Does each vehicle on the road or every individual on the bus represent a thought in your mind, all striving to reach their destinations? You may find yourself trying to create a whole life story about that person. You question what their struggles are, whether they are happy or sad, and if they have any regrets. If they were to arrive one by one, the system would flow smoothly. However, when they come together, doorways get jammed, and the entire network collapses.
Navigating through this entanglement of thoughts sets us back in our jobs, hobbies, and relationships. It turns life, which should be a world of opportunities, into a chaotic scramble.
Fortunately, we are not alone in this struggle. Many people struggle with a form of overthinking, often regarded as a 'disorder'. First, let us define the problem. Overthinking is the act of over-analyzing a topic or problem to the point that it interferes with daily life.
What causes overthinking?
Overthinking can be caused by different factors, but some of the most common ones are:
1. Constantly focusing on negative thoughts (rumination):
Rumination involves repeatedly thinking about negative emotions and experiences. It includes things like dwelling on past mistakes, going over arguments in your head, or continuously thinking about unhappy events. This habit of rumination is associated with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also make problem-solving harder and hinder your ability to focus on other tasks. Rumination creates a cycle of negative thoughts that can be harmful.
2. Striving for unattainable standards (perfectionism):
Perfectionism occurs when someone consistently strives to be flawless, setting extremely high standards for themselves. They may find it challenging to accept compliments and struggle to relax or enjoy their accomplishments because they are constantly focused on the next goal.
3. Fearing the worst will happen (worry):
Worry and fear are natural emotions that help us deal with potential dangers. However, when worry becomes chronic, it can disrupt our daily lives. Excessive worriers tend to imagine the worst possible outcomes and dwell on negative possibilities. This can lead to anxiety, despair, and difficulty concentrating or finding enjoyment in activities. Fear, on the other hand, is typically more specific to a particular threat and is a natural response to protect ourselves. But when fear becomes excessive, it can escalate into anxiety or phobias.
SIDE EFFECTS OF BEING AN OVERTHINKER
When we let overthinking take control, it can mess with every aspect of our lives - work, school, relationships, and even the things we love doing.
Imagine this: overthinkers get so caught up in analyzing problems that they're never fully present in their own lives. Instead, they live in a world of their own making, filled with worries and anxieties. They might dwell on past mistakes, always thinking about what they "should have done," or they constantly worry about what might go wrong in the future.
Overthinkers often become fixated on making the "right choice," which ends up trapping them in a state of being stuck and unable to make decisions. This can lead to procrastination, even when it comes to the smallest of things.
All this mental turmoil makes it incredibly hard for them to relax and switch off. Their minds are constantly racing, making it difficult to find peace and quiet.
HOW TO STOP OVERTHINKING?
Here are 5 steps to stop you from overthinking:
1. Start by becoming aware of your thoughts. Notice when you start overthinking and what kinds of things tend to trigger it.
2. Once you're aware of your thoughts, challenge them. Ask yourself if they're really true and if they're actually helpful to you in any way.
3. Practice accepting things as they are instead of trying to control everything. Sometimes, it's better to let go and embrace the present moment.
4. After observing your thoughts, let them go. This may be tough, but it's crucial in order to stop overthinking. Imagine your thoughts as leaves on a stream, and watch them float away.
5. Finally, focus on the here and now. Mindfulness meditation can help you with this. Learn to concentrate on your breath and accept thoughts as they come and go, without getting tangled up in them. Body scan meditation is particularly effective in shifting your attention away from your thoughts and into the tangible sensations of the world.
Remember, it's helpful to create a feedback loop by journaling your anxieties and fears through stream of consciousness writing. Releasing these thoughts from your mind can bring a sense of catharsis.
Engaging in real-world activities that bring you joy is another way to distance yourself from overthinking. Whether it's spending time in nature, gardening, or playing sports, getting out of your head and into the world can make a significant difference.
Lastly, make a commitment to spend less time alone with your thoughts. Stay connected with loved ones and participate in activities that bring you pleasure and fulfillment.
By implementing these steps, you can gradually break free from the clutches of overthinking and regain control of your mind and life. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is known for its potential to provide relief to overthinkers. It interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, promoting relaxation and balance. By reducing anxiety and stress, CBD helps calm the constant flow of thoughts that overthinkers experience. It can also improve focus and clarity, aiding in breaking free from the cycle of overthinking and making decisions more easily.
Many individuals have found CBD to be a natural tool for achieving a more peaceful state of mind. Learn more here!