Overthinking – what a curse it is. It can make those who appear completely sane on the outside crippled by the madness they create within their mind. It’s the duck on the pond analogy: They look cool and calm on the outside, but underneath the surface, their legs are going a mile a minute. That is my every day! Plagued by thoughts about certain issues that mean so much to me yet so little in the scheme of things.
I fear disappointing people, hurting people, losing people out of my life so every action, decision, word spoken, message sent, I question. Anxious rules the emotions within, and slowly, you find control of your life slip out of your grasp and into the powerful hands of others who are oblivious to this knowledge. Ramifications such as sleep deprivation, regret and loss filters through these decisions – the life we lead can be miserable; lonely.
An example could be the single parent, who constantly overthinks the decisions of what’s best for their kids, yet contemplates the wants, needs, that desperately craved adult social interaction by catching up with friends or partners they desire for themselves. While selfless in many ways, they feel trapped, worthless and alone, and the constant throbbing voices of negativity from their past trigger the self-doubt that can bring them down. It is usually the voices of people who they once or continue to seek approval that come back to haunt them. Dreams they desire become locked away in a cloud of what was possibility and drifts away becoming an improbability. Vulnerability can crush their insightfulness.
For me, that voice will forever be my dad. Even now, while I do my backyard renovations, instead of the positive of being proactive and doing something, is greeted with all the negatives that could be associated with it. It plagued my sport, my relationships, my work, and ultimately my self-worth. This doesn’t make dad a bad person, but his lack of emotional intelligence will always make me feel inadequate.
The overthinker can be their own best friend or their worst enemy. If their mind set is positive, they tend to make more positive thoughts which leads to more successful solutions. If they have too much time on their hands, the worst enemy runs supreme. Negative thoughts corrupt your emotional being and soon, depression, motivation, lethargy occur. If something is unsolved or not completed, anxiety crawls through your body like a witch’s spell, and leads you to dark places. Something so simple can become an overcomplicated problem. You regret every decision made because they continually doubt the choices they have chosen.
An example of this type of overthinking is relationships. A mate and I have had a regular discussion about their constant conundrums in finding that special someone. Tinder, Bumble, E-Harmony all contain the same people, and yet people go on there for many reasons. Attention, to fulfil specific needs, relationships, self-gratification. An overthinker considers these types of options: Why didn’t she match me? Should I match with her? It won’t work out so what’s the point? Why if they match me they don’t message? Why do they only give a one-word response to initiate contact? Send their sexual desires in the form of a comment or provocative pictures? Are these the messages I am sending to people in my profile? Is that what people really think of me? I could go on!
When you do start dating, you ask a different set of questions. Should I message or wait a few days? Are they seeing other people? Did I offend them by paying for the first date? I reckon they weren’t interested, or were they? Maybe I should have gone out with the other person. I should have worn the red dress instead of the white pants. They also analyse the possible short and long-term future before the first hour has even ticked over in their coffee date.
When a lack of response occurs, you start to question so many things. Was my message too long? Did I seem over keen? Are they really interested in me? Did I say something that offended them? I’ll hold off on my reply because they did. Are they talking to someone else? Am I being used? They are always on messenger, read my message, but haven’t replied, why? Are they worth the effort? Should I message them again? Sounds psychotic! Sounds like hard work, doesn’t it! I’m exhausted just writing it!
In a majority of cases, the people in question above are seeking best option and not complicating things by focusing on one person (hopefully). They are nervous about messaging you so they go the safe, simple stock standard ‘Hey’. In regards to messenger they are just talking to their friends, or their family or if they have business connections or parent groups, book clubs and so on they are connecting with them. The overthinkers mind, however, goes into overdrive. They start to become obsessed with little things that don’t matter and they have no control over, rather than just relaxing and letting it fall into place.
The key word is regret. Unfortunately, overthinker usually makes the wrong choice, in their mind anyway. Again, I will use relationships as an example. People tend to pick the prick over the nice person because the prick knows how to manipulate them in such a way that you feel you have done something wrong, so you are desperate to make amends for it. Questions and hopes frequently fill up your thoughts: They will change! They didn’t mean it! I deserved it! They are right, I did make that mistake! It’s my fault. You didn’t do anything wrong at all, they just made you feel like you did.
The nice person forgives to easily and usually is more rational, accepting and therapeutic in the way they handle situations. This can frustrate the overthinker as it does not compute with what their fixed mind set on how they should be perceived, particularly one who has been negatively scared. So, they generate their own negative thoughts to make the situation seem a lot worse than it is. This is what leads to regret; unhappiness; loneliness.
Research suggests that these types of people are great problem solvers. That because they spend so much time solving problems in their mind that don’t exist. The overthinker considers every possible option in their mind before they are even suggested. They are known to be creative, intelligent, great at problem solving and constantly observe their own mental and emotional process. However, if they are unable to disconnect their mind from their negative thoughts, the toxins infect their mind. They become unhappy, unhealthy and forget to love the one person who needs it most – themselves. What if they though positively? How different could the world around them become?
So, for all you overthinkers, seek out people who see the gifts and talents you possess and remind you of them every day, and realise that you are truly great and not to dwell on issues you have no control over. Concentrate on the things that make you happy; the people that make you happy and feel good about yourself. Inject your life with these types of people. Me doing up the backyard has been such a personal achievement. I just said I’m doing it and didn’t worry about financial or possible injury consequences, or opinions of others. Near completion, it has come up how I envisaged. I made the dream happen. This, I say to whoever reads this, you can do to, whatever that focus is.
You can’t fear the water until you go and touch it. A reflection of ourselves is only how we perceive it. The decision we make will either enhance or deflate your life – choose to enhance it! If there is someone you love and want in your life, don’t sit around and dwell on the what ifs created by the negative impact of the past, make the choice that could potentially make you the happiest person in the world. Don’t let situation cripple your happiness, chase that perfect world and make it happen. Don’t over think these things, just do them. You can’t control how people act, live their lives, make their own decisions; be satisfied with the decisions you make. Just go with the flow, allow that one idea to flourish into a brighter outcome. Trust me, you will be surprised what the flow will bring.