Overthinking - A Bane Or A Boon??

  • 4 min read

Overthinking is something that we all indulge in at some point of time, Isn't it ? Let's understand what overthinking is about.

What is overthinking in layman's term? It is when we think too much or too long about a particular topic of thing (person, event, issues or any other scenario).

At every stage of life we have a set of problems, worries, apprehensions, fears where we also might have to take important decisions, calls or choose alternatives. So generally the array of thoughts that is created during such time makes us tensed, stressed out and anxious. Some amount of anxiety or stress is a positive one as it gives us a kick start and keeps us on track always alert. Due to constant overthinking, a few thoughts become over powering, excessive, intrusive , unwanted thoughts and even disruptive. It is important to stop, rewind, do a self check and make efforts to channelise such thoughts.

Now let us look at the brighter side and see how can overthinking can also prove beneficial in our daily life:

  • Sometimes we need to take important decisions in life, when we are an over thinker we tend to analyse all perspectives and avoid taking any Impulsive decisions.
  • Continuous and focussed thinking on a subject leads to increase in our Creativity and Idea Generation.
  • When we need to take decisions, if we are unsure, we involve others by seeking their opinion- this leads to Collaboration of various Perspective.
  • Overthinking does not necessarily mean negative thoughts. It also helps to Pave our way through the Process We are involved in.
  • One never knows when would life throw a GOOGLY in such circumstances overthinking also helps us to be prepared for the worst consequences.
  • In simple words, We are Mindful and Conscious of our actions since we weigh all of them.

Let see some simple real life examples :

  • A corporate person may indulge in overthinking, a day before because a day after he has a big presentation to make where he needs to put forth his ideas.
  • An actor or a performer may have to overthink to get into the skin of the character he is enacting out
  • An artist may have to overthink which would help him to create a masterpiece and add nuances to his painting.
  • A lawyer may have to overthink when he needs to see how can he defend his client in best possible way in a complicated case.

Now what if there is too much of it, that isn't good right ? So let me take your through the flip side of it ??

  • Overthinking may lead to Procrastination, in this way we may lose opportunities. Some opportunities need to grabbed quickly, else we might end up losing it.
  • Problem arises particularly when overthinking consists of negative thoughts which might lead to negative emotions. This will not help us in any way, rather make us dysfunctional
  • Thoughts irrespective of whether they are constructive or destructive, when a person overthinks or over analyses then its going to make him or her more anxious and stressed out and in some cases also lead to Self doubt
  • When we always over think do we ever live in the moment. We are either stuck to our past and feel guilty or in our future thinking about things that going to happen. Do we enjoy our present ?

After having talked about all pros and cons, we should also understand where to draw the line and use to the extent that can benefit us and add to our creative energy. How to make this habit productive and constructive ? What can be done ?

  • Firstly, Why strive for perfection always? End of the day there would be something that would be incomplete.
  • Secondly, Why do we try to please everyone? End of the day there would be some people left unhappy
  • Thirdly, Why do we hold on to grudges to events that happened.etc etc. End of Life is too short lived.
  • Fourthly even if are planning something really important, let us set a timer so that beyond that we put our thinking caps off.
  • Fifthly if we are thinking about what has happened ? let us learn how not to do and what is our takeaway from something that has happened in past. Instead of holding on to regret and guilt.
  • Sixthly we cant avoid negative thought, it does come. But don't let it sit there. It is going to eat away all the treasure of good and happy things your mind has gathered over years. Negative thoughts are like Pests.
  • Lastly we forget to live in our present. As rightly said by Louise L Hay that "Point of Power is Only in the Present Moment"

It is good to be practical and realistic but is it really good to be second guessing all our decisions and be unsure of what we do ?? When we fall prey to overthinking, the habit becomes vicious. The good news is that we can get rid of this habit of overthinking if we make a conscious effort. We are mindful of our actions and concentrate fully on what we are going to do or rather want to do. As we approach end of another year, it is the time to retrospect and mindful of your own thought process, identify what is good for a Healthy Mind !

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Author / Speaker  →

Freelance Clinical psychologist and on call consultant psychologist for Athulya senior care. Expert Panelist for online mental health portals for PARENTUNE and RYTLIFE
A mental wellness therapist/ counsellor/ psychologist. I believe in maintaining healthy mind enriched with healthy postive thoughts.
* Disclaimer - The article reflects the perspective and opinion of the author only, and not of 'thebulletinbox.com'. For more information, please visit our terms & conditions.

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