Sunday 2 August 2015

Over thinking - Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!

Over thinking a situation or feeling is never good. Regardless of what it is, what you think is so important that you can't help but spend at least 60% of your time thinking about it and working out every possible outcome or cause of a situation, you will just work yourself up into a tizz and likely make the whole situation so much worse (in your own mind anyway) than it needed to ever be.

It's funny how the mind works. How you could have two people experience the same event at the same moment, in the same environment but get two very different reactions? Of course you need to allow room for personal behaviour etc, but why is it that some of us always look for the 'angle' of a situation rather than just asking why? Why now? Why do you think that? Why, why why?

You'd have all come across this in relationships at some point or another. One of you may be more sensitive to something being said, or the other may begin acting differently, but rather than just asking outright, we let our minds warp a situation, turning something that could have a simple explanation into a great big deal - all in our own minds. But what stops us from just killing all the B.S and asking outright what's going on?

Over thinking isn't just limited to relationships though. It can happen in lots of different situations when there is an uneven power dynamic, and I think that's the point; over thinking a situation can happen anywhere - at work, sports teams, hanging out with your mates - it's so easy to blow up something in our own minds which leaves us feeling bothered by something we've actually manifested ourselves.

But why? Over thinking of a situation will usually only occur when something negative or surprisingly great happens. But knowing a bit about the human brain, negative thoughts and feelings can be twice as impactful to our memory and emotions as positive ones, hence why it's always easier for us to recall negative responses and experiences, than it is happier memories.

What you need to remember is that sometimes things are not better left unsaid and in your own head. If there is something you're unhappy about, whatever it may be you are much better asking them why than allowing your brain to run away with I say, over thinking is the brains own kryptonite. Questioning and second guessing someones rationale for actions, or even your own reason for your actions will always stir up negatives rather than positives. It's human nature to be suspicious and think the worst, so its no wonder our mind always seeks out a flaw rather than being satisfied with an uncertainty. We know this, but why is it we just can't help ourselves? 

You also need to remember that you don't know why someone has acted like they have. Rightly or wrongly they may have taken a frustration out on you inadvertently, had over thought something themselves, or not meant it at all as you took it, so isn't it better to just clear the air and move on rather than spend anymore time worrying about it? 

I had an experience when I was a waitress years ago, I had one couple who I just couldn't do right for, I took their order, bought their drinks, their food, the bill...everything in a good manner but with everything the lady would find something to complain about. Could she have a new this, she didn't want that, could I not see...blah blah. I gritted my teeth through it all and just waited for them to leave, but when she went to the bathroom her partner called me over and apologised for her actions, it wasn't me, she'd just been to a close family members funeral. Right there, in that moment, it all made sense. There was no need for me to over think what I'd done, it wasn't me at all, it was just her venting her frustrations. Was it right? No, but it taught me an invaluable lesson:

You never really know everything someone is going through, so rather than over think things for your own justification, getting the truth from them will make both your and their lives so much easier - as believe me, over thinkers are never the life and soul either. 

So, what to take from this - stop over thinking and instead, ask why, you may actually learn something. Or, if you don't want to ask why, brush it off and focus on things that are actually going on around you.

Even though it'll never be totally avoided thanks to the pressures we put on ourselves to always be one step ahead of the rest, a little less analysis and a bit more faith would go a long way to ensuring peace of mind all round! 

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