For those who don't overthink as much as us, the anxious ones who overthink pretty much everything when nothing is even wrong, this is a bit of a peek inside our minds. It's not as easy as "just stop overthinking" or having you tell us we "overthink too much," like it'll make us stop when only it'll actually make it worse. Everyone overthinks, sometimes to great length in which it'll keep us up a night, and sometimes only for a few minutes. So when we say we overthink a lot and sometimes we can't stop, this is what we really mean. Here's a little look at the steps to overthinking.
Start overthinking, especially when it's late at night and you're just trying to go to sleep.
Think about that one time in kindergarten how you stood up in front of the class and sneezed all over yourself. Sure, you were six, but think about just how embarrassing that was,
Think about how hopeless you are. Think about how you have no future ahead of you, how you feel like you're behind others your age. And even if you seem perfectly fine right now, think about how you're gonna somehow mess that feeling up.
Think about that time in 5th grade where that one kid said they really liked you, and you kept asking them to repeat themselves because you weren't sure they were actually saying that you.
Think about how your friends are only here because maybe they pity you, or maybe they just want you because you pay for their food or movie ticket when they don't have money. Or maybe they just talk about you the moment they leave.
Think about that time in high school during gym class, when you were required to do the mile run. Just before you reached the finish line, you tripped and fell in front of everyone. Think about how some of your fellow classmates laughed at you as you peeled yourself off the pavement.
Think about your significant other, how they're really just with you for the sex or maybe they just don't want to be lonely. You're not really their one true love, they're only just saying that. In fact, when they leave your house tonight after a homecooked meal and a funny movie, they're probably going to someone else's house for so much more.
Think about how you're a disappointment to your family. You're not athletic like your brother or super smart like your sister, you're average and no one really wants "average."
Think about that time when you were new to college, and walked into the wrong classroom. Those kids in sociology laughed at you when you asked if this was English 101. You know, even the professor probably found it funny.
Think about when you went for that job interview and you said "you're welcome" instead of "thank you." Why did you say that? Why didn't your brain just fix that? The interview was going great until then, right? That one mistake probably cost you the job, think about it.
Think about that Instagram post your friend made. A photo at a pool party you weren't even invited to, but you still see some of your friends. Why were you excluded? Was it just a different group of friends you didn't know? It happened so long ago and you're not even friends anymore, but here you are still thinking about that. And what was it that made them stop being friends with you? To stop including you?
Think about everything. Nothing is wrong right now, your life is okay. You lay down the sleep, think about that time you completely embarrassed yourself more than a decade ago now. It's a thing of the past, right? Why do you even have to think about this right now? You're just trying to sleep, it's one AM and you just want to sleep. But here's the overthinking, the thoughts of times so old they shouldn't matter anymore. All the jumbled thoughts feeding into your brain. Try to skip to step 13.
Listen. You're just overthinking things. Slow down, put yourself in perspective. Get those negative thoughts out of your head. You can't change the past, you cannot predict the future. You may not be perfect, but that doesn't mean you need to make yourself perfect. You are who you are, and yes, you overthink. You overthink about everything, even things that don't have meaning anymore. Live in the present, feed yourself good energy, do not believe what your darkest thoughts tell you. It's okay if you're overthinking, it's a thing we all do. Take a breath. Relax.