Have you often found yourself down the rabbit hole while brooding on any topic? One thought leads to another, and before you know it, a train of anxiety hits you hard.
It starts easy, with you going over your million-dollar idea of getting rich fast, that project you need to complete by Sunday, or just a trip down memory lane.
Soon you get stuck in a maze – where each road leads to one of the many consequences and eventualities that your actions define. You fixate on these alternate realities and diversity of events till the point you’ve lost hours over basically nothing! Hours of inaction leaves you with the golden goose of stress and a deep furrow in your forehead to show for it.
Dangers of Overthinking
Unnecessary and destructive thoughts, the many evils of Overthinking include-
The choking hold on your chest as you spiral down your latest anxiety attack is not uncommon to millennials, with the spotlight on mental health more than ever. Anxiety has taken to the fore as one of the most significant after effects and also cause of overthinking. To “think yourself to death” is an apt moniker now as suicide rates go up. Anxiety and Overthinking feed off each other.
Without fostering a positive approach to windfalls in wealth and career, it is easy to give into depressive thoughts as you brood more and alternate realities and past mistakes.The burden of the past only weighs heavy on our hearts. With mental diseases being brushed under the carpet, help for such individuals only arrives when it’s perhaps too late.
A favorite cousin of anxiety and depression, insomnia is that unwelcome guest you hardly seem to get rid of. If you’ve often found yourself staring into the darkness at 4 in the morning, with an intense yet futile desire to fall into a deep slumber finally- then you aren’t alone. One in four Americans develops insomnia each year. A million thoughts racing through your mind makes it impossible for it to calm down and finally enter deep sleep.
The inability to make critical decisions can stem from overthinking. Termed as “analysis paralysis,” it is due to the stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol, which build up in our body the more we overthink. The flood of stress hormones impedes personal & professional despite our best intentions and extensive planning. A million opportunities are wasted this way.
Signs of Overthinking
Stressful daydreams: We are all guilty of living in castles in the air. Overthinking stops you from making any progress to help that dream materialize. Overthinkers experience negative daydream – all possibilities of things going wrong play out in their mind.
Vulnerability: Deep insecurities bubble up to the surface thanks to brooding over thoughts. Then you will start to swing between feeling helpless as things come tumbling down and defensive when anyone lends a helping hand.
Indecisive:Overthinking or rumination is known to damage our ability to focus. What you get is a cluttered mind, and you stop moving forward. Making a choice becomes impossible, and you more often than ought to face a dead-end in that you undertake. This is merely because one spends all their thinking and none on acting.
Mood Swings: Longer and more intense periods of negativity mark the state of mind in an overthinker. It’s no surprise you go through days and even weeks of a bad mood case if you are an overthinker.
A case of the Blues:An overthinker finds their passion dwindling as they stop doing their favorite activities. A great black cloud hangs over their head as they keep replaying embarrassing moments and missed opportunities in their head.
Ennui and Existentialism: In the pursuit of a deeper meaning to life and their place on this planet, overthinkers end up disconnecting themselves from the world around them. The grand resolution to your problems will always elude you unless you can control your train of thought.
6 Tips to Combat Overthinking
Quite a few physical solutions exist for this mental affliction. We can, indeed, train our brains to stop the addiction to chronic worrying.
Switching Thoughts – What if I asked you not to imagine a cat in a top hat? You will most definitely end up imagining precisely that. Suppression of thoughts almost always backfires.
What you need is to replace that thought – think of a pink elephant, and voila, you now find yourself free from the initial winding idea. Interrupt your mind 100 times a day if you have to cultivate this habit. Come back from the fantasy world to the mundane.
Alert Senses – When you reconnect to your immediate world, you stop living in your head.
The way to begin this is by connecting with your senses – smell, hear, see, and feel all around you. Notice your environment and lead your mind towards what your five senses can take hold of.
Self-Aware – This is to recognize your brain is on overdrive each time you ruminate and immediately try to snap out of it.
Learn to identify the signs – irritability, anxiety – and cut them off the moment they appear. Go for a run around the block, switch on the TV, start talking to the person next to you – anything would do. Redirect your attention.
Reminders – Unlearning old habits is a mammoth task.
What you need is a whole repertoire of reminders to help you keep on track. Phone and computer reminders, Post-its around your house and office, peppy quotes stuck on your laptop to help you wake up from daydreams – and many more such repetitive drills could help hammer in the new habit.
Seek Flaws – Higher rates of anxiety and lower quality of life – the two great gifts of perfectionism.
Unrealistic expectations, constant comparison, and an affinity to second guess prevent perfectionists from letting go. Come to terms with chaos and pay more attention to the process rather than the outcome—sound advice for control freaks.
Mindfulness – A powerful method to channelize your energy from the present – to the now.
A plethora of smartphone apps and free online resources help you get started on this practice where one has to focus on their breathing to help calm their mind and connect to the immediate present. One can be a novice at meditation to give this habit a try. A 5-10minute daily session is enough to help break the habit of overthinking.
Try out these methods to tame that pesky inner voice. It’s time to switch to action mode.
All said and done – it is not something one can get rid of overnight. But that is all the more reason to put in our continued efforts and rid ourselves of the monster named overthinking. Next time you feel the urge to fixate on a thought – tell it to come back some other day because today you must conquer the world and more.
Life coach Mr. Abhishek Gupta aims to help people take a leap of faith into enhanced productivity. A believer in deep learning and sustained growth, Abhishek Gupta created a niche for himself in the world of self-help and public speaking. His accolades are a testament to the incredible life skills he helped people master. The lack of mentorship that hampers growth is why he started with online mentorship to mentor businesses & individuals worldwide for their faster growth. He has conducted more than 250 webinars last year itself.
A certified Hypnotherapist & an NLP Master Practitioner, Mr. Abhishek Gupta has graced several organizations as a guest speaker, featured in live shows on national TV channels, and worked with many celebrity trainers and trained numerous professionals till date.
You can get his personal excellence courses for free at his website https://aforabhishek.com/
And connect with him on https://www.instagram.com/lead_with_abhishek/
(Syndicated press content is neither written, edited or endorsed by ED Times)