Trapped in Your Head: A Guide to Overthinking

Events happen in life that can change us forever. While conflicts arise for everyone, it’s how individuals handle these issues and move on that shapes them in the end.

Thinking things through when something has happened (or is about to happen) can be a good thing. However, overthinking any situation until it takes over your very being can be detrimental to your mental health.

Overthinking can be defined as placing too much emphasis and spending too much time analyzing or thinking about something, someone, or a situation, which in the end does more harm than good.

The Positives

There are some positive elements to the act of overthinking.

First and foremost, research has revealed that there is a connection between overthinking and creativity, although the reason behind this link is uncertain. Due to dissecting every element within a situation, thanks to their overthinking, overthinkers tend to be excellent problem solvers. They also possess an incredible attention to detail, which is an excellent skill to have in any kind of job or career field.

Thus, it’s no surprise that overthinkers tend to achieve high standards when it comes to academics. While the anxiety and fear of failure plagues an overthinker, it does tend to be a positive quality to have when dealing with school stuff, whether an you’re in the primary grades or pursuing post-secondary education.

Lastly, overthinkers tend to excel when it comes to introspection, the observation or examination of an individual’s emotional and mental processes. Thanks to thinking of every little detail within a situation, and any crazy outcome known to man, overthinkers use introspection to isolate weaknesses and work hard at finding a way to correct them.

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The Negatives

Overthinking can feel like you have a hundred Internet tabs open within your brain and can consume you with negative thoughts. Those who struggle with overthinking also tend to suffer from anxiety, and these two mental health issues can be hard to overcome.

Have you ever spoken up in a meeting, seminar, or during a discussion with a new group of people and thought your statement seemed ridiculous? Overthinkers can pick apart each and every word they have said until the most outlandish outcome to the scenario seems like reality. Worrying about what they say or do can overcome their thoughts, and the thoughts mostly tend to be negative ones, which can complicate even the simplest of situations.

These worrisome and negative thoughts can paralyze overthinkers and create indecisiveness. It’s hard to decide on anything when the worst possible scenario becomes a solid conclusion. As such, overthinkers can be overwhelmed with a feeling of fear, constantly. When you don’t make decisions and you don’t move forward in life, this can also affect your self-confidence, and overthinking can eat away at your self-esteem.

Lastly, overthinking is simply draining, both emotionally and physically. Many overthinkers spend many a sleepless night thinking about whatever is bothering them or replaying minor mistakes they’ve made, over and over, in their minds. This can affect their overall energy levels and result in exhaustion and, at times, depression as well.

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