What it’s like to Overthink

Thinking is probably the most essential and basic thing a human does. Everybody has thoughts everyday. Should i get up for breakfast or get 20 more minutes of sleep? Red shirt or blue one? What will i do today? How many people will i meet today? Just like these there are trillions of thoughts going around the heads of billions of people over the globe. In fact, I’m sure you’ve even heard the famous saying “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”, right? One who has absolutely nothing to do or engage themselves in will almost always be inclined to do something that the devil would do, i.e a crime/something bad(relative). But….what about a mind that’s overthinking?

Overthinking is generally accepted to mean delving excessively into/about situations that have either happened or are yet to happen. Like when you end up worrying about how bad that one test you screwed up will affect your GPA. Or when you break stuff in your room the night after you lost that final game. Overthinking, in my opinion, is worse than an idle mind. With an idle mind, there’s always a chance you’ll just waste time not being productive instead of doing “something bad”. With overthinking, you’ll always end up depressing yourself.

2 paragraphs in, it’s not rocket science for you to figure out i’m an overthinker. I think about my future, my present and my past. I think about things that have no point in thinking about now. I think about pointless things that only have a minuscule chance of happening. Crossing the road, I’m sure very little to none of you have ever thought of what your immediate life would be like if you lost a leg getting hit by a car. You’d still be alive but that pain would be excruciating. You’d cause a commotion too, since onlookers would probably rush to you help. Living away from home you can’t help but think what your parents are doing right now and how their whole day and possible weeks to come will be ruined by your unfortunate news. But wait, who’ll contact them? And when? 2 hours or 2 min after the accident, when someone decides to check your wallet for identification? You’ll get a surgery, a cast. Be the center of attention for most people back at uni, only to quickly become a burden to the ones you thought had your back when they have to help you getting around everywhere. How will you cover up the course content you’ve missed? Another semester down the drain it seems.

And then, you’re on the other side of the road still walking to class with both your legs attached to your pelvis.

The above is a common scenario that I’ve played countless times over the span of years now, so it doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s become more like a hobby. What gets me down in the dumps is excessive thoughts on current life events. Despite the fact that overthinking puts me in extremely depressed moods, I don’t want to stop. Friends and family alike have urged me time and time again to think about the present, not the past. Think about yourself, not about what others think of you. And as healthy as their advice is, the thought of becoming that kind of a person is unfathomable to me. It’s downright ironic!

I do have my reasons for continuing to overthink, enjoying it at times even. I feel like overthinking allows me to know myself better. Not caring what people think about you is a philosophy many people have chosen to adapt in today’s world. For me, what people think about me is my lifeline. Why wouldn’t you want to know what people think about you? You get to know your faults and vices as well as your virtues and strengths from a plethora of personalities. You can mend your undesirable qualities and work on your positive ones. In essence, caring and thinking about what other people think about you brings the best out of you. You can become more like-able among your social circle.

The car crash leg break story above too is more than just a fun pastime. In recent times, it’s made me more grateful for what i have: both legs. I’ve seen many people, in uni as well, who walk around with a damaged leg/foot and every time i’m grateful i’m not going through the same thing. Many people take things for granted, but what would you do if you lost a leg suddenly?

If you’ve made it this far through my dramatic over-glorification, and self praising, of  a very unhealthy habit, you have my gratitude. All in all, i wouldn’t recommend anyone to overthink like i do. More than all the happy and positive stuff i managed to churn out are the negative aspects which heavily way in favor of stopping. For me, it’s become a matter self identification, i wouldn’t be me if i didn’t overthink and that wouldn’t sit well with me….i think.

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