Sometimes a situation can call for deep thinking. For example, deciding whether to move in with a partner, choosing to go to university or leaving your current job all require in depth thought. You want to make sure that you’re making the right decisions and that later down the line you won’t regret it. However, there are certain situations where excessive thinking can hinder you, and in extreme cases be detrimental to your health. Over thinking can be a horrible thing, and cause you to feel stressed and flustered.
Being stuck in a spiral of ‘what ifs’ can be really damaging. It’s important to recognise how overthinking can affect your life so you can take steps to unlearn this thought pattern. So, Psych2Go shares with you, 5 dangers of thinking too much.
1) It prevents you from trying new things
If you’re an overthinker like me, then you know that before you try something new you’ll assess every aspect of it in your mind before you commit. With me, before the person has even finished asking me something my brain has flipped into maximum overdrive and I’m creating a list of possible things that can go wrong if I take part. It’s almost like a reflex. This way of thinking has caused me to say no to so many opportunities, simply because I have thought too long and hard over it that I can only see worse case scenarios.
It has limited my life in such a detrimental way. If you’ve been saying no or avoiding taking part in things because of overthinking, next time try and push your thoughts away and say yes.
2) Self doubt
Thinking too much can cause a lot of self doubt. If you think deeply into scenarios and circumstances then chances are you also think critically about yourself: the way you look, the work you produce and your overall personality. This can cause you to second guess your actions and to worry about everything you do. For example, you boss might ask you to complete a project, but because you’re an overthinker you might wonder why they asked you specifically to complete it. Or you might find one bit of the project a little tricky and then you start to think you’re useless at your job and you should resign. Once you notice you’re going down that path its important to try and pull yourself out of it.
3) Leads you into a thought spiral
I am the world’s worst for this. Once my brain gets going it’s very difficult for me to regain control. I’ll often spend an hour stuck inside my own head with my brain overthinking a situation and blowing things out of proportion. If you excessively over think you can get trapped in these thought spirals and, like I mentioned, it can be very difficult to get out of this funk. But it’s important to recognise when your brain is starting a thought spiral. the quicker you notice it happening the easier it will be to stop that thought process.
4) Stop you from enjoying things
Because you’re overthinking things, it takes the fun completely out of activities. If you’ve spend weeks worrying or ruminating over something, it can mean you won’t enjoy yourself to the full. Also if you’re over thinking it’s difficult to enjoy what’s actually going on around you. It’s hard to be happy about a promotion at work when you’re so busy worrying if you’ll be good enough to warrant the promotion.
5) Can lead to anxiety
This is where my anxiety manifested itself. I would think and think on a situation until I worked myself into a huge state and then I would get anxious. I would then over think about my anxiety and the circle would never break. Over thinking that leads to anxiety can be very debilitating as it keeps you trapped in your own head for long periods of time. In serious circumstances, the anxiety can lead to panic attacks. Thinking too much can be very dangerous and difficult to manage.
What do you think?
Do you suffer with over thinking? How has it affected you? Psych2Go would love to know! Be sure to leave a comment below!
If you enjoyed this article then you may also like 5 Ways to Help You Stop Overthinking or 10 Ways Positive Thinking Improves Your Well Being
Morin, A. (2016, 12th February). 6 Ways To Stop Overthinking Everything. Forbes. Retrieved 9th May 2018