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What happens when you overthink
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What Happens When You Overthink

Do you overthink? Have you ever felt nervous, exhausted, or even depressed? Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, wondering about the laundry you forgot to put in the machine, doctor’s appointments, or the bill you haven’t paid? Do your thoughts ever whirl around in circles with no rhyme or reason at the most inconvenient times?

Our society, unknown to us, is constantly bombarding our senses. Alerts, texts, emails, phone calls, and tweets have infiltrated our lives… Our ability to focus has been radically fractured as a result of the technological revolution, and the illusion of multitasking has arisen as a result of this altered landscape. Because of this, our brain’s availability has significantly decreased.

According to a 2015 study, 70% of us never leave home without our smartphone, and 40% of us use it during family time. To put it another way, we are becoming less and less capable of being totally present. We have the delusion that we can quickly flip between absorbing reality on the Internet and what is going on around us. You’ve probably seen someone strolling down the street exchanging text messages on their phone, endangering themselves and others and that’s not to mention those doing the same thing while driving!

Constant connectivity comes at a cost, forcing you to think in what is described to us as a fireworks pattern. A single thought is generated, which connects your synapses; they are activated by the new information, which prompts the generation of more thoughts, emotions, reflections, and connections… Like a tree structure, your thinking explodes in a multitude of directions preventing you to address the initial thought.


Imagine being able to run as much as you want, but having no idea why, how long, or how far you’re going… What are your thoughts about that? Of course, you would become physically exhausted. You’d also get psychologically exhausted, losing hope and becoming discouraged. Now replace this ability to run by your ability to think in a fireworks pattern. Wouldn’t you get tired as well?

With the ever stimulation of your mental capacity you need to learn to let go and just switch off. If you are honest with yourself, can you recall moments when you mentally go blank, or have problems making connections in your argument that only started a minute ago?  Do you ever find yourself thinking about the same issue over and over, fretting about a detail you may have overlooked?

Here are a few things to consider if you wish to free yourself from the incessant chaos of your mind:

1. Be Kind With Yourself

Being an overactive thinker, it’s likely that a part of your mental chatter is dedicated to self loathing and criticism. To free this space in your mental hard drive, flood yourself with positive beliefs and affirmations. With time, the constant nit-picking of your short comings will quiet down and be replaced with a positive outlook.

2. Enjoy Some “Slow Time”

As an over stimulated mind, you have a tendency to analyze, react and respond immediately. That might be a great quality at work but in real life, you need just the opposite. You need to be able to not jump on your phone first thing in the morning and instead spend 5 minutes in quiet contemplative silence. If 5 minutes seem too much, start with 1. The goal isn’t to add another chore to your already overburdened calendar. The point is to put performance and outcomes aside and focus on finding a better balance.


3. Take Digital Detoxes

On the weekends, if you can, t urn your phone off and ignore all the notifications, emails, tweets, Facebook, and Instagram messages. Instead, go for a stroll in nature to reconnect with your true peaceful, serene nature. Take a break and allow your creativity and fun side run wild so you can return to work on Monday feeling completely refreshed and ready to perform at a higher level.

4. Get In Touch With Your Emotions

Welcome them in, feel them out, then let them go. Don’t pass judgement on yourself; simply BE. Always keep in mind that we are human beings, not human doings. Unexpressed emotions can become heavy and cloud the mind. Taking the time regularly to sit and allow whatever to come up, come up. Acknowledgment is a release.

5. Practice Mindfulness

Being mindful is to be fully present and aware. We know, it sounds too easy to be true but when was the last time you truly, fully enjoyed a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or even water? Did you take the time to feel the temperature of the liquid on your lips, smell it’s scent, or feel the texture of it going down your mouth, your oesophagus then penetrating your stomach? Or did you just gulp it down between meetings and phone calls or during a quick lunch break taken at your desk? Being fully in the present is an under appreciated art.


Too many people are stuck in the past or put themselves in a state of delayed gratification thinking about the future. Mindfulness is the best happy pill you can ever buy. If it seems daunting to try alone, seek guidance from great practitioners of “Sophrology,” yoga, breath-work, tantra or meditation. Yet another alternative could be the practice of a sport. If possible outdoors, so your connection to nature helps to ground you and get you in the “Zone.” The zone, or flow state is the complete and utter concentration on one single task.


Do yourself and your overworked brain a favour and disconnect. Everyday set aside a time before bed to close all your mental tabs and be mindful. Let the days events wash away and allow your body to soften, relax and unwind. Just like a computer, our brains too can over-heat and burn out. Find coolness in your everyday. Try to set aside 1 day each week to recharge your batteries. Turn your phone off and tend to your inner needs.

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