It is in our nature as humans to think and analyze. It is a necessary quality. One that has helped us rise to the top of the food chain. It is also this quality that represents our higher brain functioning and reasoning. Unfortunately, for many people, it is also a phenomenon that we find difficult to turn on and off at will. When that thinking shifts into high gear, we can fall into the pitfalls of overthinking.
What happens, as a result, we tend to overthink and overanalyze the situations in our lives that we hold close to heart. This is not always a good quality to indulge and in fact, for many individuals, it is downright toxic to their psyche and lives in general.
Consider the pianist who overthinks her audience and her delivery during a concert. Now she ’s sure to mess up. She’s getting in her own head. She’s an amazing musician, but now she’s talked herself out of confidence and instead of letting her fingers do the work she has spent hours upon hours practicing, she has allowed her brain to hijack the performance and ruin what otherwise would have been an amazing performance. Overthinking is a toxic behavior that inevitably will lead you to toxic thinking and have a negative outcome as a result.
Here are some pitfalls of overthinking that everyone should be aware of.
Overthinking is a gateway to a “negative thinking cycle. When we overthink any situation, our minds tend to circle the wagon.. over… and over… and over again. Eventually, our brains will take flight in this pattern and we will get lost in the current. We will always find ourselves back in this place, like lost little children in the woods, with no concrete thinking and no real solution. What happens is that we prime our thoughts for more toxic thinking.
Overthinking paves the road for toxic thoughts. When we overthink, we allow toxic thoughts of pain, worry, and dissatisfaction to simmer into a refined stew of negativity. When you become so lost in the cycle, eventually you will stop looking for a way out and accept your thoughts as reality. From that thinking, we create our own reality. Remember the amazing pianist who talked herself out of performing well…Research shows that overthinkers think they are helping themselves by going over a situation over and over again. When in reality, it causes even more paralysis of action to do anything and we get stuck in a cycle of toxic thought.
Overthinking is a direct correlation between anxiety and depression. There is a reason why overthinking is a symptom of depression and anxiety. The most obvious reason here is that it’s a direct cause of it. Allowing your brain to run rampant and go to negative places, allowing your brain to be swept away in a cycle of toxicity is a fast track route to both anxiety and depression. Remember, we create our own reality.
The overindulgence of an overactive imagination. Many people who overthink tend to have very active imaginations. Whereas this is an amazing quality to have, it is also dangerous if you cannot control the places your imagination goes. Overthinking and imagining situations that do not exist (for example, your partner being mad at you when they’re not) is a common scenario. Again, we manifest our destiny. We become so convinced this is the reality that we make it that way simply by searching for an issue that does not exist. If you look hard enough you will eventually find evidence to support just about any claim.
If you suffer from the phenomenon of overthinking, then you’re not alone. In fact, most people will suffer from this at some point in their lives, probably multiple times. You can overcome this behavior. Stay tuned, in our next blog we’ll show you how to overcome the pitfalls of overthinking.
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