Thinking is powerful. When we think, we generate an arsenal of images that motivate and inspire us to create in copious ways. Thinking is something we do all the time, consciously and subconsciously, and it’s what drives us to educate ourselves in all facets of life. Thinking has even helped save the world. Anyone remember when Jimmy Neutron thought his way out of every entanglement possible? However, too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing, and thinking is one of them. Overthinking, rather. Some people say that overthinking is good because it gives people time to really plan out their decisions and see what they are getting themselves into. It’s never too risky to be too careful, right?
Think again…or rather, don’t, because overthinking can harm people more than help them, and here are 12 reasons why that’s the case.
1. You lose touch with reality.
Focusing on the what if instead of what is is detrimental because you cannot focus on what is happening around you. You get so caught up in your entangled thoughts and emotions that you become numb to people, places, and things around you. You forget where you are, and even worse you forget who you are.
2. You think of the worst, instead of the better.
Focusing on the worst possible outcomes will only lead you to believe that you deserve the worst for yourself instead of the better things in life. Thinking about the worst thing that could happen not only scares you, but it unnecessarily worries you and doesn’t let you relax at all. Because it’s not one worst possible outcome you’re often thinking of, it’s a million and a half of apocalyptic situations that rattle inside your head constantly.
3. You start to believe happiness doesn’t exist.
Happiness is characterized by positive emotions. The emotions that come from overthinking are often very negative, and can make one think that happiness is unreachable, or not for that person to feel. Happiness isn’t made for people, it’s made because of what people feel. Generating a positive outlook helps.
4. You hide instead of facing your fears.
Overthinking can make people paranoid about everything. Everything seems more dangerous than it actually is. It all becomes fight or flight, and usually it’s flight.
5. You forget how to trust.
Trusting people is always hard when you have trouble trusting yourself and your own thoughts.
6. You barely sleep.
Not sleeping because of worrying about something that either isn’t going to happen, or won’t happen the way you expect it to happen just sounds awful. Sleep is crucial, don’t stay up thinking about a nightmare.
7. You have nothing to look forward to.
You feel that everything is only going to disappoint you in the short, and long run, and that prohibits you from taking the best opportunities there are. You are stuck in the past, and can’t live in the present, let alone think about the future in a positive way. Letting your worries and endless concerns cloud your thinking prevents you from doing things that make you happy and will benefit you.
8. You are desperate to fix situations that haven’t even happened…
9. …Which may perhaps be due to the fact that the situations you have overthought of have happened; that’s why you are so adamant about fixing things because you are convinced that you can predict anything that happens.
Even in That’s So Raven nothing ever happens as it’s supposed to in Raven’s eyes. Sure, overthinking may make you think you’re predicting the future, but you’re literally thinking of every possible scenario in your head when you overthink. And then when something that you thought of happens, you think about all the other times where you’ve overthought of something and poof, it just happened. No, you weren’t born psychic. All you’re doing is focusing on the one or few situations where you have been right, but that does not determine what is going to happen next. That only throws you in a cycle of the same situations you have already been through to reassure that you have a right to worry, and that’s wrong for your health.
10. You can never believe in yourself.
People who overthink tend to seek constant reassurance from others. If someone else agrees with them, then that person is immediately allowed in the overthinker’s trust circle. However, if someone offers a more relaxed perspective, then the overthinker assumes that that person isn’t keen enough to understand. Meanwhile, the overthinker is feeding off the person who agreed with him or her because the overthinker wants to feel right.
11. You always feel unsafe.
Overthinking breeds insecurity. Feeling vulnerable all the time is never a happy feeling.
12. Basically, you create your own demise.
Overthinking is parasitic. It’s viral. It’s deadly, even. Letting yourself fall victim to overthinking doesn’t just kill your happiness, it destroys who you are. The mind is a beautiful and complex thing, and the only person who can hurt it is yourself.
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