As I’ve mentioned in other posts our minds quite like to know things, to work things out, to know how something is going to be, even if there’s no reason for this knowing. They like to be active, and this is being quite polite to the mind.
Sometimes this activity can turn in to obsessive thought processes, that allowed to run can very easily
I feel that this is an apt dictionary definition of overthinking:
“The art of creating problems that weren’t there to begin with”
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. To the overthinking mind that is creating these problems, the problems are very real, as real as if they are actually happening. Because as the mind forward thinks about a future scenario, if left to it’s own devices, is highly likely to place a person in a future that is worse than where they are now. Also any emotions connected with this future ‘negative’ scenario will become real as a result of these thought processes.
A person on the outside looking in, may find it hard to see what the fuss is about, as they aren’t having the future thoughts and from their perspective have complete clarity. For them it is easy to see that there is no real problem to solve.
I have experienced this situation numerous times, from both the over thinker’s perspective, and from the perspective of the outsider looking in. So I got to see how the mind plays it’s game from both a retrospective view, looking back at a time when my mind had more of a tendency to create problems, and in the moment when seeing it happen in another.
I remember back when my mind would latch on to something and blow it out of all proportions, and although my girlfriend at the time would try to get me to see sense, I never listened, as to me it was real.
“Well is it them or me,
well I just can’t see,
but there ain’t no peace to be found”
If your mind has a habit of blowing things beyond what they actually are, you can learn to change this. There will be signs that your body gives you to tell you when it’s happening. These may be feelings of anxiety, worry, or you may notice your mind speeds up at these times. Whatever it is, you can learn to act on these signs and change what happens next, rather than going with the flow of the mind.
If you connect with what I’ve written here, what do you feel just before your mind becomes obsessive. Make a list, these are your warning signs. Then ask yourself – What can I do to stop this in it’s tracks before it becomes obsessive?
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