Over the 20+ years of TVWriter™’s existence, we’ve spoken many times about the problem of overthinking our art, our work, and/or our lives. In face, we’ve published so many articles about it some people might call our concern an obsession. Or even – OMG! – more of the dreaded overthink.
Here’s the latest on how to put your overthinking obsession in its proper place.
How to Stop Yourself from Overthinking Everything
by Elizabeth Yuko
Everyone overthinks a decision or situation from time-to-time, but for some it becomes an obsession and gets in the way of their ability to function. When faced with a difficult decision, for example, it’s a good idea to take the time to weigh the potential risks and benefits of your options and consider the possible outcomes. But when it gets to the point where you’re getting distressed by imaging all the worst-case scenarios and then convincing yourself that they’re inevitable, it’s time to stop these thought patterns. Here are a few ways to do it.
Overthinking tends to fall into one of two categories: ruminating and worrying. Ruminating involves replaying a situation or problem over and over in your mind, according to the late Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a former professor of psychology at Yale University. Here’s how Farah Aqel, a science journalist for Deutsche Welle (a German public international broadcaster) describes ruminating:
We ruminate by obsessing over our thoughts and thinking repetitively about various aspects of a past situation…People prone to such patterns of thought may, for example, overanalyze every single detail of a relationship that breaks up. They often blame themselves for what has happened and are overcome with regret, with typical thoughts being:
– I should have been more patient and more supportive.
– I have lost the most perfect partner ever.
– No one will love me again.
Ruminating typically involves a combination of regret, self-loathing and self-blaming, and is associated with the development of depression, anxiety and eating disorders, Aqel reports….