Why do we overthink things? Why do we feel the need to second-guess what is really going on with what we think is going on? How many times have you received a text message from someone that was pretty straightforward, but you felt the need to read into the “deeper message?” Let’s be honest for a second -- we all are guilty of such things. Whether it’s a flirty conversation with a guy or a “rude” text from your friend, we always think there is an alternative meaning behind these people’s words.
Sometimes what a person says is exactly what they mean; there is nothing up for discussion. Unfortunately, many people live to create drama, so they misinterpret things in order to cause controversy. Your boyfriend responded “K” to a message you sent? Oh sh*t -- bitch is about to go crazy on your ass.
Overthinking is what creates problems from nothing and is probably the leading cause for arguments between two people. Many people falsely believe that by overthinking certain things, they can garner a better result. There are actually little to no benefits to overanalyzing any given situation. All this will do is cause a person stress and anxiety. The more time a person analyzes a decision, the more time this person makes themselves susceptible to negative thinking. Rational decisions can become clouded when a person lingers on them for too long. The motivation and drive behind the initial idea can and will start to obscure.
The problem is many people lack the confidence to make decisions based on their own merit. They rely too heavily on others and not enough on themselves. People are much more capable than they give themselves credit for. You are the only one who will have to deal with the consequences of your decisions and actions, so why even bother yourself with the opinion of others?
We have trouble letting things just be. Of course, it is important to think about things, but there is a line that gets crossed too many times. Take time to be sure, but be sure not to take too much time. This is a terrible habit that needs to be broken. You need to remain actively aware of your thought process when faced with a decision. If you find that you are lingering on a topic for too long, stop and think of what your initial thoughts were. Follow your gut and your instincts, more often than not, it will work out in your favor. You may need to enforce some sort of personal time limit as each person differs.
Another great option is to go out and to distract yourself and to make a quick decision later on. Let yourself relax and come back to the decision when you have internally calmed down. Perhaps the most helpful thing to do is to stop thinking of the worse case scenario. This is a problem many overthinkers face and is perhaps the hardest to overcome. Would anyone actually do anything fun or risky if all they considered were the negative outcomes? No they wouldn’t.
By focusing on the big picture, you can help to alleviate some of the stress decision-making brings. Think to yourself: will this matter in a week? A month? Five years? By putting things into perspective, you can begin to see how these actions are a lot less meaningful than we originally thought.
When making decisions, we spend more time evaluating the action at hand than we do actually engaging in it. Should I do this or this? Stop thinking and just do it, if it works out in your benefit, then good for you. If it does not, well chalk it up as a learning experience so you know better the next time.
Photos via Tumblr