The Midweek Sun



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.

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