Do You Suffer from Severe Anxiety? | It’s Probably Due to Overthinking
Worrying, Anxiety, and Overthinking
[Adapted from an Article by Amy Morin in Psychology Today]
Are you afflicted by the anxiety and anguish of constant worrying? Do you fret about the future and feel uncertain about how your life will play out? Are you a prisoner bound by the insecurities in your own mind? If so, try your best not to worry (pun intended). If you are a neurotic worrier, it’s most likely due to overthinking.
While it’s true that every person overthinks things every once in awhile, there are some of us who can’t help but engage in neurotic and excessive overthinking. People like us suffer from waves of creeping thoughts that crash against our psyche leaving us mentally and emotionally battered. Experts distinguish this mental condition into two thought patterns: ruminating and worrying.
Ruminating, As the title suggests, is when a person regularly rehashes the negativity of their past within their mind. Examples include:
- “I shouldn’t have said that!” They all probably see me as a pseudo-intellectual after I spoke my mind at Friday night’s party.
- “Why should I even try?” Remember what happened last time I tried to strive for success?
- “Those high school bullies were right when they said I wouldn’t amount to anything.” I’ll only continue to prove them right.
Worrying involves negative thoughts and predictions about what is to come in an overthinking individual’s immediate and long-term future. Examples of this include:
- “I just know I’m going to choke in the company’s annual softball tournament this Friday!” I’m going to let all of my co-workers down which will cause them to lose respect for me.
- “I’ll never succeed in a career that I’m passionate about.” I’m inept and unworthy to chase such lofty dreams.
- “I’m not good enough for my significant other.” They will undoubtedly discover this and leave me for someone who is better than me in every way.
If you are an overthinker like me, then these types of thought patterns most likely plague your everyday life. As an overthinker, You may almost feel claustrophobic in believing you will never be able to break free of this self-destructive, mental prison. Even worse, failure to overcome your own thoughts can be maddening and can cause even the strongest willed to feel as though they are stuck in a seemingly perpetual state of hopelessness.
Fortunately for misunderstood neurotics like us, there are tips that we can use to overcome our daily, hellish routine of self-validating our darkest insecurities by overthinking, thus freeing us from our own mindset.
Overthinkers don’t just use words to contemplate their lives. Sometimes, they conjure up images. too. They may envision their car going off the road or replay a distressing event in their minds like a movie. Either way, their tendency to overthink everything holds them back from doing something productive.
The Dangers Of Overthinking
Thinking too much about things isn’t just a nuisance; it can take a serious toll on your well-being. Research finds that dwelling on your shortcomings, mistakes, and problems increases your risk of mental-health problems. And as your mental health declines, your tendency to ruminate increases, leading to a vicious cycle that is hard to break.