Thinking is desired. Thinking is needed for survival. Thinking is good. Thinking helps you becoming great from good. But overthinking isn’t any good, nor desired. But why do we still overthink? Better to think, what makes us overthink?
There’s a thin line between thinking and overthinking.
Overthinking leads to nothing but a flustered mind, restlessness and uncontrollable chain of thoughts leading to nowhere. Thinking is a positive exercise, which brings progressive outcomes.
But when a single thought keeps hammering on our mind which starts taking us toward a chain of negative thoughts, it means overthinking has marred our rational thinking ability.
Sometimes our anxiety gets into our head, therefrom it takes us to the path of overthinking. Sometimes our worries. Sometimes other people’s statements about us. Sometimes choosing an option. Even sometimes our happiness. And sometimes just us.
We also happen to exaggerate any issue many a time. In our mind. In all that we do, we keep thinking of it. Because we can’t easily get rid of an issue. We also can’t easily get rid of good things to end them appearing worse, if nowhere else, at least in our head. We run into optimism, then to pessimism, and that forms a cycle, swinging from this side to other, in turn, overthinking formulates.
These thoughts can be just about anything, for example, they can be about the past mistakes that were made or things we’ve been unsuccessful in doing.
It might happen that one fine day when everything is going smooth, a thought peeps into your mind that points out at an untoward incident that may happen. Or someone might say something that might make you morose. Even when you are happy you might fear that you will lose this happiness the very next moment, or maybe in a day or one day.
This is just the starting point!
One thought endlessly hammered on your mind will then make you think time and again which can lead to horrible consequences inside your head. In reality, things might not shape up the way you are thinking.
This is just a fear that hovers over your mind. Deep within you know that it’s just a figment of your imagination. You are fearing things that might never happen.
For no reason at all, you become self-critical, suspicious about your own capacity, talent and the way your life has shaped up as a whole. Everything around seems to be not the way you wished it to be. You are driven toward the pessimism that builds up day by day leading to anxiety.
We are often filled with anxiety for days without knowing how it is affecting us. Anxiety sometimes paralyses your mind. You end up pondering failures and end up finding nothing positive in your life.
We draw consequences long before it even has a probability to happen. We draw expectations. We draw assumptions. We draw perceptions. All of that, which means, all of that, makes us overthink in some way.
Sometimes I wonder how life would have been if we had never ‘thought’ of overthinking.
Worrying about an issue leads to thinking. Worrying about an issue leading to another worry, growing into many more worries, generating many more issues, ultimately leading to many more worries yet again, altogether leads to overthinking.
Thinking, time and again, provides you with a solution. Overthinking, forgetting the purpose of thinking, leaves you with too many problems.
You need to calm your emotions so that the entangled thoughts get unentangled. You first need to have clarity of thoughts and hear your rational voice. This means your mind and heart need to work in conjunction; when you are calm, the conflict between what your mind absorbs and what your heart says gets resolved.
Meditation helps a lot in achieving this state of mind. When you meditate, your mind settles, it calms down, it rests itself. Your subconscious mind starts revealing its power and you calm down as fear and control gradually wither away.
Gradually, thoughts unentangle and you find solutions because anxiety fades away as your mind empties itself of the clutter. Many feel it is perhaps magical as equally as is a scientific process.
Imagine, there is a glass full of water and you keep on pouring more water into it. Without giving a second thought, it’s bound to overflow. Just like that when your mind is already full of thoughts that are rarely positive, how can you force more thoughts into it?
I personally find it distracting more than anything else because the mind cannot consume even a single thought wholly. It all gets messed up within, in result to it, gradually draining away all the energy.
We think overthinking. We overthink overthinking.
A healthy mind has to free itself from the fear and control of unnecessary and undesired thoughts, that make you timid and force you to doubt yourself. You find faults in yourself and everything around you. You eventually become a nitpicker, for outside, from within.
At one stage, you start questioning everything even your inner instinct. Your inner instinct is buried due to your over-exemplified anxiousness knowing the fact that the meditation can unearth the power of your inner instinct.
Every thought that is not rooted to reality that creeps into your anxious mind is fake, but results into overthinking as real as it is when that shouldn’t have been the case. Actually, you are trying to fix something that is not broken. In fact, it’s an illusion.
Souls know, the mind needs to know.
What you need is probably an assurance that everything is perfectly alright and indeed if things are not all that perfect, or they are imperfect, then you need to accept at that very moment that life is meant to be like that. For that very moment, everything changes.
There’s a saying when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. So, move on, and accept, and things will change and you will thrive on that change. And if you’re still thinking much, don’t, please don’t.
(With inputs from Ayush Garg).
Crafted with brevity for select stories to make certain you see what others don't; sent every Friday
Two exclusive fortnightly newsletters, sent on Saturday alternately
a) Reel and Real with Rony Patra
b) Mixer with Ayush Garg