The worst part about overthinking is that we’re often aware that we’re doing it, and yet we don’t know how to stop it. Instead of not overthinking, we end up overthinking more about the fact that we’re overthinking. In order to figure out how to stop, we must first understand why we’re doing it in the first place.
Sure there’s usually an underlying reason that is causing us some anxiety, but underneath that reason, there is a pattern and an explanation for the brain’s overthinking mentality.
It Learned It Had To To Survive As A Child
Not everyone was blessed enough to have a stable and happy childhood. For many overthinkers, this habit formed when they were still very young. Their brain had to learn to adapt quickly to stressful and difficult situations that most children wouldn’t need to worry about. The brain learned that it always has to be on high alert and ready to find solutions, so it stayed in a defense mode.
This makes it worry obsessively about things that haven’t even happened yet in order to be perapred for the worst-case scenario. It’s a way to protect itself.
The Illusion Of Control
We overthink things because it gives us the illusion of control. It’s too scary for the brain to feel helpless. The more scenarios and possible outcomes it tries to calculate, the more in control it feels over the situation. It tries to convince itself that control is found in readiness when in reality there is no way to predict every single outcome.
Control takes away flexibility which is why it’s just an illusion. It actually comes from a place of low self-esteem and stress. The brain needs to learn to be okay with going with the flow and flexibility so that it is actually equipped to deal with all kinds of situations.
False Sense Of Predictability
This idea goes hand in hand with the illusion of control. Basically, we can’t stand not being able to predict the future and live in uncertainty. We tend to like to feel comfortable in stability. We’re afraid of the unknown because we don’t know how to prepare for it and because it’ll force us to change.
However, the brain needs to be able to grow despite the risks. Even if the outcome is not guaranteed, living in denial or pretending we know how it will all play out will only lead to disappointment and more anxiety.
Wanting To Get Another Benefit Out Of It
We hate to say this but some people love to be the victim even if they don’t intend to be because it makes them feel validated. Some people cave to overthinking because they love the way complaining about it will get them support or even pity. Some people think that overthinking and anxiety will even take off some of the blame if they end up making a bad decision. Some just use overthinking to procrastinate and avoid making the decision in the first.
Yet all have one thing in common, they think that if they keep overthinking, they’ll get something else out of it, like a secondary benefit.
Fear Of Conflict
Conflict and confrontations put a lot of stress on the brain, especially for those who are empathetic to a fault and want to please others. One way the brain attempts to avoid conflict is by overthinking. However, instead of figuring out how best to approach possible conflicts, it ends up overthinking all the ways it could go wrong.
In reality, the only way to practice handling conflict isn’t by imagining it but by actually doing it. This will build confidence that could avoid overthinking the next time conflict happens.
Are You Still Searching For Your Life Purpose?
The more you overthink, the more that you will vibrate on a lower frequency that will alienate you from your purpose. You won’t believe what the science of Numerology can reveal about you and your thinking patterns.
The numerology of your birth date, regardless of what month you were born, can reveal surprising information about your personality.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives