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What Is Overthinking A Symptom Of

by Kristin Beck
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What Is Overthinking A Symptom Of

What Is Overthinking A Symptom Of

“How many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and thought “”I look fat”” only for someone else to tell you that you actually look pretty good? How often do you see a friend’s outfit online and think “”Wow, I wish my arms were as skinny”” only to find out later they’re not really all that bad after all? Or how about when you see an ad for a new pair of shoes that you want but then immediately start doubting whether you should buy them because maybe they’ll hurt your feet?
There are probably some other examples we could add here, but you get the picture; we overthink everything from what we eat to who we sleep with. We also tend to second guess our own opinions on things — why did I say those stupid things to that guy last night? Why didn’t I call him back? If only… — and go through endless scenarios in our minds. This is called overthinking. And while it can feel normal and even helpful sometimes (we need time to process things), it can also become a habit that gets us nowhere fast. It’s important to remember that excessive thinking isn’t always negative. There are plenty of instances where overthinking can help us make better decisions, plan more effectively, or just live a happier life overall. But if you’ve noticed yourself doing any of these things too much lately, take a closer look at what might be causing it. Here are four signs of overthinking and what you can do to turn it around.
You’re constantly questioning your thoughts and actions: Let’s face it, sometimes we overanalyze situations way too much. Maybe you had a bad day at work and the boss said something rude to you, so instead of processing the situation rationally, you start asking yourself questions like “”Why does this keep happening to me?”” Or perhaps you saw your crush give another girl a compliment and you felt jealous until you found out it was meant as a joke. When we overthink, we can end up getting caught up in a cycle of negativity. Instead of taking responsibility for our feelings, we blame ourselves for being upset without knowing exactly why. The best thing to do is acknowledge your emotions, take a break from whatever is making you upset, and come back to the problem later. Remember that everyone has their ups and downs, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling down every now and again. Learn to accept your emotions and let them pass, rather than letting your mind control you.
Your brain keeps reminding you of past mistakes: Another reason people overthink is because they obsess over mistakes made in the past. For example, if you recently broke up with your partner and you don’t like the person you’re dating right now, you might start wondering every time you see them if you should still pursue a relationship with them. You might spend hours thinking about it, going through different scenarios in your head, and eventually deciding against it for no good reason. While it may seem logical to avoid a mistake from occurring again, dwelling on the past doesn’t do anything but cause unnecessary pain. Take note of your mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. Don’t allow your past to dictate your future, especially since you can never change the past anyway.
You’re scared of failure: Whether we admit it or not, fear plays a huge role in how we react to certain situations. We worry about things that haven’t happened yet, which causes us to overreact based on false assumptions. One common example would be when someone says they hate your dress for prom because it makes them look fat. Even though they’re likely joking, you may be convinced that you secretly look fat and therefore wear baggy clothes whenever possible. However, if you’d been asked before wearing that same dress, you wouldn’t have responded quite as negatively. Fear of failure can lead us to miss opportunities because we try to protect ourselves from making mistakes by keeping quiet, avoiding social interactions, or staying away from activities altogether. Learning to embrace challenges and failures will improve your confidence levels dramatically. Try to focus less on what you don’t want to happen and put more energy into focusing on what you’re passionate about.
Excessive worrying leads to poor decision-making: Worrying is a natural emotion, but if you notice yourself overreacting to minor issues, chances are you’re worrying too much. Excessively worrying can cause two types of harm: First, you can lose motivation to accomplish tasks because of the amount of stress you’re putting on yourself. Second, you may start to question your choices and ultimately decide against trying things out, due to fears of failure. To stop overworrying, consider setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself, ask for help from others, and remind yourself of your strengths.”

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