6 Common Dangers of Over-Thinking
You are an animal. So am I. And we would be living in jungles, uncivilized and just like other animals if we do not have the power of thinking. It is our brain that gives us the edge over the other animals and makes us the drivers of the world. But often we forget where to stop and at times, create difficulties for ourselves and often others by dwelling over mere nothings. What is definitely a boon to mankind turns out to be a curse when it gets out of control.
Continuously thinking on events of the past and what may lie ahead of us in the future can paralyse our normal thought process and lead to inaction or incorrect action in the present. It affects us mentally, physically and emotionally. If you are one of such individuals who tend to easily blow things out of proportion, read on to find 6 common dangers of over-thinking. Note that these are the most common ones and there are a plethora of underlying problems connected with over-thinking.
1. It Complicates Life
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” –Bill Watterson
Being here and now is the key to have a happy, productive and successful life. But over thinkers spend so much of their time and energy on dwelling on the past and dreading what the future holds for them that they forget to look around, smell the flowers and enjoy their life in the present. They just do not have enough time. No time for their loved ones or their careers or for themselves. They get stuck in a limbo. If you have a tendency to overthink, you might soon find that you have come to the end of your journey without realizing when life had passed you by.
2. Negativity All Around
Though it is definitely smart to think things through before jumping into action (it helps you avoid making bad choices), going through all the nitty gritties over and over again only slows down your brain’s capacity. Your brain’s capability to think rationally, or decide promptly and correctly, or solve problems diminishes hugely as your mental energy goes into keeping those unnecessary thoughts running through your head. Inaction, wrong actions and your incapability only lead to stressing you more and leave you feeling dissatisfied and unhappy.
Eventually you turn from a happy- go- lucky person to a brooding, sulking, negative, pessimistic one. The longer time you spend on obsessing over the past or the future, the more you get sucked into the dark pit from which it gets tougher to get out of.
3. Stuck In Tartarus
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." –Shakespeare
Kronos was the Titan in Greek Mythology who ruled the world in the Golden Age before he was finally thrown into Tartarus by Zeus. Tartarus is the deep, dark abyss far below Hell and by overthinking, you are casting yourself into that abyss. There is no escape, even someone as powerful as a Titan could not. You get stuck in the deep, dark prison of your own brain and cannot seem to see any light at the end of the tunnel. Guilt, pain, anger and stress engulf you and you seem to lose touch with reality.
4. Anxiety and Depression
Stuck in the vicious cycle of negative thoughts, inaction and even more negativity, depression and panic attacks become a part of an overthinker’s life. Looking at only probable problems, your brain starts seeing everyone and everything as a threat. Anxiety takes over your life. To cope with this, an overthinker may seek refuge in drugs and other unhealthy lifestyles. Overthinking also causes a number of health complications which are triggered by the stress hormones which are amply produced due to anxiety.
In your daily hectic life, if you focus on what you are doing, it might be possible to distract yourself from the overwhelming negative thoughts that are running in your head. But the moment you hit the bed, all these thoughts come rushing back and unfettered, they take over your brain and run amuck. The time that should be spent in relaxing and rejuvenating, to get yourself ready for the next day, is instead spent on matters of the past or future upon which you have no control.
Even a brief nap seems to be an impossible feat. This leads to chronic insomnia and brings into your life all the health and mental complications related to it.
6. Lost Opportunities
Not being present in the present and often missing out on acting in time, overthinkers lose all opportunities that life presents to them. The more time they spend mulling over past hurts and mistakes and conjecturing future adversities, the less time they have to come up with solutions and to act on correcting the wrong or even to act on to bettering their situations.
Embodying their negative selves, they fail to notice what life has to offer and grab the opportunities when they come knocking at their door. And this leads to even more depression as they then cry over spilled milk.
“Don’t think about what might go wrong. Think about what might go right.”
It is your life, and you get one shot at it. Don’t waste it by whiling away on trivial matters. Take action and regain control of your thoughts. They are yours, you are their master. Focus on the positivity. Be grateful for what you have. Soothe your frayed nerves by meditating. Vent out your frustration to your close friends or your family (don’t take it out on them!). Shake off the cobwebs and practice being happy. Train your mind to not overthink. Notice when you are overthinking and doubting yourself and stop yourself that very moment. It might seem difficult at first but slowly you will find yourself getting better at it. Gradually, you will be able to get back to your regular, happy and healthy life and live it to its full potential.