The Effect of Overthinking and Ways to Overcome Them
Speaking from my own experience, I want begin by saying that overthinking affects a part of my life and as a person who overthinks I am going to say that it is from the mental and verbal abuse that I have endured most of my life.
I will share, that overthinking has taken me so far into seeing the possible become impossible in a blink of an eye, where anxiety and stress rises to a level that makes me cry taking me to the state of giving up. It has built fear within me where I feel I’m not worthy and doubts begin to create images in my head that does not allow me to see that life, is beautiful. That life can be anything I want it to be. The negativity builds a lot faster and maintains stronger than a positive one ever will. Everything about me, that I try to avoid, comes to mind and without self-control it develops and affects me in ways that only brings harm to myself. Building frustration and anger with the feeling that I am stuck and cannot move nor breathe.
Never, did I ever think before that overthinking was a bad thing. I mean I didn’t even acknowledge that I was overthinking. In moments it does not seem all bad, however a huge percentage of it, is. Everything is questioned. It makes it difficult for me to believe what anyone says. Overthinking makes you second guess your emotions and your thoughts. Whether it’s cooking, going out, choosing anything, it will overwhelm you and make you hesitant towards any decision because you think it’s going to look, taste, or even sound stupid. You will be afraid to share anything because you will think it is never good enough. To me, the crazy part about it is that, I love to share, I love to be affectionate, and I love to express how I feel, and it all seems so beautiful and clear in my mind while telling myself that is exactly how I am going to present it, how I am going to be, to myself, to my love ones and friends. But when it comes down to the actual moment, I freeze. When I freeze I start to overthink that I’m going to look and sound stupid, that I’m better off not saying anything. I overthink of how much of a coward I am. Then it goes to how someone else might be better than me, how someone sees me and how I can be replaced so easily because I don’t have what it takes to prove how I feel or make things happen.
This overthinking only occurs when good things come your way. Because living a sour life is what most of us are used to, so therefore we don’t see anything wrong with it. But when something good comes about and out of what we’re familiar with, it seems hard to believe, even if we are the one creating that good thing, that good moment.
For instance, my blog. I created this blog to help not only myself but others to speak openly when they are unable to, because I know that for some people, including myself, it becomes difficult to express thoughts, opinions, or even ideas, in public. To begin somewhere in overcoming that fear. However, I can’t seem to stick to one subject without hesitating and replaying in my mind “nope not good enough, no one will read this, or find it interesting”. However the ideas and pictures in my head all seem really amazing. I do put in my effort in making it happen because it is what I want and I do find ways to getting around the overthinking so that I am able to share what many are unable to. I have made progress with my overthinking and that is because I am worth a lot more than I put out myself to be. I will make it my business to share my emotions and experiences in hope that it can help others face and even overcome theirs.
Another example is the people I love, that mean the world to me. I question their loyalty, their love and honesty. My children are the most important people and God knows I love every moment with them. But when the overthinking kicks in, my worth drops. The fact that I mean the world to them no longer exist and negativity begins to build. In my head things said are to only make me feel good. So there again, I create these frustrating remarks and feelings I myself instill in my mind telling myself they don’t feel that love I feel for them and they don’t appreciate me. That I’m being mocked. I replay every laughter, pics and talk we have, to remind myself that they really do love me and appreciate me.
Another example is the love of my life, such a 360 from what I have lived and experienced the majority of my life. He is the most caring, loyal, honest, and loving person. And every time we see each other, text and send each other pics and videos, it’s so uplifting and brings a wide smile to my face, filling my hear with so much love. You know what it is to manifest, to pray for someone, a specific person and you actually get blessed with that one person. Well for a person who overthinks, it’s hard to believe that someone like that actually exist, and I’m not exaggerating. Well for that reason and just like that at some given moment I start to overthink that the fact that it’s going so good, seems too good to be true therefore I begin to create these images that this moment is not going to last and that there just might be someone better than me. And question myself why me, what is so good about me. Doubt fills my heart with fear of losing him, the one person I thought was impossible to ever have.
I am going say, that one great thing about our relationship is that I can talk to him about these moments, these episodes or experiences that I face and he is the most supportive and patient human being. He assures me every time that I need to hear it, that he does love me and will always be there.
That alone brings me to reality and see that everything is possible that it will be okay. In fact it will be better that okay. He is the reason why I go back to reading every text he sends. To remind myself that I have absolutely no reason to fear losing him.
Overthinking is a piece of work that takes away so much in your life without you even knowing. I have lost my appetite, I have slept less, and I have gotten get discouraged. I start to feel and think that everyone is against me and that I’m not being taken seriously. I shut down to the point where I don’t want to talk to anyone nor explain my situation with anyone in fear that they will not care, get tired of me or may not want to be around me to deal with. Therefore I push people away, people that are important to me at that.
Negativity is so easily instilled in one’s mind and developed in such a way that affects from the inside out. Yet so difficult to overcome. So if you do not catch it on time, your whole life can be ruined, just like that. The more you ignore it the bigger the problem becomes and eventually you will be left alone. Unless you have at least one person, just one, that will never for any reason give up on you. I happen to be blessed, because I have my kids, granddaughter, sisters, brother, nephews, nieces, and my man who is my better half. They never, in any circumstances will ever give up on me. I also have amazing and supportive friends.
People who overthink relive embarrassing moments in their head. We have trouble sleeping and often ask ourselves, what if. We also put too much effort in trying to find hidden meaning to what people are saying and/ or express to us. We think about what we had said and how that could have been said differently. Another thing is, worrying about things we have no control of and not being able to control our worries. Last but not least, dwelling on past experiences.
Overthinking often happens when you are alone therefore, when in times you are feeling positive and really good, create a list of things that brings you to a happy moment. Have pictures, positive quotes posted up, songs that will uplift your confidence and bring you to a moment where you can see and realize that there is so much more in life for you. That life is good and that you are loved and thought of. Build your self-esteem with thoughts of people that mean everything to you and the reason why it is so worth not losing them. Keeping in mind that you are so worth it too. It’s not easy, because God knows I still have my overthinking battles, but I am grateful to those I have allowed in my life to show me that it’s okay and it will get better. You can also find ways on how to deal with overthinking by looking into mental health exercise.
As per Long-term, says psychologist Dr. Timothy Sharp of the Happiness Institute, the effects are worse. He says overthinking can lead to "frustration, anxiety, fear and depression [and] can have a seriously negative impact on every part of our lives". The impact is even more detrimental when overthinking becomes a habit.
This took a lot from me to write, but I did it for all the right reasons and moments I look forward to in my everyday life.
One day your life will flash before your eyes… Let us not waste it overthinking.