When Stress Leads to Overthinking
Welcome back to The Limitless Blog. My name is Radhika and I'm the founder of Jiva More Life. Our mission is to inspire you to believe that you are limitless. Today's topic is overthinking. When I'm stressed, I start to overthink which in turn makes me more stressed instead of focusing on solving the issue. I've learned that if you're overstimulated or overthinking, you should journal and if you're under-stimulated or under thinking, you should read.
How does overthinking help you in your life? What benefits does it provide?
Overthinking is really helpful when I'm trying to solve a problem. For example, if there's a challenge I'm facing that I'm looking to solve or figure out a creative solution to, overthinking is great because my mind is in hyper drive. I'm focused and continuously thinking what about this or that? What resources can I use? Can I look it up on Google? Can I see on Pinterest? Does someone else have an idea? I’m able to look lots of places and find a way to solve the problem because I am overthinking.
How can overthinking hinder your progress?
It can hurt me as well when I'm stressed out because I know once I solve the problem I won’t be stressed so I end up obsessively thinking of the problem. I also start obsessively thinking of solutions, but this can end up being very taxing for my body if I’m not being productive like in my earlier example and then I end up more stressed with no solution. I get into a stressed state needing to find a solution instead of a relaxed state when looking.
What causes you to overthink?
I tend to start overthinking when I think I can solve the problem right away. Sometimes there’s a simple answer in Google and that's great, but it's when you start to run into roadblocks that you begin to overthink and go into this cycle. Instead of taking a minute and realizing this is going take some time to research or maybe I don't have all the information right now, so I won't be able to solve this. I will start to overthink and look for more research, more articles, more ideas and more inspiration in hopes that I can solve it and just end up more stressed and with no solution. Since I’ve realized this, I’ve been working on not going into that overthinking mindset and thinking back to everything happens for a reason and really taking the time that I need to solve the problem without forcing myself to solve it right then and there.
What helps you when you start to overthink?
What really helps me is writing down what I'm thinking about. What is the problem that's causing me to overthink? Then what are the things that I'm thinking about associated with it? Whether that's things to research, things to do, or possible solutions or ideas. I like having a place where it's written and I can take it out of my head. This way it’s more physical and I know that I can go back to it and remember the same mindset or thoughts I had at anytime and then I don't feel the need to solve it right in that moment.