Overthinking is given such a bad rap.
Everywhere you go you’ll see headlines “Overthinking Linked to Depression and Anxiety” or “Strategies to Fight Overthinking”.
Trust me, just go to the next Medium article.
Don’t get me wrong, overthinking can do you a disservice. However, let’s see why you shouldn’t be sold on having such a problem with it.
Overthinking can be helpful
Overthinking, as Merriam-Webster puts it, means to “think too much about something in a way that is more harmful than helpful”.
Overthinking can be helpful.
It’s just that Merriam says it is usually more harmful than helpful. 😂
So, if you catch yourself ruminating about the past or stressing over your life, there is hope.
With overthinking, you’re digging deep. Sometimes way too deep.
If you offer that profound thinking a purpose, it could lead to self-reflection? Couldn’t it?
Diving deep in those scary dark waters where all the “monsters” hide… You have a natural ability to go there. You just need to bring the right mindset, tools, and sometimes a (professional) guide you can trust.
It might not be pleasant, but it is how most of the real healing is done. If you even need any…
Overthinking is creative
The amount of what if’s asked while overthinking is substantial proof of the creative power this process carries.
Trying to find an invisible meaning in events or in people’s words, adds some extra sweet flavor of Nikola Tesla-level genius.
The “problem” is that you are creative about the problem.
You’re blessed with a sixth sense though. You see a gazillion different angles about the nature of the problem. How something’s affecting your life or certain aspects of it.
Small digression. With your overthinking abilities, you might make a fine lawyer or a doctor.
Imagine if you could choose to get a hold of that creative wracking ball and swing it in a different direction. To burst into something else, maybe your thinking patterns or problem-solving.
It’s a force you want to get more control over, change its course.
You can wield it when you need it and create. Draw, write, move, dance, calculate, program, help, heal, defend, reflect, whatever you want.
Remember, you have a superpower to approach everything from an infinite number of angles.
So, get a fine grip on your steering wheel, breathe, and create.
Overthinking is thinking
You’ve probably stumbled over advice to turn off your mind chattering.
The usual one, you know — tune out, meditate, don’t think so much...
Even Nike is flashing it at you from everywhere.
The advice is ok. It’s not ill-willed. However it is generic. It might be harmful if you are blindly following…
If you struggle to think less, quit trying.
Attention. Truth bombs!
You have been an overthinker for quite a while now, haven’t you? It’s not like yesterday you thought too much about that pizza place, and now you’re here.
It’s almost like it’s imprinted in your DNA. At least that’s what it feels like to you, isn’t it?
Well… You’re a thinker! You intellectualize! You shower with thoughts! And you do it regularly.
From me to you:
Keep it up! You shouldn’t be punching yourself in the back of your head.
I went to my great friend again, Merriam-Webster, to seek final answers.
For some strange reason, when I pronounce Merriam Webster, I imagine an old German lady. Anyways…
I asked this elderly woman what contemplation means. She said:
“To think deeply or carefully about (something). To view or consider with continued attention : meditate on”
Doesn’t it appear very similar to overthinking?
What if overthinking is actually a word dropped too often. Maybe you’re just abundantly thinking and contemplating?
Yes, of course, we overdo this thinking sometimes. Our mind talking often misses that “attention” part, obviously.
So we need attention, right?
I might be starting to overthink this… Feel free to fall into the same trap! :D