The Midweek Sun
DEALING WITH OVERTHINKING
We are accustomed to make mistakes at one point in our lives. It is worth noting that some individuals often overthink the mistakes under the pretext that they are problem solving.
Alas, whilst it is normal to second guess the decisions that have been made, there is a point when overthinking of these can become catastrophic in one’s life. Overthinking decreases the stress threshold as people often tend to focus on the negative and get stuck on the past.
What are the signs that one is overthinking? You may find individuals dwelling on the past events by deliberating on what they could have done better. Other individuals have been found to be always replaying mistakes in their mind and in no way surging forward. There are also incidents where individuals go over challenging or uncomfortable conversations they have had. The worst case scenario is fixating on things that one cannot control and idealising possibly the worst outcomes in every situation. There are also situations where people struggle to make decisions. Before making decisions they may go on to seek repeated reassurance from those around them. There are devastating effects of this act of cogitating on stressful events. Some people have experienced anxiety disorder as a result of this. Anxiety eventually interferes with social and occupational functioning as individual cannot cope with most of the life stressors. There are also reported findings of depression on individuals who are stuck on thinking about past mistakes as they may experience loneliness, prolonged sadness and emptiness feeling. Whilst overthinking can lead to the aforementioned disorders, it can also be a sign that one has those disorders, with generalised anxiety disorder the most common. It is worth mentioning that overthinking can be dealt with. Strategies like journaling, reading, meditation have been seen to help individuals having the problem with overthinking. If this overthinking is interfering with life functioning, one may promptly see a mental health professional who will make a determination and act accordingly; usually through cognitive therapy as overthinking is tied to individual’s cognition.