The mind is like a box of nuts, you can enjoy them one by one with a smile on your face or over-analyze the texture, shape and taste of every nut. In simple terms, overthinking, rationalizing and analyzing every detail in life can lead you to the nut house.
First, I am the queen of overanalyzing. Overthinking has led my mind into deep and dark places, which is why I fled to India to find sanity at a yoga sanctuary. I cover the nitty gritty details in my memoir, Finding Om, but my mind bounces between the light and airy aspects of life to the deep watery trenches of questions. I’m a genetic concoction of two cultures that I love including the “no worries” Australian and “logical and rational” German where I think and think and think until my mind blows a gasket. I guess that’s part of the deal as being a Gemini ascendant (in Vedic astrology).
Because I know this, I must care for my mind and be cognizant that I can overthink details.I pretty much live my personal life as a laid-back, "go with the flow" person because in the past I've overthought life details until my eyelids twitched. It's part why I am forever thankful for living in Australia at 20 because their culture broke my neurotic thinking patterns.
When I moved to Germany, I “studied” various spiritual and non-spiritual people. How are some spiritual people I know constantly struggling in areas of life? And how are some non-believers in anything-cosmic flow with ease and abundance? Some of this has to do with the person’s vibration, and some of this maybe part of the life we signed up for, but my friend once said, “I think one problem with many spiritual people is that they overthink things too much. They worry too much about what negative forces attached them and overanalyze every sign and detail.”
I, as they say in German, “made a pause,” and reflected on this information. I looked at my own present and past situations and found validity in his answer. I tested myself and stopped overthinking certain things. And ironically, situations flowed with better ease.
Sometimes we get caught up in tiny details and forget the bigger picture. I notice this a lot in the dating world where people “freak out” because the guy or girl returned a text message hours later.
Overthinking is overdriving common sense, logic and creativity. I feel that many work situations over-analyze details and people want an explanation for everything. What if there is no explanation? Fixating on the smaller details ignores the bigger details.
In the above example about text messages, if I am in a creative zone I do not look at my phone or email and return the message when I can give my full attention to the message. Maybe the person you are dating is similar?
Long-term overthinking leads to a destructive path of worry, fear and eventually anxiety. When anxiety strikes, panic attacks trigger the body with chaos because you overanalyze one’s silence or the cause of something. It digs a deeper ditch and is harder to crawl out of that mindset.
What can you do to help with over thinking? It’s not easy, but there are ways out of the black hole.
First, challenge your beliefs and thoughts. If your boss didn’t talk to you, an overanalyze may think he or she did something wrong or has poor work performance. Do you think your actions or words affect your life? One way to battle this is to think of other situations until you fully know the answer. Maybe your boss has personal issues? Maybe he trusts you to be independent and not check in all the time?
Next, redirecting your attention to something else benefits your mind. When you see yourself start to analyze a situation, think or focus on something else.
Also, write what you want in life. If you feel stuck at a dead end job, write what you want such as, “I want a job that is meaningful to my beliefs and engages my mind.”
Mindfulness is one of the world’s most powerful tools. Once you develop mindful techniques you will notice that your brain is not on autopilot when stewing issues and problems. Mindful meditation is one example of how to retrain your brain.
To sign off, I leave you with this –
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com