One of the greatest attributes that we have as human beings is our ability to reason and think. Yet for many, this ability goes too far. “Overthinking” is more than simply too much thought. For many, it is the single greatest cause of stress, anxiety, and depression, and can often lead the person to make more errors and worse decisions than if they took action on instinct.
What Happens when We Overthink?
Critical thinking is how we make good decisions. But overthinking doesn’t provide this same benefit. When we overthink, we’re creating this illusion for ourselves that we can resolve an issue simply by repetitively thinking about it over and over again – as though the more we think, the more likely we are to come to a different and better conclusion.
Rarely is this the case.
Most of the time, when we overthink, what we are really doing is paralyzing ourselves into inaction – or worse, creating justifications in our mind for the wrong decision, when we already had the right one from the beginning.
While our ability to think and reason is one of our greatest strengths, another strength that we have as human beings is the ability to take what information we have and come up with the right conclusion. But when we overthink, we’re often ignoring that information, and hoping that new information will simply come to us that will help us make a better decision.
Overthinking is also a common cause of anxiety and depression, leading to thoughts that go beyond what logic and experience call for.
Thinking is Good – Overthinking is Not
It is good to be thoughtful, and to learn how to critically think. It is quite another to overthink, and let your mind wander to impossible scenarios or conclusions that may never come.
Learning to control those overthinking tendencies, and to try your best to teach yourself to think “the right amount” and trust that you can come to the appropriate conclusion is important for finding more happiness and making better, faster decisions.
For those that struggle with stress and anxiety, or find that far too often their tendency to overthink interferes with their life, call me today at 516-732-0273. We can discuss strategies to prevent overthinking, and work on helping you manage any stress, anxiety, or depression you may be struggling with as a result.