The Art of Not Overthinking

We're all guilty of it, but why can't we stop? Here, we delve into the science behind overthinking and how you can stop this practice.

Not many of us have gone through our youth without having heard the famous quote by Rene Descartes, “Cogito, ergo sum.” Latin for “I think, therefore I am”.

So far so good. After all, we are born with superior brains and are mostly able to draw the course of our days and even chart our lives because we think. 

That said, have you at times caught your mind, going round and round like a hamster on a wheel, ruminating a little too much? 


Time To Think

Reminiscing about happy instances from the past is a good thing but brooding about mis-happenings leads me to think about what Jean Paul Sartre had to say:

“I am, I am, I exist, I think, therefore I am; I am because I think, why do I think? I don’t want to think any more, I am because I think that I don’t want to be, I think that I…..because…Ugh!”

Yes, even science has clearly proven time and again that letting our mind wander thinking about the mishaps from our past leads to anxiety, stress and depression. 

Those mishaps are already extinct and over and done with. Overthinking also leads to self-doubt and loss of self-esteem.

Thinking too much, in addition to other problems, causes relationship and social relationship issues and at times can even lead to real physical ailments. 

This study among other things had this to say: “Less common physical symptoms included bodily pains, fever, and more serious sequelae such as chest pain, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath.”

A study from Harvard Medical School found that excessive brain activity could lead to a shorter life and another report from Harvard says 47% of our waking hours are spent thinking about what isn’t going on and what may happen in the future.

There’s a difference between brooding and solving problems rationally or even instinctively.


Switching Off

Setting aside ruminating and reminiscing, overthinking a present situation also has repercussions. 

Overthinking or over analysing is said to often happen among champion athletes and other sports people who from winning situations end up losing matches. 

This is generally termed as choking, which basically means that due to over-analysis they end up playing below capabilities due to nervousness and anxiety.

Similarly stock and currency traders do their best not to overthink a trade.

When stakes are high such as an important business meeting or a job interview that really matters, we do well when we have a somewhat relaxed approach while being sensibly analytical.

As for dates, the more easy and spontaneous we are, the more desirable the outcome.

Thoughts are our own and there’s no reason to let them stymie all the good things that life brings each day.

Self-care is a hot topic right now, so we have put together some tips for you to do this on a budget.

How to Practice Self-Care On a Budget

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