Day 1933: Overthinking

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard several people in therapy express concerns over how they’ve been overthinking.

Overthinking (as described by a thinker at inc.com) “can cause problems. When you overthink, your judgment gets cloudy and your stress gets elevated.  You spend too much time in the negative. It can be difficult to act.”  Overthinking  also interferes with sleep and contributes to anxiety, depression, and self-medicating with food, drugs, or alcohol (there’s more about  overthinking over at thelawofattraction.com).

Last night, I called Michael over to go over my many worried thoughts about matters hanging over me. When my fitful monologue was over, Michael thought over what he’d heard and said, “Ann, the way you’re overthinking borders on the completely ridiculous.”   I realized that the way I was overthinking didn’t border on the completely ridiculous — it actually went over the border into the completely ridiculous.

Michael helps me get control over my overthinking.  However, I’m not over overthinking — it’s a habit that’s hard to get over.  I know I’m overthinking again this morning, because I’m anxious over decisions I made over the long weekend and I’m overthinking the consequences.  However, I’m not thinking that I might be overlinking  to that inc. article about “10 Simple Ways You Can Stop Yourself from Overthinking,” which includes

  • Don’t think about what can go wrong, but what can go right.
  • Distract yourself into happiness.
  • Put things into perspective.
  • Stop waiting for perfection.
  • Change your view of fear.
  • Realize you can’t predict the future.
  • Accept your best.

Yes, I was overthinking many things yesterday, but not my early morning tweeting:

After reading the latest dispatches in these celebrity/political feuds: When did “turn the other cheek” become hit them in the cheek 10 times harder?

And I wasn’t  overthinking when I took these photos:

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I don’t think I’m all by myself alone in overthinking, even though it drives people bananas. At this point, I don’t want to rethink anything, including my pretzel.

When this post is over, please bring over your thinking about overthinking, rethinking, and other kinds of thinking.

Here’s “Overthinking” by L2M:

The last recommendation in that inc. article about stopping overthinking is “be grateful.”  That’s why I don’t overthink my thanks, I just express them.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Day 1933: Overthinking

  1. Yes, I tend to overthink, and then I overstress, and anxiety starts, and here I am overdoing the overthinking, so over to my bed I go, and go undercovers, and do some blogging under my overhead bedside lamp.. Overall, hopefully I’ll stop overthinking, overnight !!

  2. Yes, Ann, me, too. I don’t have to (over)think about it, I know! All of the inc. suggestions sound sound.

  3. I overthink as well when I’m nervous about something. I play out scenarios in my head, toss and turn at night and think about all the things that can go wrong. When I’ve reached my destination or goal I usually sit back and wonder why I was so anxious. Now that I’m retired I do less of that but I’m not completely over my ‘over thinking’ tendency.

  4. Sitting here overthinking my response to this blog. Overthinking helps me procrastinate cleaning out a closet. Overthinking sometimes has value.

  5. lifeinkarolingston

    Yes, I know what you mean I overthink quite often too. Last week I’ve been concerned about something so much, my thoughts started being more and more negative that I nearly made myself ill. So just said to myself, ‘don’t be silly woman , why do you even worry that much. This problem is not even that big. ‘ And my overthinking is gone for now. I’ve enjoyed reading! 😊

  6. I’ve been trying to come up with just the right comment and it’s not a joke that I really have been overthinking it. And then I remembered that this morning I was listening to economist and writer Tim Harford talk about his book Messy and how sometimes the creative process requires embracing chaos. Then I remembered W.H. Auden’s advice and how sometimes it is best to leap before you look.

  7. As a young woman I didn’t understand the term overthinking but I am older and wiser and I also try not to overthink

  8. I come from a long and industrious line of over-thinkers! I believe we have mostly considered it a sign of intelligence. LOL! You know, “overthink” and be prepared for almost anything. Of course, most times it’s more of a detriment than any form of benefit! I love the recommendation to think about what can go RIGHT rather than wrong. Wow! That would be a game changer! Thank you for that one, Ann.

    • Thank you for this wonderful comment, Debra. Without overthinking it, I think overthinking might be a sign of intelligence; we just need to use our intelligence to control it.

  9. So get this. Great post.

  10. Sometimes I think I’m over overthinking – then I catch myself doing it.

  11. Pingback: Day 1933: Overthinking — The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally – BitterSweet

  12. Responding one day late to this lost because even though I read it yesterday, I couldn’t think of anything to say. I guess I was under thinking about overthinking? Today, I hope to be just-right-thinking. Thank you!

  13. Love this I am an overthinker too check out my blog it might be of some interest

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