Harmful Impacts Of Overthinking (Mental Health Counseling)

Uncertainties in life are inevitable because no one has control over everything. Things happen purely as a result of a specific decision. Of course, there are times that those results come in favor and others end up with tons of consequences. That is the cycle of life. However, despite knowing that, some people still drown themselves with worries and fears. As a result, they overthink.

Overthinking is part of human nature. It is what individuals typically do when they are about to create an evaluation. It is supposed to provide people with excellent mental ability. It is helpful in a way that it makes people more considerate and compassionate about certain situations. Overthinking helps with memory and brain enhancement by channelizing different thoughts and ideas in one. It allows individuals to think about multiple options and find the best one among them. Overthinking can be beneficial in the major life-changing decision as it provides people with a happier and more satisfying outcome. It sometimes connects people to the solution, opens new and fresh ideas.

However, though those positive traits may sound promising, overthinking is still dangerous in most ways. It is a habit of thinking about something too much for too long. Usually, it causes intense worries and fears. It creates a lot of what-ifs. It somehow makes people incapable of handling themselves as it grows more with self-doubt, low self-esteem, and lack of productivity. Overthinking usually promotes mental roadblocks that make it difficult for people to think positively.

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Overthinking And Mental Health

While overthinking is quite common, the habit of constantly practicing it is dangerous to people’s mental health. It can cause deterioration in brain function, making individuals lose concentration and focus. But aside from the general facts, there are specific things that overthinking can extremely impact. That is the development of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Anxiety

Like any other issue with overthinking, people deal with a less relaxed body and mind when anxious. That is because overthinking somehow draws negativity. Of course, when individuals have many things going on in their minds, they can’t focus. They get preoccupied with a lot of what-ifs and always look at negative things.

Overthinking connects with anxiety because that is what thoughts do. It often creates scenarios in people’s head that somehow triggers potential emotions such as anger, fear, worry, excitement, and happiness. Often, even a significant matter that does not need too much attention also becomes a factor for stress.

Overthinking and anxiety work hand-in-hand in giving people mental and emotional exhaustion. This particular thing prevents them from internalizing present moments. It puts people in a cage with the emotions they created through their thoughts and leaves them isolated. And in worse cases, anxiety due to overthinking can lead to self-harm and suicidal ideations.

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Depression

Depression and overthinking are also related. The brain keeps taking away people’s energy every time they focus on producing unnecessary thoughts and emotions. The emotional and mental burden is taking away people’s ability to overcome past negative issues. In some unfortunate instances, depressed people tend to experience more than just a piece of loneliness and sadness as they become more engaged in isolation and insecurities.

Of course, some factors can affect depression, and it is solely not limited to overthinking alone. There are genetics, medication, medical influence, life stressors, and so on. But with regards to overthinking and depression, other symptoms usually arise. These include physical manifestations such as body aches, headaches, and stomach problems.

Another thing with overthinking causing depression, it can also lead to unrecognizable self-destruction like anxiety. It can lead not only to self-harm and suicidal thoughts but greatly push people to commit suicide itself.

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Overcoming Overthinking

Sometimes, people do not know that they are overthinkers. Somehow, they cannot see themselves on the negative side and continue with the habit. It is as if they do not care about their overall well-being. In line with that, it is essential to understand that there are better ways to overcome overthinking.

  1. Notice The Things Stuck In The Head – Many things cause people to overthink. There are financial matters, family conflicts, marital issues, deadlines at work, relationship problems, etc. Basically, all of these are life endeavors. These things are inevitable, so people should notice these issues to keep away negative thoughts from constantly forming. Instead of creating other sets of problems, they should try and solve the ones that need an urgent solution.
  2. Focus On Problem-Solving – The matter with overthinking is its ability to take all forms of energy from the mind and body. After ruining people’s disposition, it will leave them in a pitched-black state. To avoid that, people must learn to solve their problems according to their priorities, needs, want, and basic accomplishments.
  3. Challenge Thoughts And Feelings – One way to eliminate overthinking habits is to challenge thoughts and feelings. It is vital to understand that thoughts are changing all the time, as well as emotions. People need to concentrate on identifying what they want to feel to connect to what they think.
  4. Schedule For Inner Reflection – Overthinking does not have to be constantly thinking about negative things. If people could have enough time, it would be nice to use it to reflect on other stuff such as those they want to change in their lives.
  5. Learn Mindfulness Skills – Meditation is one helpful way to get rid of overthinking. Aside from its ability to take down stress, it also reduces negative thoughts. It helps people gain a new perspective in life. Meditation increases imagination and creativity and improves patience and tolerance. It can greatly impact self-awareness.