Have you ever noticed that sometimes it’s like our mind has a mind of its own?
We find our mind going round and round in circles about a problem or life in general, but then we notice that we are not getting to a solution or clarity. As a matter of fact, it could leave us more confused and anxious. This I would refer to as “overthinking”.
Whew! It can be exhausting when this happens and this can happen to the best of us.
Having a good thought is great, but when our thinking pattern begins to affect our psychological well-being, happiness, work, or any aspect of our lives it’s time to make deliberate efforts to identify and modify.
Moreover, there is a direct relationship between overthinking and anxiety, as well as depression. Moreover, analysis paralysis applies here – the more we think, the worse off we feel, without a solution in view.
Five Top Signs to Help You Identify If You Are An Overthinker
1. You always want to know the why behind everything
The word, ‘why’, has led to so many discoveries in history. It drives what we do and our emotional reactions to things. We practically need to ask why. But… I know you were expecting the but, it is practically not possible to know the ‘why’ behind everything. This can lead to a vicious cycle of thinking that doesn’t make you feel any better.
2. Most of the time you second guess yourself and decisions
Recently, I read this on psychology today “…second-guess in time saves nine”. Truth is, taking a second action from a previously conceived on has its own benefits. However, doing this all the time that it becomes more and more difficult to make a decision is a sign you are overthinking.
3. You spend too much time making a choice or decision
Still building on the previous sign, imagine this cycle. Just as soon as you thought about something, you second-guess, change the line of action, second-guess then change it again, probably to the first option and this goes on. You would probably spend much more time making a decision. This is a tale sign you are overthinking
4. You have trouble sleeping or concentrating
Our brain can run on autopilot, giving us the opportunity to do tasks quickly, automatically. This applies even to overthinking. So, even when you would rather sleep or concentrate, your mind keeps going round and round. Our brain learn to autopilot when we have done a task over a couple of times, in this case, overthinking.
5. If you feel you are overthinking, you probably are
Understanding what constitutes overthinking is not as direct as ABC.
Some few weeks ago, I asked a Vet doctor in Lagos, Nigeria, who is is also a friend, how to know when my beautiful seven months old Rott was shedding “too much”. His response was crystal clear “If the owner feels a dog is shedding too much, they probably are”. While I was eager for some expert ideas, this cut through because this is one of the strong indicators for a mental health struggle for us. If a person thinks there is a mental health struggle, there probably is.
I have this sign as the last because it kind of summarizes every point given so far, and anyone not included here. So the next time you are overthinking, take practical steps to identify and resolve.
Until I come your way next time, remember, better day tomorrow.