You may be familiar with the term overthinking. You may have friends who do overthink or perhaps it could be you, yourself among your own friends. We have a lot of opinions regarding this nowadays. Some may say it’s good and useful, while others may say it wastes your time. In my opinion, it could be either. It truly depends on the person. But what people sometimes fail to realize about overthinking before judging another person is that it often comes inherently to people.
I, myself never just woke up one day, thinking that I want to be one who overthinks. I know it may sound strange, but it just happened. I have been overthinking all my life, and honestly, I did not know how different it is to be one who overthinks compared to one who doesn’t until recently. I realized there were so much things about us that weren’t alike with others. As such, I ended up with this list regarding how it really is overthink. Personally, I have come to stop hating myself for overthinking, and I hope that if you do overthink, you’re not so far off either. I hope these would allow you guys to understand overthinking more, whether it may be you or someone else you know.
1. It’s addicting.
It may not make sense at first, but really, it is. We get so used to doing anytime of the day, that we continue doing it again, and again, … and again. You end up forgetting how much time we spend overthinking, and you realize that you just can’t stop. It can get you to stay up the whole night. I mean, you don’t really planned on doing so, it just happened. You know it may not always end up to good thoughts, but you keep doing it anyway. It has been a part of your daily routine all this time, and you can’t just get it out. You love thinking and it just comes.
2. It makes you very sensitive to details.
The thing about a lot of people who overthink is that they overthink to try making sense of a few things around them. It’s their curiosity that pushes them to do so. But to effectively overthink, some realize that they have to get more information from the things around them. Part of being sensitive is noticing the small details. All those count when you overthink. You try to take in as much information so that when you try analyzing them alone later on, you may have more information to analyze. And this, hopefully will lead to more sensible conclusions and thoughts.
3. It makes you have an everlasting search for closure.
When it comes to overthinking, there are probably only two most common ways to stop doing so. One would be to simply give up and move on with your life. This happens a lot by the way, especially when we can’t come up with anything, but have to do something else. On the other hand, the other would be to find a definitive closure in overthinking. It’s like finding peace with your thoughts. That is always the goal. You would always want to get to the final answers, no matter what. What makes it so hard is that when these final answers we search for, are often regarding someone else’s thoughts, intentions, or even the future. All of these are incredibly hard to predict, but what you get from overthinking are some assumptions with a bit of reasoning, a bit of rationale behind it.
4. It often correlates to pessimism.
What comes with overthinking is that we try to discriminate all possible final answers as much as possible. So whether we want it or not, we turn out considering even the worst possible cases of scenario, regardless of how senseless it may seem. As long as we can’t disprove its possibility, then we can’t really take it out of the list of final answers. You’d consider it to be just as probable as all the other possibilities, and for some reason, we always lean to coming up with pessimistic answers more, which leads me to my next point.
5. It also relates to your fears and anxieties.
What actually urges us to be a lot more pessimistic is the fact that we are so scared of getting hurt, of expecting the best, and then being slapped in the face by the exact opposite. It could be so scary. You may have experienced it before, at one point of your life, and you’d just like to avoid it as much as possible now. You turn out expecting the worst, preparing yourself. This probably correlates to it being innate to people as well. These fear and anxieties, we often grow up with it. Some may be gifted to manage them, but a lot of others struggle doing so. As such, overthinking becomes an outlet to aid them.
6. It comes with always thinking that you can do something about what you come up with.
This is true, for a lot of those who overthink. After coming up with that final answer, you’d like to come up with the next concrete things you will do. This is precisely because of the fact that even if you are pessimistic, you’d still like to achieve what you truly aim. With this, you try overthinking and just hope that whatever insights you come up with can guide you with what to do next. Who knows right, there might still be a bit of time to improve the outcome you ended up with. However, the flaw here is that no matter what, we are still plagued with worries. Before doing something different, you end up worrying about its implications, what it can do, and that just leads to overthinking once again. Furthermore, others fail to realize that there are a lot of things that don’t just change. We always think that we can do something about things, and that’s what we’ve believed through our lives. Yet, when you look back, you may still find those instances wherein you did try to change an outcome for the better but you failed to do so. There must have been something wrong you did or missed out on along the way. It doesn’t really matter, you still continue overthinking anyway.
7. It may lead to people struggling to understand a person.
There will be times that you’d be lucky, that you end up talking to someone else who had experience overthinking or just knows about it, but there will also be times that you come across a person who does not understand you at all. Others may even question your thoughts and what you do, not understanding why you do it again and again anyway. I understand. The struggle is real, and we don’t mean to make ourselves different from others. It kind of just turns out that way. But that’s the reality. We all have our own ways of thinking, of analyzing, and there would be people who fail to understand us. Others may be patient, while others may easily give up. The point is, when these people try explaining how they overthink, they are are actually trying to open up. You may be trying to allow someone to know you more, it’s never meant to discriminate yourself from others.
8. It could be the one thing that allows you to sleep peacefully.
Or not sleep at all. I’ve mentioned this earlier, but I’d rather talk about it more. Overthinking is not just about being simply addicted to it. We don’t do it just to do it. We often do it clear up our thoughts, understand the things around us more. And usually, that is what you’d want to do. Also, after doing it repeatedly throughout all the other days of your life, it’s just hard to sleep without going through that stage. At times, it’s even hard to go through a day without doing so as well. It becomes a part of who we are, who you are, and in my opinion, I have come to love it.
So to close, I’d like address first those who don’t overthink. I understand that it may not make much sense for you. Yet still, I ask that you understand those who do. Be patient with them. Understand that if it’s a part of who they are, then they can’t just pull it out of themselves without changing. I’m not asking you to support them or anything, but that would of course be great. But what I’m really just asking is to please understand them as much as possible. Don’t go straight to thinking that these are different people. Our brains work in different ways. Respect theirs as they respect yours.
On the other hand, to those who overthink, I understand that it can be annoying, but overthinking like this often really does give you a lot of insights. Of course, as a whole, not all of your assumptions may be spot on, but there will be things that would turn out to be true as well. And these little things, can give us the edge. They can give you a bit of knowledge that others don’t, it can allow you to understand before everyone else. Even more, doing so not only constantly trains our brains, but it also simultaneously trains one’s resilience, perseverance, and determination. As such, it’s never about just your analyses, nor thinking outside the box. Overthinking allows you to be much more effective and efficient. It helps you to continue trying no matter how many times you fail. It helps you to get used to those trapped situations you may feel, to be able to find a way out.
Overthinking is not a curse. It has its cons, sure. But if you’ve embraced it as something truly part of you, then you will understand the nature that comes with it. You will understand how to harness it for your own advantage, how to love the advantages it gives you, and most of all, how to live with it without hating yourself.