Why do we over think things? Well more to the point, why do I overthink things? I Googled that question and was provided with 789,000 answers in .76 seconds. Lots of answers for a basic question that probably doesn’t have a simple answer. I chose to go with the first answer that came up from a site called Womanitely. I’m not sure what kind of professional information they can give, but it was the first one and I’m a bit too lazy to search them all out.
So, Womanitely, how do I fit into your reasons that I overthink.
1.) Lack of confidence. Yup. I do not have a plethora of confidence. I never have. I try. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I don’t. I have confidence in things I am comfortable with. Books, movies, music, television…anything like that I am confident in my knowledge of those things. According to the article, when I hesitate about the things I do, I will let uncertainty and fear fill my mind. Oh yeah, that has my name written all over THAT statement. I should start taking risks without torturing myself. This will boost my confidence and when I am confident and strong, I will get through all kinds of difficulties without trying too hard.
2.) Second-guessing myself: Oh I know a few people who are jumping up and down on this one in regards to me. Second guessing makes you go over the situation over and over in your head because you think you haven’t done it right in the first place.
3.) A constant worrier: Not sure if I completely fall in that category. I do worry, I don’t obsess about everything, just some stuff and mostly trivial and I feel stupid for worrying about it in the first place. This article says young people (many of them) are worriers by nature. They prefer to draw terrible pictures in their minds (okay, I’m guilty of that and I’m just young at heart) . It says that you should do your best to become an optimist and develop a positive vision of the world. Okay, that sounds like a fortune cookie.
4.) Overthinking is a protection. Oh yeah, that says Kelly Malloy all over it. I overthink to protect myself constantly. Overthinking increases your protection and the chance to lose an opportunity since the brain is always trying to figure out the situation and find another solution.
5.) You can not relax. You can’t get the problem off of your mind and are constantly thinking about it. Many sensitive people (raising hand here) live in constant tension because they don’t know how to relax and replace the chain of negative thoughts by positive thoughts. The article says doing yoga helps. I say just going to the gym (where some of my negative thoughts live unfortunately) and try to calm your negative down and replace the imagination of your mind with a happy place where you feel safe and satisfied. Funny, today-when I was done trianing – evil trainer said I could go home and then stopped and remembered I do cardio after training and added “Cardio is your home”. Interesting turn of a phrase.
6.) You want to be perfect. Who wouldn’t? But I’m a firm believer that perfect is boring. Perfect is vanilla ice cream. It’s pasta with butter. It’s white paint. Imperfections are what makes us …us. I’m a sarcastic human being. I’m not mean sarcastic, I am sarcastic to get the laugh or a smile. Perfectionists want to always do something better and worry about what needs to be done. I’m always trying to be better, but I’ll never be perfect.
7.) Overthinking is just a habit. Yup. That is true. It is my habit to overthink EVERYTHING. Does it stop me from having a happy life? No, I wouldn’t say that. My life has improved in leaps and bounds over the past year. It is hard to stop overthinking. I do it all the time when I don’t need to at all. I’m lucky to have family who will call me on it even when I think I’m correct and in my heart of hearts know I’m not. I overthink. I always have when it comes to me and my personal self. To my relationships with others. How they see me. What they think of me. I overthink all of it. Sometimes to the point of irrationalism. But the people in my life who see me doing this throw the net out and pull me back. Sometimes with difficulty, but they manage to bring me back. To them, I am always greatful even if I forget to say it.
So can you stop overthinking? Not sure. It’s not a black or white process to me. It’s 50 shades of Gray (yeah, I went there) and I personally think I will always be an over thinker, but I will bring the shades down and be able to see where and why I overthink. I’m negative by nature. It took me 50 years to be able to start looking at these things, so give me time. I’ll get there.