 30 minutes, you’ll have significantly less thoughts (if any), a relaxed body and a happy mind.
You will be in the perfect state to continue into meditation (dhyana) and perhaps even experience samadhi or higher states of consciousness while you’re there!
If you got some value from this post, leave a comment below and share this post with your friends and family on Facebook.
And if you’re ready to make this practice a regular part of your life so you can connect regularly with the deep stillness inside you, register for our regular Signature Yoga Classes – available in-person and online. Warning: regular practice will stop overthinking for good.