We like to think. Indeed, it’s even encouraged from the moment you’re small. We spend a lot of time as children being cautioned to ‘think things through’ and to ‘think about our actions.’ But what happens when thinking becomes overthinking? If some of a thing is good for you, does that mean a lot can be so much better? What are the dangers of overthinking?
Like many things, too much of something is generally not healthy. For example, many studies have proven dark chocolate has certain health benefits. Eating a small piece has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and even protect you from heart disease. Yet a steady diet of dark chocolate would be terrible for your health, putting you at increased risk for diabetes, and even threatening your body on several levels as it doesn’t provide the nutrition needed for a balanced diet by itself.
So too, overthinking can be damaging. This is why it’s so important to check your thoughts. Don’t believe it? Think about these things:
It Slows Healing
If you’ve just suffered a setback, a little thinking is a good thing. Spending time going over and over what happened isn’t. When you revisit the past in this manner, you very easily become caught up in obsessive thought patterns, which can keep you from moving on to newer and better things.
You Burn Out
Let’s face it, some things you can’t fix. Overthinking those things will only keep you circling around looking for solutions to something which can’t be solved. Now you’re just banging your head on a wall, going nowhere fast.
You Only See Problems
Overthinking tends to concentrate on what’s going wrong and very rarely addresses the things going right. This means it’s very easy to see and even understand the problem, but you’re never going to find the solution.
You Lose All the Good in Life
When was the last time you felt positive about your life? If you’re overthinking? You’re not. Any kind of optimism, hope, and even an eye for solutions can quickly become drowned out by a relentless concentration on negative things such as failure, potential disaster, and problem-centric thinking.
You Lose Gratitude
A thankful heart requires a positive outlook and the acknowledgment of things going right in some regard. Overthinking squelches those thoughts, focusing instead on what you don’t have rather than what you do.
We Become Less Sure of Ourselves
Overthinking makes you second-guess yourself. This damages self-esteem and entirely negates any of your accomplishments, ruining your self-image entirely.
You’re Never Here
How can you live in the moment if you’re always revisiting the past or trying to figure out the future? This kind of overthinking is guaranteed to make you lose today entirely.
With this in mind, by all means, get a feel for what you’re doing. Just trust yourself with knowing the right amount of thinking you’re doing. When the balance begins to tip, you’ll feel it. These are the moments you need to step back, and maybe turn your thoughts elsewhere, at least for a time and realize the dangers of overthinking.