Are you constantly feeling worried or anxious and unable to relax? Do you feel your worst nightmares are going to come alive? Are you always in self-doubt? Are your negative thoughts leaving you mentally exhausted and unable to focus on anything? Do you find yourself visiting your past and worried about what the future might hold for you?
Well, these are the signs that you are OVERTHINKING. Excessively thinking and continuously analyzing your thoughts and situations make it harder for you to focus on anything else, leaving you feeling ‘STUCK’, unable to move forward in life. This is how Over thinking takes control of your life. You keep reflecting on the same thoughts and situations over and over again to the point where it gets in the way of your life.
Overthinking can be of two types, one where you ruminate on past incidences and another where you are constantly worried about things that may not even occur in the future. It can be quite challenging to push these negative and self-defeating thoughts away from your mind. Sometimes Over thinking may be mistaken for stress and excessive worry about some specific circumstances. Stress can prompt you to take action. For example, stress during an examination can motivate you to make an effort to study hard and prepare well for the examination. Overthinking can create an endless cycle of stress and worry. It causes the brain to switch to ‘analyze mode’, our brain begins to cycle through various possible scenarios and attempts to predict ‘what will happen, to reduce our anxiety. Here, the problem is that to reduce anxiety it comes up with more questions, thus further creating a never-ending loop of thoughts.
Overthinking affects a person’s mood as well as the ability to make informed decisions about the future. Overthinking is associated with mental health conditions such as :
Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, as well as a social anxiety disorder.
Research shows that thinking less about a problem can help to deal with Overthinking. Some things that may help to keep negative thoughts away can be to distract yourself by engaging in something productive, challenging your thoughts to find out if they are realistic, reframing your thoughts, increasing self-awareness, accepting the situation, and being compassionate to yourself.
If you find it difficult to cope with the situation, consider reaching out for professional help.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Zehra Ahmad is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.