1. Whether or not you love someone. It should not be a mystery to unveil. At the end of the day, you either do or you don’t. You know the answer, whether or not you’re conscious of it. Over-thinking it because you don’t want to accept that answer is where you enter the grey area.
2. If the love you have is the love you want forever. You don’t have to know right now! There is no timeline for these things; only the one that society has created and somehow makes us feel terrible for not following. There is no point at which you have to be sure of life-long decisions, in fact, some people never are. They’re too definitive to not go in with a bit of uncertainty. Let yourself have it, but don’t beat it to a pulp. Letting yourself sink in that uncertainty will never lead to making a decision.
3. Mundane social discrepancies that, contrary to your fears, do not mean anything. Sometimes people just don’t have the time to talk to you, or they just don’t want to hang out. We have a tendency to spiral into panic when these things happen but in reality, more often than not, all these less-than-pleasing social cues mean nothing more than the person in question is saying they do.
4. How you look at any given moment. How people perceive you is a) usually a fallacy of their own imagination and does not actually dictate anything about you and b) is never as in-depth as you think.
5. The limbo between “what they say and what they mean.” The truth of the matter is that people don’t always mean what they say, but more often than not, you are able to tell when they are being less than completely honest with you. It’s a gut feeling; it’s their body language when they look down or say something without conviction. You usually know what they’re saying, even when they aren’t doing so verbally. In ignoring those cues you let yourself over-think the meaning.
6. The grand scheme of things. There is a time and a place for reflection and contemplation about the greater universe. Now, I know I sound like a hypocrite because I do write about these things a lot, but I’ll tell you now, as someone who does over-think it, sometimes you just have to let it be what it is and not become overwhelmed by the vastness, mysteriousness and unknown possibility that lies around us. It can be more debilitating than inspiring sometimes.
7. Your place in the world. The only place you belong is wherever you are right now, and if you’d like to change, where you belong next is where you want to go. There is no conflicting right and wrong when it comes to where you’re supposed to be in life. The mind may deceive you but your reality will not.
8. Whether or not you’re happy. If you stop to notice, I’m sure you will also find that you aren’t genuinely happy when you’re over-thinking whether or not you are. Doing so will not always help you to identify the flaws in your life to fix them: sometimes you just have to enjoy what you have, and let yourself feel happy. It’s not a mindset you arrive at when everything is perfect, it’s when you decide to love what you have and immerse yourself in the messy, beautifully imperfect conundrum that is life.
9. If you made a wrong decision. Dwelling on the choice won’t change it. Figuring out why you made that decision won’t either. What will is using your time and energy to figure out whether it’s time to take the next step in your life or wait it out to see if you can find enjoyment in things as they are.
10. Asking someone to go out/hang out. They aren’t going to think of you all these terrible assumptions you have in your mind. More likely than not, they’ll be flattered and happy that you care about them to want to give the friendship or relationship a try.
11. Every painstaking detail of why something didn’t work out. It doesn’t matter anymore. There is a time for reflection for the sake of growth to not repeat a mistake, but other than that, over-thinking the wrongness of it will just bury you in your own sadness and remorse.
12. What society would define you as. Labels and titles aren’t a definitive structure of who you are, they’re just ideas people use to help identify you. They never have to be how you identify yourself.
13. Jokes. I don’t know, sometimes people just really over-think a good joke when all you have to do is sit back and enjoy it now and again. You’ll never laugh if you are constantly contemplating the deeper meaning behind every word that someone mutters.
14. Greater spiritual or philosophical meaning behind every little thing. I believe that often, we aren’t supposed to know. Part of the magic is being in the dark about some things. At the end of the day, you will never find out what you’re not meant to know; you will never be told something that will deter you from a decision you have to make. If it doesn’t come, there’s a reason. Revel in the mystery.
15. Writing an email. People get so crazed about writing the perfectly crafted email when at the end of the day most people just glance it over and file it away. I’m not trying to say you don’t have to choose your words carefully or be conscious of what you’re saying, but over-thinking it to the point of not being able to send the email at all is just silly.
16. What your social media presence says about you. I think I see this backwards as compared to most people, but I am more impressed by people who don’t post pictures of every day of their life on every social platform available, it makes me think they’re actually out there living to enjoy themselves, not just to take a photo and show people they’re successful and popular and having fun. It’s just a greater, more literal extension of the idea that how you believe you are perceived actually defines you in reality.
17. What your old self would think of you now. We all have those moments where we think, me five years ago would be so disappointed… me five years ago would be so surprised… well, forget the old you, they’re gone for a reason. The new you made decisions for a reason, so respect them and respect who you are now.
18. Your performance at work. You will never receive constant validation that you’re doing a good job. Sometimes you just have to do your absolute best and let the other pieces fall as they may. Trying to decipher every co-workers opinion on what you do won’t make you any better at it, it will just drive you crazy.
19. Talking to someone important. Just send the text.