The New Year is approaching quickly, and more often than not, resolutions come hand in hand with it. Every year, millions of people around the world come up with millions of things they'd like to improve on in their lives.
Ironically, as the year comes to an end, something that I've been thinking a lot about lately is overthinking. As we approach 2019, I think this is a big overlying idea that can help many of us to achieve whatever goals and resolutions we set for the New Year.
Overthinking is very common for many people, especially those of us who are college-age. Although this is not all about New Year's Resolutions, a resolution we may have could be along the lines of working to get all A's this semester. If for some reason we don't achieve that goal, we could begin to overthink everything that comes along with grades. For example, getting a bad grade in a class could easily turn into wondering if we'll ever get a job after college. Should we just save ourselves the disappointment now and drop out? What if our GPA is too low to get a job?
There are so many questions and worries that come along with something as simple as getting a D on an exam. However, if we step back, we realize that getting a low score every once in a while does not determine our future. To put it in perspective, most companies don't look at grades and GPAs. Attempting to calm our minds after not achieving a goal (i.e. monitor our overthinking) is extremely beneficial for our mental psyche.
Overthinking is not just unique to college students, it's something that many of us struggle with whether we realize it or not. A huge common cause of overthinking overall is relationships – especially now with social media and texting being so prominent. For example, we see someone post a picture on Instagram but not respond to our text. This could start us down a black hole of overthinking. Is this person angry at us? Did we do something wrong? Do they simply not want to talk to us? What could be the reason they're ignoring us? In reality, there's probably not a reason as to why, in this circumstance, the person hasn't responded. They could've forgotten or are still figuring out what to say.
Whatever situation we find ourselves in during the new year, overthinking should not be a part of it. There are many ways to be aware of how much we think about a situation and how we handle not quite reaching our target. The best way to begin to stop overthinking is to simply be aware and acknowledge when we are overthinking.
Instead of thinking about what could go wrong, think of what could go right. Keep things in perspective, don't expect perfection, and change the viewpoint of the situation. If we still have trouble with overthinking, setting a limit for the amount of time we allow ourselves to overthink is helpful. We need to realize that we can't always predict the future, so accepting that we've done the best we can and be grateful for the progress we've made suffices.
Overthinking is something that is anxiety-inducing, and whatever resolutions or goals we set this year should be associated with positivity, not concern. We need to be confident in ourselves. If we don't completely achieve something or if we find ourselves in a difficult situation mentally, we need to step back and make sure to remind ourselves that we most likely tried our best and that's an accomplishment in and of itself. So, for 2019, we all need to be sure to keep things in perspective. Happy New Year!