1. Who is engaged or having a baby on your Facebook timeline
Not that you shouldn’t be excited for them or send a quick little, “Hey, congrats on that thing you just did!” But why would you let it affect you in any other way? I think we are so used to comparing ourselves to one another that it becomes natural to feel behind. And you better believe this is elevated even more for us overthinkers. The whole “everyone is getting married and I’m over here just eating a pizza and watching Netflix.” But why is that bad? Or even good? Your path is just that, YOURS. So don’t worry too much about where other people are going.
2. If someone is interested in you
This is one of those do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do situations, because boyyyyy do I spend way too much time and energy trying to figure out if my crush is crushing right on back. But here’s about as blunt and bottom line as it gets: if someone likes you, you’ll know. When we get into this game of analyzing text messages, deciphering emojis as if they were old school Egyptian hieroglyphics, it’s because we’re trying to search for something that probably isn’t there. We think we’re all so complicated, but honestly, when someone is into you, they’ll make an effort. They’ll show they care. You won’t have to play a guessing game. So if you’re worrying, stop. Be honest with how you feel and prepare for them to be honest right back.
3. That strange mole you have
Okay, actually DON’T ignore any weird mole you have or other concern. But go to the doctor! Make necessary appointments! Don’t just obsess on WebMD or the internet because it will NOT HELP. It will only further freak you out. I repeat: BACK AWAY FROM THE GOOGLE SEARCH.
4. What the scale says
Being healthy is important, of course. Nobody doubts that. I don’t know why that even needs to be said. Nobody says, “YES BEING UNHEALTHY IS HEALTHY!” But when you become obsessed with a certain number, it will drive you insane. I went through a very unhealthy summer where I tiptoed into having an eating disorder, but of the work out kind. I had gained the typical college weight and though I was still in a completely normal body weight, I kept comparing myself to my adolescent-self and it was bad news. I had a number I wanted to hit. A goal. But even when I hit it, I didn’t feel good. Even when it’s hard, please remember you are so much more than a stupid number on a scale. How can something like that truly measure all of you?
5. If that person that just made eye contact with you is talking about you
They probably aren’t. And if they are? MEH. YOU DON’T NEED THEM. BYE!
6. Having a 5-year plan
For some people, this is going to work and be a great motivating resource. But you might not be one of those people. In fact, the idea of coming up with some detailed blueprint to your far-away life might send your panicked little heart racing. Overthinkers worry about the tiniest thing, so something as huge as, oh I don’t know, WHAT YOU’RE GONNA DO WITH YOUR DAMN LIFE?!? – That’s a lot to handle. Honestly, nobody truly knows where they will be in 5 years. Even with the best planning, life has a way of doing what it wants. So figure out a system that works for you, but don’t stress if you don’t know exactly what you want 5 years down the road. One year. Hell, even next month.
7. Your GPA
Okay, WAIT. Hold on!!! I come from a family who encourages education like no other, a psychology professor for a father and researcher/writer for a mother. I think education is vital to our development. BUT, you can learn in so many ways. For some career paths, yes, your GPA is going to matter more. But don’t let it define you. A test isn’t the only way of assessing your intellect or your value to this world. Don’t overthink it to the point that it makes you sick and lessens your quality of life.
8. What people you don’t even know think of you
Now, I say this as someone who works on the internet for a living. And do I care what strangers think of me? Oh hell yeah. I do a lot. I care about my readers, and I’m going to care what they think. But is it a guide to my life? If someone dislikes what I have to say is it going to derail my entire day? Nope. I’m not going to let it. And I think us overthinkers should approach life this way. Even if you don’t work on the internet, it can apply to you. How often do we get nervous what total strangers will think of us? We get self-conscious in society, and that’s kind of normal, but don’t let it get in the way of living. Do you, and if someone doesn’t like it? That’s okay. They don’t have to.