Overthinking and worries: Causes and solutions


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A few days back, we were planning to go for a movie, and suddenly one of my friends raised her concern, “I am not coming. The road would be heavily busy, I hate it. I can’t handle it.” I exclaimed, “But you have come many times before.” It was her reply that made me write this post. She replied, “When I am on the road, I will somehow handle it. But when I think about walking through the rush, I really get frustrated. Next time you book my ticket and tell me only just before we go. At least I worry only for a short time. Now I don’t know whether I can sleep tonight, I will be worrying about this all the time until we reach the mall!”

This is an excellent example of over-thinking and related worries. She was worrying about the hectic road. The reason for her concerns seems silly at first, but it can go beyond.

There are other examples such as worrying about the health or death of our relatives, expecting adverse incidents in life etc. If we see a road-accident unexpectedly, we suddenly call our dearest ones and make sure that he/she is safe. These are all a few examples which are common in the general population, and usually, we don’t pay much attention to the core reasons. So, we continuously worry inside our head about different situations, without knowing that it is a minor psychological disorder which we all share. But have you ever imagined how peaceful or better life would be once you overcome these problems? Have you ever thought of reasons for this typical trait of the human being? Let’s have a close look at this:

A few reasons:

  1. Our ancestors had the same: From the point of view of the theory of evolution, this is a primitive defence mechanism our ancestors developed to take precautions to avoid the natural disasters before they happen. In that sense, it is good. It is always better to think of all the possibilities and prepare ourselves to deal with them before anything worst happens. But it is also important not to over-think about them. A wise man still thinks about the best and worst scenarios and prepare for both. Once the preparation is done, he will hope only for the best. And usually, the best thing happens. This approach is called balanced thought: entertaining the possibility of all scenarios, but only wish for the best one.  But mediocre people consider and expect only the worst.
  2. Childhood matters: Some people over-think more than others. One reason could be their childhood experiences. As you know, things that happen in our childhood will be impressed on the deepest portions of the mind, since we can’t use our sense of logic in childhood. If we were surrounded by ‘over-thinkers’ in our childhood, then it’s quite reasonable for us to become one of them.
  3. Very psyche can be the reason: You might have noticed that you have worried a lot about many things in your past and most of these worries never actually happened. Over many incidents, your subconscious mind starts to form a pattern based on your experiences. According to this pattern, you believe that when you worry a lot, it will not happen. So you naturally start to worry when you don’t wish something terrible to happen in your life. This inefficient behaviour is exhausting and can consume our peace from life. The surprising fact is that it is hard to recognise these subconscious mechanisms because “you” are a mere expression of the collection of many such patterns.

A few remedies:

  1. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the thoughts of worries altogether: Yes. Worrying thoughts frequently come because we don’t have anything else to think. When you are in front of your strict and rude teacher, submitting your incomplete assignment, will you worry about crossing the road this afternoon? No. Because you have already engaged your thoughts about the reaction of your teacher. So, what you can try is to engage your thoughts with something else.
  2. Replace with better thoughts: As we already said, you are over-thinking anyway. So why can’t you ‘over-think’ about something joyful? You have been over-thinking a lot about bad things for a long time, now it’s time to over-think about something good. Give it a try, nothing loses.
  3. Over-thinking results worries: Sometimes, people regret on something they have or haven’t done in the past. To overcome their regret, they imagine numerous variations of the same situation and try to satisfy themselves by acting their best in each scenario. This is never going to satisfy them regardless of how many times they respond well in their hypothetical situations. The reason is, they are trying to control an uncontrollable loop inside their head. In fact, this over-thinking leads you into overwhelming worries. So stop imagining situations and start handling it if it happens again in the future. Life will be far better this way!
  4. What’s the big deal?: Whether you worried or not, when it happens, you are going to handle it. So what is the advantage of worrying about it before? Just prepare your best to stop happening it. And take the precautions. Once it’s done, sit back and hope for the best. Now, let the life happens for you!
  5. Self-awareness: Next time, when you worry or over-think about something, just be aware of your thoughts. In most cases, mere observation of your thoughts will make you recognise that you are in a mental trap, and once you understand it, you will get rid of such loops of thoughts naturally. So watch your thoughts.. 🙂

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