I can still vividly remember how it was growing up introverted. These were the years that nurtured my mindset of independency, self-reliance, and analysis.
It’s a tough and challenging journey, because we’re often the misunderstood. We have this need to ruminate, any thought, at any given stake… because… we just can’t help it. In fact, there’s a correlation between intoversion and overthinking. Being introverted means that we generally get our energy from being alone and in silent environments. Thus, productivity equate to being free from external distractions. On the other hand, being an overthinker emphasizes the convolution there is with introversion. It’s looking at your mind as an outrageous entity that constantly knocks on your door, at any given time, and invites you for another round of discussion.
Our thought processing means that we have to entertain the flow of incessant ideas that we sometimes don’t know how to manage — unless we translate them onto writing and deal with them. We think that it’s a big frog to catch, and the only way to get it is to eat it.
But this isn’t always the case.
Dealing with overthinking ironically requires mental strength and conscious effort in order to overcome its behavioral impediments. After all…
Thoughts affect our mind. Mind affects our behavior. Behavior affects our actions. Actions affect our attitude. Attitude affects our life.
Overthinking is rooted in many complex self-defining moments, which subsequently layers self-defeating mechanisms.
Fortunately, defeating overthinking is possible.
Let’s “analyze” the traits of a highly analytical mind and ways on how to cope:
1. Being a perfectionist
The Symptom: No room for mistakes
You just can’t help it but make sure everything’s done right. You’re addicted to carefully reviewing things and making sure that results are proportionate to the plan. Hence, you tend to be a by-the-plan person and is very results- and goal-oriented.
The Solution: Embrace and get used to imperfection
We should realize that perfection isn’t possible. The closest attributes we’re lured to are on the lines of “close to perfection,” isn’t it? Though there’s a better mindset to have: focus on the journey, not the destination. In addition, productivity and results are not consequences of being too much detail-oriented and eradicating faults; it’s about focusing on the positives and neglecting minuscule details that don’t even require attention and, more so, perfection.
2. Over analyzing everything
The Symptom: Detective of this world
The world isn’t a big crime scene that needs a victim-suspect mentality. In fact, most of your daily activities are just facets of realities that don’t need analysis. We tend to believe that we have to review everything because we think that the more me learn, the better we become — which isn’t always true. Sometimes, we have to simplify our thoughts ad focus on what matters. Our intellect can be a double-edged sword. With too much information, we forget to feed the basic human function — emotions.
The Solution: It’s ok to be naive
It’s fine to not know it all. Just think of the aphorism “curiosity killed the cat.” However, if you’re searching for a solution to a problem, being an analyst is acceptable.
3. Dwelling on the negatives a.k.a. pessimism
The Symptom: Devil’s advocate
There’s this subconscious thought that prevents you from doing something — even if you know it’s the right thing to do, the best way to do, and even the only way to do. Our brains are wired to be skeptics to our circumstances, because it’s our natural mechanism for safety and defense. However, being too much of a doubter can be harmful.
The Solution: Find the angels
If there are devils, there are surely angels. Washing away the evil and negative thoughts with good and positive ones will train your mind to blacken out these rascals as soon as they enter your mind. Going to “happy” environments and entering your “good” state of mind (e.g. listening to music, doing a certain activity, being gratified) will also be helpful in shifting the focus.
4. Articulating one’s self
The Symptom: Vocabulary overload
You’re a master of keen expression of thoughts, but fail to effectively communicate with certain people. With your accustomed syntax and manner of communication, you forget to adjust to people who aren’t in same linguistic wavelength as yours. This stubborn trait is often done unconsciously, but with careful practice, it can be overcomed.
The Solution: Keep it simple
If you’re not sure about the right words or thoughts, keep it simple. Being an effective communicator doesn’t need flowery words. What matters is communicating your thoughts precisely, concisely and simply. Only use highfalutin words when necessary; it doesn’t need to be used regularly. In fact, majority of people can’t comprehend much of the uncommon vocabulary. What matters is being sure that you can still keep up with people of all intellectual types.
5. Theorizing that your mind is greater than yourself
The Symptom: Know-it-all syndrome
You easily get overwhelmed by your thoughts, because they just come and go, without any prior notice. You feel that your brain can’t handle too much information processes, hence the overload; that you need to constantly chase after them before it’s too late. Unfortunately, this usually results in chronic confusion and a perturbed disposition.
The Solution: It’s all in the mind
The good thing is that it’s easy to convince the mind of pretty much anything. Whatever the mind perceives, it can conceive. Constantly practice of thinking that you can handle your thoughts, and that you can easily disregard thoughts that deserve to be trashed.
6. Satisyfing and justifying one’s thoughts
The Symptom: Legally obliged
You have this tendency of rationalizing. You have a staunch “must-prove” attitude, in which your statements must be accurate (and constantly defended if opposed) so that it doesn’t come off as negative or weak — because you know that this will emphasize as a recurring negative thought in the future.
The Solution: Think like a child
Not literally, but have you ever wondered what’s so admirable about children? It’s their sense of being resilient and indifferent to criticisms. They don’t take criticisms so seriously, because they don’t realy think about them at all!
7. Incessantly scrutinizing and organizing thoughts
The Symptom: Idea musicale
You feel that your mind produces a musical piece that’s playing in different rhythms, intensity, and genres. It’s like an orchestra inside that stupefies you whenever it’s active.
The Solution: Simplification
In order to manage your thoughts, you have to keep track on them and break them down. But take note: you can’t always include all thoughts. You have to dissect them and choose which ones are noteworthy. Begin with a mind map, or even with sticky notes. This is the time you can use your natural planning ability, characterized by meticulosity and preciseness. This system will help you organize your thoughts. In this way, it can help you discern which ones are worth developing and contributing to your life.
8. Having an idealistic mindset
The Symptom: I can do them all
Your mind is a massive thought incubator which produces a plethora of ideas. You’re wired to think that you possess attributes that make a doer: creativity, strategy, and logic. You believe you have the power and energy required to jumpstart something big. However, you tend to be unrealistic and lose pragmatism during planning stage. Hence, you lose focus halfway because you foresee your unpreparedness (the period when negativities start to dwell on your thoughts).
The Solution: Start small
It’s ok to start small. It’s better to start stable and relaxed, rather than energetic and overwhelmed. When you looked at opportunities at a macro perspective, start taking the small steps needed to reach the bigger milestones. It’s also imperative to find a comfort zone within your startup period, after which you gradually grow. Don’t force yourself to pivot so fast and big. Don’t solely rely on belief and faith. Energy and passion are important, but logic and realism must be present.
About The Author: Josh L. Doman discovered his devotion to writing after serving as a journalist then managing editor for his college’s official school paper and publications. His father, an investor, engineer, and scholar who authored a book in theology and spirituality; inspired his writings to delve on the moralistic, ethical, and inspirational implications of living in the present times. Publications are reflection of anecdotal encounters in entrepreneurship, fitness, and the military; and accrued readings about behavioral economics, self-help, and spirituality.