Brains are excellent tools, but what if they work against us due to overthinking effects?
As humans, we are gifted with intelligence much higher than any other beings, and this is what has led us to where we are now, with all of our human inventions: electronics, houses, cars, literature, and so on.
What happens when your brain uses you rather than you using it as a utility? What happens when your mind keeps draining your energy on unnecessary emotions, thoughts and feelings?
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In this blog, I would like to share four dangerous side effects of overthinking and the methods I used to overcome them:
The first thing we need to understand is what thoughts are. Feelings of fear, anger, excitement, or happiness are all related to your thought. In fact, overthinkers are extremely anxious people.
People tend to make up all sorts of scenarios in their heads about what is gonna happen. By overthinking a particular matter, one can easily be overwhelmed with negative emotions such as fear, stress, and worry.
Worrying about the future keeps you away from living in the present. You can become miserable and exhausted with too much anxiety.
Overthinking effects cause you to become exhausted and sometimes depressed because emotions created by your thoughts are being caged in your life.
Additionally, feelings of anxiety may lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. Yes, you can literally imagine yourself dying or on death bed.
A person with anxiety worries about the future, and a person with depression worries about the past.
Depressive disorder can be caused by illnesses or disorders as well. You become depressed by thinking about your past over and over again, which is very unpleasant.
The bad experiences of some people always carry on their shoulders. People ruminate too much on situations that ‘could have happened differently,’ and it makes them look foolish.
One of the most important lessons depressed people need to learn is that they cannot alter the past. As a result of our experiences, all we can do is move forward with more wise and strengthened minds.
Suicidal thoughts, and even more so suicide, can happen as well in the case of depression.
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Did you ever want to go to bed, but your mind kept you awake? You might be tired physically, but in your mind, the races are still going on. Because overthinking leads to negative thoughts.
Some people try to force themselves to sleep by forcing themselves to stay awake, but that won’t work either. It’s impossible for your mind to control when you’re falling asleep.
When you overthink before going to sleep or worrying about other things, your sleep quality will be lost, which will negatively impact both your physical and mental health.
Every single day, sleep gives us the best recovery.
One of the most common symptoms is waking up around 5 AM and failing to fall back asleep, even after only four hours of sleep.
Sleep occurs when you feel calm and relaxed. You will sleep more easily/naturally when you are both satisfied with your physical and mental condition.
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Making decisions can be hard when you spend too much time overthinking. If you have ever pondered the possibility of something going right or wrong, then you have probably done so as well. However, you fear making the decision because something could go wrong.
You overthink about something too much, which prevents you from actually doing it, whether you are starting a business, starting a YouTube channel, or even asking a girl out for a hangover.
Sure, your business and YouTube channel might suffer, and yes, she may refuse, your business might fail. You cannot make it if you don’t shoot, just like in basketball, but taking the shot will increase your chances of success.
Confidence is accepting the ‘no’ in exchange for uncertainty, rather than seeking the ‘yes’ through uncertainty.
Many issues arise from side effects of overthinking, and they can be addressed through physical solutions.
To calm the mind, meditation is the best method. There are also other options like exercising, spending time with friends or adjusting your daily schedules.
In my early twenties, I struggled with all of the above things. My sleep pattern was disturbed and I couldn’t eat well. It was also hard for me to motivate myself because my anxious thoughts were consuming my thoughts.
I couldn’t fall asleep peacefully with those anxious thoughts; Those thoughts kept me awake and kept me going to university without sleep.
The moment I woke up, I started to tense up and could not maintain my peace of mind. I slept only 2 to 3 hours each night during that time.
Exercise and meditation have been the most helpful for me. Before grabbing my phone in the morning I meditated for 20 minutes, and I jogged every day for at least 1 hour just before sleep.
Following are the steps I use when I meditate:
- Relax in a quiet room by lying on your back or sitting in a chair
- You can take a full, controlled breath, of four seconds in followed by six seconds out
- Count your breaths ten times
- When you have taken ten breaths, keep repeating the procedure for at least ten minutes
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- Keep your mind on the present moment.
- Be optimistic
- Accept that you can’t control everything
- Distract yourself from troubled thoughts by choosing a hobby or an exercise routine
- Be grateful
- Be kind to yourself
Additionally, I recommend you exercise as little as 20 minutes a day. You will likely feel less stressed especially with aerobic activities like running and cycling.