10 ways over-thinking destroys your happiness

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Allyson2213
Allyson2213's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
OLGA member
Joined: 12/01/2010 - 6:06pm
10 ways over-thinking destroys your happiness
  1. Over-thinking a problem will keep any problem a problem, which will keep you stuck inside the same problem until you quit thinking about it.
  2. Over-thinking a situation will make the situation worse in direct proportion to the time and energy you spend over-thinking it.
  3. Over-thinking anything prevents your creative problem solving skills from bubbling up.
  4. Over-thinking makes you worry, and worry is nothing more than your imagination concocting a negative future state.
  5. Over-thinking is a time suck -- you're so busy in a negative future state or negative past situation (which you can't change) that you completely forget about right here right now.
  6. Over-thinking robs you of energy that could be better focused on things that are worthy of your attention.
  7. Over-thinking leads you to second guessing yourself and creates self-doubt.
  8. Over-thinking is a TNT drama that occurs on a stage, inside your head, where you are the director, producer, actor, actress, supporting cast, key grip, sound manager, and executive assistant to the executive assistant of the casting director.
  9. Over-thinking fabricates problems and gory "what if" horror stories.
  10. Over-thinking creates heightened feelings of anger, resentment, jealousy, fear, doubt, indecision, confusion, etc., as if whatever you are over-thinking is happening in real life.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peggy-nolan/happiness-tips_b_3473923.html

"Take what you need and leave the rest." I got nothing but moments to live.

LearningSerenity
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 05/12/2013 - 8:47pm
V, I love it.  Overthinking

V, I love it. Overthinking is one of my favorite pastimes, and this is a great reminder to take myself a little less seriously when I start thinking. As they say, the three most dangerous words for an addict are "I've been thinking..."

Thanks for sharing

When you're going through hell...keep going. --Winston Churchill There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still --Corrie ten Boom

Gettingalife
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 2 weeks ago
OLGA member
Joined: 12/11/2011 - 5:41pm
My theory is emotional pain

My theory is emotional pain can push us into overthinking. In simple, overt events that hold no emotional context such as touching a hot stove - "Omg, that hurt!" "I don't want THAT to happen again! How can I keep it from happening again? Oh. Don't put my hand in the flame. Ok." And we move right along. But what happens when the environment we find ourselves in exerts far less obvious, far more complicated emotional pain? When our fellow humans, the others we need for survival, intentionally or unintentionally, are the source of our pain things get sticky fast as our minds work overtime to sort a reliable strategy for coping with very complicated behaviors, and we can easily get stuck in a habit of overthinking if we don't come up with a satisfactory solution to the pain relatively quickly.

More important than how we got in the habit, is what can we do once we realize we're in it? "The solution is simple. We don't need to change anything. We just need to be aware. Each time we become aware that we're thinking, thinking is interrupted. Each time the train of thought is broken, peace is there. Awareness is the key." Seems to work for me.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

mommy3
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
OLG-Anon member
Joined: 01/14/2013 - 8:18am
This is a good topic.  I

This is a good topic. I struggle with this, over-thinking events when I've had to listen to verbal abuse from family members. I don't want to feel bitter, but I do quite often. I try to remind myself that they have issues and challenges and not to take it personally and in my mind I forgive them...but I just keep thinking about it at times, especially on days like today (my birthday :) which should be joyful times with family and I'm reminded of how dysfunctional mine is (father, mother, sisters). I find that focusing on others, helping others helps a lot. Also, being reminded by my HP that I am not defined by what others think and say about me and to focus more on those who are kind to me like friends, my husband and children.

dan1
dan1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
OLGA member
Joined: 05/04/2012 - 6:42pm
Gettingalife
Gettingalife wrote:

....

But what happens when the environment we find ourselves in exerts far less obvious, far more complicated emotional pain? When our fellow humans, the others we need for survival, intentionally or unintentionally, are the source of our pain things get sticky fast as our minds work overtime to sort a reliable strategy for coping with very complicated behaviors, and we can easily get stuck in a habit of overthinking if we don't come up with a satisfactory solution to the pain relatively quickly.

Yeah. What GaL said. And when you have pretty smart people working pretty hard to screw up your whole life (for whatever sick reasons they have), it's not simple to solve the problem. Problems that aren't as simple as "don't put your hand there" sometimes don't even have solutions. It's possible for people to do immense unfixable damage to one another. People get shot, stabbed, raped, abused, have their reputations destroyed, have things stolen from them....and when this happens, it's hard to figure out how to solve the problem. I hesitate to call attempts to figure out what to do in these situations "over-thinking." It seems to me that kind of trivializes the problem and discounts the suffering of the person who is trying to solve it.

Fact is, some problems just don't have solutions.

Gettingalife wrote:

More important than how we got in the habit, is what can we do once we realize we're in it? "The solution is simple. We don't need to change anything. We just need to be aware. Each time we become aware that we're thinking, thinking is interrupted. Each time the train of thought is broken, peace is there. Awareness is the key." Seems to work for me.

This is right. What's needed is to be aware that we are trying to solve a problem by thinking about it when it can't be solved that way (perhaps because it can't be solved at all). The "solution" is to find a way to live with the problem, not solve it. And awareness, realizing that thinking isn't going to help in this case, that what's needed is peace and serenity--that's huge.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

Patria
Patria's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
OLGA member
Joined: 06/02/2011 - 1:55am
As they say in AA and

As they say in AA and probably NA, too: utilize don't analyze.

But that's for the newcomers so they can stop the "drunken monkeys" in their brains having a free-for-all with old and new information.

By the time we get to step 4, we need to analyze as much as we want to, but guided by the instructions of the 4th step.

We do need to find out what is inside of us that prevents us from being the real person we are.

Most of us are filled with emotions and thoughts and old ideas to the point we can't process new ideas; our old ideas become a filter by which we look at new things in an old way. We can't do much good living in our present by viewing it by the filter of our past.

We need to get down to the roots and conditions of why we lived the way we did: addictively.

Most of our misery comes from inside us. That's not to say that murders, rapes, deaths, sicknesses, etc. don't happen. Of course they do. And these are of course handled in a different way, and need to be analyzed with the help of professionals, or very compassionate friends and family.

But in general, I think most life's challenges--just learning to live day by day--is what most of us have to deal with, and where we need help the most. Over-analyzing can constrict us to almost comatose reactions.

Before AA I was a prisoner in my own mind. And then after a few years of quality sobriety I discovered addicted gaming. Wow. What a surprise. However, after I got out of the denial of addictive gaming, and realized I needed to get back to the steps and seeing where I got off track. I needed to know where addiction became my life again.

It isn't just analyzing to find out why I became addicted again (running away from my own health issues; and denying my husband was getting sicker and less able) but I had to get back to the steps to learn how to deal with those issues. Being stuck in the emotions of it all was what kept me in addiction. Learning what the emotions were and how to deal with them individually kept me out of gaming on a daily basis.

Do I sometimes over-analysize now? yes. I'm human. But if I stay in that state of mind, I'm not happy. Once I recognize that drunken monkey state, I get back to "letting it all go" to a power greater than me while moving on with the program.

Allyson2213
Allyson2213's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
OLGA member
Joined: 12/01/2010 - 6:06pm
What Pat said. I struggle

What Pat said. I struggle all the time with number 8, 9 and 10. I used to be a control freak and I passed the time thinking over and over about all the 'should haves', the 'could haves', the 'could be', and the 'what ifs' that almost never happened. Now I only got the bad habit.

As for trauma. From my own experience, I agree that in such cases the better is to seek for specialized medical help (without shame) to get mental and emotional healing.

"Take what you need and leave the rest." I got nothing but moments to live.

Log in or register to post comments