Monday, May 11, 2020

The Root Cause Of Overthinking

The Root Cause Of Overthinking
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.  Watch your words, for they become actions.  Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

“What we think, we become.”— Buddha

Thinking, An intricate and special ability that has been bestowed as a unique talent to human beings and the human race has benefitted in oodles because of it and at the same time, there have been its so-called side-effects as well. This lacuna partially comes from overdoing it and getting into a mode of life called as Overthinking. Overthinking is a conscious process wherein, we tend to focus too much on a specific issue or person or situation. Its aptly thought that people think about the so-called negative things a lot, but the irony being that We humans think a lot about positive things. This can be anything, Studies, Career, Job, Relationships, Marriage, Children and the circle of life will be such that it will then start revolving around the Child’s Studies, Child’s Career, Child’s Job, Child’s Relationships, Child’s Marriage, and their Children. So, this vicious circle of thinking and over thinking continues thereon and there forth. The consequence of Over thinking can be catastrophic and equally dangerous. This seems to be a more common occurrence with adults compared to kids. The below write-up is a small attempt from my side to highlight the vagaries of this vice called Overthinking and subsequent efforts that can be taken to mitigate this and live a life of healthy and peaceful state of mind. 

At birth, we are blessed with a mind that is as clean as a slate and we don’t come into this world with a pre-defined programmed module. Over a period of time, we start mimicking, absorbing, imbibing values that are passed onto us through this society and in the form of parents, siblings, relatives and friends. This is an entirely innocent and indirect process, wherein it’s like CUT+COPY and PASTE.  As rightly mentioned above, the viability of this behavioral transition can’t be judged, and it has its own set of merits and de-merits and this is partially because of our age factor. We continue following the same behavior and slowly this becomes a pattern followed up with a schedule and transcends into our inherent lifestyle and slowly shapes our life ahead.  As a child, we used to enjoy a lot and not worry much about anything, because we never knew what WORRY was. This was the best part of our life where the heart ruled the mind and there was not much of thinking and was backed with innocent gestures and mischievous antics. It has our childlike belief inbuilt in it, wherein We did things what we liked. Before continuing to read this article, I would request you to take a few moments and quickly rewind and recall your childhood and relate to what I just mentioned in the aforesaid lines. 

The same memory and mindset that was blank at birth has suddenly been induced with so many rules, protocols, procedures and nomenclatures. And surprisingly, the same information is then used by our mind to understand the way we should react to situations. Rules are set for anything and everything. Our mind has started getting coded and programmed with so much data that we now think 100 times before doing most of the things. Suddenly there is a paradigm shift in our mentality, wherein the earlier thought of We did things what we liked has been superseded by thoughts like What others would think, What if I Fail, What if something goes wrong?? What if the person does not like it?? What if it's not the right way?? and so on and so forth. Surprisingly, we never had these thoughts when we were kids. This huge gap is created because of our personal life experiences and it varies from person to person.

Based on my personal experience, I can outline 2 main reasons for Overthinking which can have some disastrous repercussions; 

1. Our Past

In the majority of the cases, overthinking is related to our issues of our past which would be loaded with negative experiences. An event of the past would have impacted us and our mindset to that extent, that we are engulfed with the remorse and ill-feeling of the same and are struggling to find a way out of it. This continuous struggle to dwell in the past and trying to get out of it leads to a complicated situation. Such situations can cause depression, anxiety and life-threatening moves like contemplating suicide. Basically, all these feelings emerge from our mental inability to handle such tough situations.  

We need to firstly understand that being stuck to your past is not just spoiling your today but also equally damaging your tomorrow. It is impossible for anyone to go back in time and fix the mistakes that have already happened. So, when this Time travel of going to the past is impossible, then Why should we even dwell in the past and keep clinging to it? All that one can do is to learn from the mistakes of the past and avoid the same mistakes in the upcoming days. And if you really want to feel better, help someone who is also going through the same situation. This may be the best way to fix something that you did in the past and also in the bargain, you might end up making a new friend for life. 

“The past is good to learn from but not live in.”- Karen Salmansohn

2. Our Future

Alternatively, there are also a set of people who keep pondering and getting anxious about something that has not happened yet. By thinking too much, they start making assumptions which are based on self-created notions thus adding fuel to the already burning beliefs leading to fear and anxiety. Worry is the interest paid in advance on a debt you may never owe. So, the question here is, Should we stop thinking and envisioning about our future?? No, We must continue to think about the future, but we should not stop living the current moment for that. We should draft an Action plan for the future and follow it to the letter T. Although we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. We must think positively and hope for the best.

There are some ways to overcome Overthinking:

1. Idle Mind is Devil’s Workshop: Keeping yourself busy with tasks that are not related to the topic of overthinking can divert your mind and help you subsequently reduce overthinking

2. Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body: Good diet and exercise can help you be active, and an active mind can help you be focused on productive tasks. Its important to remember that a negative mind will never give you a positive life.

3. Laughter is the best Medicine: Watching humorous and funny videos can help you feel rejuvenated and transform your mood completely  

4. Child is the Father of Man: Spending time with kids can help you become a kid again and do silly things and tickle the funny bone in you and will make you feel lighter and better.

To sum it all, I would like to conclude this article by saying that if we are overthinking, it's we are who are to be blamed and we need to get ourselves out of this situation. No other form of help or talk can help us overcome this situation, if we aren’t determined to do so.  

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do. But doesn’t get you anywhere. – Erma Bombeck

If you like this article, please support us by hitting the FOLLOW button and Subscribe to this blog by entering the email id in the SUBSCRIBE TO EK NEW LIFE POSTS section. You may also follow  our social media profiles:

If you like this article and if you feel it can help even one person in your contacts, please share it with your friends and family.

Writer: Sonu Singh Yadav
Editor: Soumyashree Bangera
Idea Source: Personal Experiences & YouTube
Picture Credit :