Overthinking. We all do it – of course we all do it. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is probably one of my more hard-hitting habits. I don’t even realize I do it anymore; it has become that natural. Overthinking causes damage, and I mean the “it’s 3am and I’m overanalyzing every aspect of my life – what I’ve done right – what I’ve done wrong in the span of my 19 years on this earth” kind of damage. And by damage I am referring to the beautiful 2 hours of sleep I am willingly allowing myself to lose at night. That’s the problem with overthinking – your mind is going a mile a minute. If something is causing you that much distress or fixation, then it’s clearly affecting your state of mind – and sleep pattern. Innocuous thoughts or not, something is important enough to you.
My thoughts used to stay scribbled onto the pages of my journals until I started unknowingly overthinking out loud which basically constituted in word vomit – and a lot of it. Maybe that’s what makes overthinking so bittersweet. We overthink things that have caused us hurt or happiness, just to experience it again and again. Half the time we are so off track with our own thoughts that we simply become a beautiful mess of feelings, opinions and in some cases, words left unsaid.
Now lets be real, thinking too much about ANYTHING is stressful. Our thoughts (whether positive or negative) consume us and are constantly on rewind and playback basically dictating whether we are happy or unhappy. “Just stop thinking about it” are words voiced at us. We are constantly thinking without even realizing we are thinking. Our brains are beating us up; maybe they are even essentially out to get us. Ultimately what I’m telling you is that our brains suck.
Joking (kind of). I don’t know about you but my brain ever so often loves to team up with that other fundamental organ in my body to make my life a living hell. You know that “my brain says one thing while my heart says another” cliché bullshit that apparently to my surprise is actually true? Yeah, that’s what I mean. It’s in those situations when I can actually feel the ache in my chest, knowing that my heart is doing the thinking and my brain is just on standby waiting to be crushingly logical.
Overthinking is a whole other aspect in its own. It’s freakishly weird how much we succumb to it as well. If I go 2 hours without thinking about something in specific that has been on my mind for however long, I’m truly amazed.
More often than not, we distinguish overthinking with heartbreak and every other ‘this is the end of the world’ love sob story. Though I am not saying this isn’t true (as I’ve been this ‘end of the world’ glorifier) I don’t necessarily think overthinking is at all bad for us either. It is how we choose to act on these thoughts that is what affects us the most. If you have the power to think about something let alone overthink it, you also have the power to tell yourself not to. Seems pretty manageable, right?
Maybe overthinking can teach us one of two things. 1. That we are absolutely insane or 2. That we are experiencing something completely normal. Now unless your overthinking has resulted in you becoming an axe murderer, I think it’s safe to classify everyone with the latter. Yes, thinking too much about one thing is frustrating and tiring. I can’t even begin to explain the numerous times I’ve wanted to physically just shut my entire brain off.
However, overthinking has also caused me to come to a lot of good conclusions in my life. Not every overthought was an issue that was never there to begin with. Some things need to be thought-out deeply in order for them to come to the surface and for you to decipher if it’s worth making your mind vacant to anything or anyone else. Whether this is with your education, jobs or relationships – remember that your thoughts are your mediators and also your peacekeepers.
So you may be wondering when I’m ever going to get to the point of ‘why overthinking is an art’. Maybe it’s an art because individually, we are all able to have such vivid and creative imaginations. Or simply just the art of conjuring up problems that were actually never there to begin with. Whatever it is, your thoughts are with you always and you are the only one that can decide whether you will let them get the best of you or make them the best you. Overthinking is draining, but it is also helpful in determining how much you are going to let your mind control your happiness. Don’t stop overthinking completely – just the things that you know are not worth your time and that take away from those precious hours of sleep when your head has finally hit the pillow.