Overthinking and My Experience With It

I overthink things too often. I notice subtle changes in how people interact with me. I’m very observant and quite perceptive when it comes to people, or at least I’d like to think I am. I pick up on body language, changes in tone, even the changes in tone through written chat.

That means I notice the smallest difference in behaviour. This can be a good thing as it means I am very astute on picking up the changes in mood that others probably wouldn’t even detect. It surprises people sometimes just how much I pick up on.

For me though, this means there are often times when I am very uncertain; when I detect those small differences. Especially when in actuality they are down to very simple things, like the person being tired. Yet thanks to my overthinking I perceive it as a lack of interest or a reserved attitude towards me.

I’m aware that it makes me feel & seem needy when I then look for reassurance that everything is ok. That’s where the overthinking comes in because I examine every little detail and come up with 101 different explanations, each one worse than the previous. I hate that I do it and I really try not to but it’s just so hard to not overthink.

I think a lot of us can identify how detrimental overthinking can be in a relationship. It can end a relationship.

Often times I also think that overthinking and anxiety go hand in hand. One usually leads to the other, no matter which way round it happens to be. So not only does it affect our mental health but it really does affect you physically too.

Some of my overthinking has been due to past experiences and it’s always the bad experiences that come to mind when I detect any changes towards me. I try and remind myself that not every person is going to treat me the same but it’s so hard to do.

Sometimes I feel broken; that the last person that caused me to overthink like this, broke me for everyone else and I wonder if I can I ever get back to the place where I don’t overthink all these small and insignificant things.

Anything can trigger it, a feeling, a person, a situation, a place; it really doesn’t take much.

Much of my overthinking has been in relationships or friendships.

overthink

Coping with Overthinking

“Overthinking is parasitic. It’s viral. It’s deadly, even. Letting yourself fall victim to overthinking doesn’t just kill your happiness, it destroys who you are. The mind is a beautiful and complex thing, and the only person who can hurt it is yourself.”
― Genereux Philip

Even though I still overthink I am better than I used to be. Let’s say it’s a work in progress because trust me, I still overthink, A LOT. As soon as I recognise that I’m starting to think too much about something now, I take a step back and basically have a word with myself.

You can’t change past events, so why worry about them? The future isn’t set in stone either, so what is the point in using energy to worry about something that may not even happen?

Easy right? – Wrong! Such simple things to tell yourself but it took me a very long time for this to actually work. It felt like I was arguing with myself in my head, one voice trying to calm my thoughts, the other playing Devil’s Advocate and fanning the fire.

Though, stopping your thoughts is not really the idea; the idea is to replace them with different thoughts. Thoughts to calm and relax you. For you to think positively.

I’ve found now that if I catch it in time I can pretty much nip it in the bud. The first real step is realising when you’re beginning to overthink. Of course, it’s not always 100% effective but then what is? It has taken me a while to be able to do this but being self-aware is a BIG help to overcoming overthinking.

Occupy Your Mind

Some really easy things you can do to help distract your thoughts:

  • Something as simple as reading a book
  • Watching a favourite film or TV show
  • Or maybe you like to cook or bake
  • Perhaps go for a walk.
  • Call a friend for a chat
  • Do something you enjoy and that makes you feel good.

These are some of the things that are working to help stop me from overthinking.

I think the most valuable thing I have learnt is to try and look at whatever is causing me to overthink from a logical standpoint. Most times then I realise that I have made mountains out of teeny tiny molehills! Go figure!

Are you an overthinker? How do you deal with it? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Sarah

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