• Have you been labelled as an over-thinker?
  • Are you really an over-thinker?
  • Do you suffer from recurring thoughts?
  • Is your head clogged with thoughts?
  • Is it robbing you of all your happiness?

If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you are…

This is one of the modern-day terminologies – over-thinker or mental diarrhoea used by & for today’s generation. Do you think people did not overthink in your parents’ or grandparents’ times? Of course, they did. Their state is beautifully expressed: हाजी जी क्यों दुबले शहर के अंदेशे से?

Means the one who thinks about the whole city? His mind is unnecessarily cluttered with unnecessary thoughts which hardly concern him.

When someone asked Sadhguru, “what is overthinking” he drew a very apt analogy which I am sharing with you here. He said, “If you simply learn to sit, you become tremendously intense, right now your energy is simply expended by doing the unnecessary endless activity. When you have so much mental diarrhoea, how can you have the required energy? Suppose you have diarrhoea; do you know how weak you feel? Likewise, mental diarrhoea or overthinking is very exhausting. If you stop this mental diarrhoea, you have this energy to be very intense.”

But what are the symptoms of an overthinker? If you are the one you would know what exactly you go through. A problem keeps circling in your mind, for instance, a recurring worry or a dilemma and you just can’t stop dwelling on it.

But do you actually try to find some solution or try to find some meaning or solution? Round and round the thoughts go but, unfortunately, the solutions rarely arrive. So, you are overthinking, right?

Are you spending too much time analysing your problems and dilemmas? Then you often end up more at a loss than you were, to begin with. It’s not only impacting your mental condition but persistent overthinking can result in a wide range of symptoms such as insomnia, trouble concentrating, and loss of energy which, in turn, often leads to further worries regarding one’s symptoms, thereby creating a vicious cycle of overthinking. In some cases, this eventually leads to chronic anxiety or depression.

So, how do you stop overthinking?

Do you need to ask yourself the right questions like what am I overthinking everything? Thinking over and over – won’t help you identify what’s going on in your thoughts or your life. They’ll only facilitate more overthinking. You need to focus on solution-oriented questions that are proactive rather than those that trigger rumination.

Few tips to avoid overthinking:

  • Distract yourself
  • Plan to take action
  • Take action
  • Question your thoughts
  • Readjust your life’s goals
  • Work on enhancing your self-esteem
  • Try meditation
  • Understand your triggers.

Thoughts that are bothering this generation are: Will I have a good career? Will I settle abroad? Will I get a good life partner? Will I travel to my chosen destination? Will I be able to buy a house in the next 10 years? So on and so forth.

Like all habits, changing your destructive thought patterns can be a challenge. But, with consistent practice, you can train your brain to think differently.

You need to notice when you are stuck in your head.

Overthinking can become such a habit that you don’t even recognize when you’re doing it. Hence, you need to start paying attention to the way you think so you can become aware of the problem.

When you’re replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that this isn’t productive. Thinking is only helpful when it leads to positive action.

Then there is a need to focus on problem-solving. Living with problems doesn’t help, but looking for solutions does. If it’s something you have some control over, consider how you can prevent the problem, or challenge yourself to identify potential solutions.

What is the solution? How can you overcome overthinking?

Yes, it is impossible to rehash yesterday or worry about tomorrow when you’re living in the present. But mindfulness will help you become more aware of the here and now. Just like any other skill, mindfulness takes practice, but over time, it can decrease overthinking. There are classes, books, apps, courses, and videos available to help you learn mindfulness skills.

Then you can experiment by changing the channel. You need to tell yourself to stop thinking about something that may backfire. The more you try to prevent a thought from entering your brain, the more likely it is to keep popping up. So, change the channel in your brain by changing your activity. Exercise, engage in conversation on a completely different subject, or work on a project that distracts you. Doing something different will put an end to the barrage of negative thoughts. However, recurring positive thoughts are welcome!

So don’t worry, be happy!!