Do you feel that your mind is always busy in a ‘concentration mode’ or vacillating like a wanderer for a considerable amount of time in a day? You are unable to stop thinking even if you wish to do so. Do you feel your continuous thinking is hampering your day-to-day life? Are you experiencing situations where your hard earned relationships are getting jeopardizing because of that? Do you feel nervous, drained out or fearful in most part of a day? If your answer is ‘Yes’ to any one of the above questions then you are a victim of ‘overthinking’. But there nothing to ‘overthink’ about ‘overthinking’. There are ways if followed can stop or lessen your habit of overthinking.
What is overthinking?
Everybody experience overthinking but for a short period of time, with a specific purpose behind that and mostly occasionally. But if it lingers, then you need to consult a psychotherapist. It would be wise for you to take professional help urgently, without wasting your time and putting your life into shocking situations. Domina Petric in her book “Emotional knots and overthinking” defines it as –“Overthinking is a loop of unproductive thoughts. Overthinking can also be considered as an excessive amount of thoughts that are unnecessary. Overthinking can be associated with anxiety.”
Why does human tend to overthink?
Overthinking is a common global phenomenon. People tend to overthink to plan for future or fear of failure, being embarrassed, or the fear of ridicule. People overthink mainly to take control of the situations. They are under a misperception that their overthinking may lead to control their situations and enable them to resolve issues and plan for the future.
Reasons for overthinking
Some of the most pertinent reasons for overthinking are:
Failure in relationships especially with nears and dears
Fear of anything including the failure
Anxiety may lead to overthinking
Improper physically and/or emotionally health
Sudden loss in business,study, career, love, or relationships
Lack of confidence may lead to overthinking on everything.
Ways to avoid overthinking?
To get rid of the habit of overthinking is not easy, but here are some ways if followed can provide you great relief against ‘overthinking’.
Stop Thinking: Take Action
Stop thinking and start taking actions on the issues/ problems on which you’re overthinking. Make up your mind and start taking small initial steps.
It takes time to be mindful. But if you can practice you can easily master it. Through this meditation technique, you would be able to focus on your current situation instead of past or future ones.
Keep Yourself Busy
Although it is not a fool-proof method it can lessen your problem of overthinking. Try to divert your attention by engaging yourself in any other activity so that the focus of attention will be changed.
You are what you Think
According to this old Indian proverb – If you think something continuously, then your mind, body and spirit act accordingly and follow your thoughts eve if it is going in wrong direction.
Accept your Problem
You need to accept the problem of overthinking in you. Then only you can act against it or divert it for a positive way of thinking.
Does overthinking have a positive side?
It can cause anxiety, restrict your actions, and make you unproductive and mentally sick. It would hinder in your power of decision making, logical thinking, and cognitive ability. Overthinking is mostly bad but it has a positive angle as well. We know that thinking is a great gift to mankind. Some people overthink on a particular aspect to create/ produce something. Scientists, great thinkers, philosophers, spiritual Gurus…all of them overthink…but they do that purposefully, with planning, and following logically coherent steps. Lindsay Homes, the Senior Wellness Editor at Huffpost opines that “Overthinkers may be sometimes smarter ad more creative than others.”
Overthinking has its good and bad sides. But people mostly overthink over fear, anxiety, or on something which his not practical. You should streamline your thought process if you are thinking positively, purposefully, and pointedly, If the condition is out of control and you are unable to stop thinking on negative thoughts or useless thoughts then follow some of the ways give above. In extreme situation seeing a psychotherapist is advisable.