Thinking or Overthinking?

Thinking is the process of understanding and solving the complex world of the human mind. However, sometimes the thinking process can go overboard and put the person in a negative cycle. In this article, we will try to understand the difference between thinking and overthinking and discover the causes of overthinking, its symptoms. We will focus on recognition and learning ways to cope.

Nov 2, 2023 - 22:51
Nov 6, 2023 - 12:23
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Thinking or Overthinking?
Thinking or Overthinking?

Thinking includes mental processes such as thinking, problem-solving, planning, imagining and learning. Healthy thinking can help us solve life problems and achieve goals. Overthinking refers to a situation called "excessive thinking" in Turkish. In this condition, a person becomes inclined to constantly think about a particular topic, situation, or problem and has difficulty getting out of this thought cycle. Overthinking involves the tendency to analyze events and situations in extreme detail, constantly considering possible scenarios, excessively prolonging the decision-making process, and often excessively exaggerating negative consequences.

The difference between overthinking and normal thinking has to do with the intensity, continuity and effects of thought processes. Normal thinking is a process that occurs naturally when making daily decisions, solving problems, or generating new ideas. These thoughts usually focus on a specific topic, are logical, and have a natural flow. Overthinking is a continuous and excessively detailed cycle of thinking about a particular topic, problem, or event. These thoughts are repetitive and often focus on negative outcomes. An overthinker keeps thinking about the same issue over and over again, and this often negatively affects the person's mental and emotional health. Normal thinking is part of the healthy decision-making process. A person can make the right decisions by thinking, analyzing and evaluating information when necessary. Overthinking can complicate a person's decision-making process, create indecision, and lead the person to unnecessary anxiety. This often leads to stress, anxiety and sleep problems. In summary, while normal thinking refers to a healthy thought process, overthinking is characterized by constant, repetitive and negative thought cycles, which can negatively impact a person's quality of life.

Causes of overthinking may include uncertainty about the future, emotional states (e.g., stress, anxiety, depression), and perfectionism. These situations can trigger a tendency to overthink. Symptoms of overthinking can include insomnia, fatigue, constant indecisiveness, and negative thoughts. These symptoms can disrupt sleep patterns, make decision-making difficult, and exaggerate negative scenarios. Developing mindfulness, taking mental breaks (for example, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation), and seeking professional support if necessary are important ways to deal with overthinking. These methods can be effective for controlling the problem of overthinking.

As a result, healthy thinking is important for understanding the complexity of life. However, when the thought process becomes excessive, it can harm a person's mental and emotional health. Awareness, support and the right methods are important to recognize the signs of overthinking and cope with this process.

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Melike Yavuz Merhaba ben Melike Yavuz. Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt Üniversitesi Psikoloji bölümünde 3.sınıf öğrencisiyim. Bir süredir okuduğum, öğrendiğim ve ilgi duyduğum alanlardan oluşan makalelerimi Sayedra Psikoloji Blog'ta paylaşıyorum.