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Human Performance Blog

Why Do YOU Overthink?

Oh wait...Am I overthinking it?

As you may have read before...I'm a High Functioning Overthinker (Read More)

So naturally, I've followed the path of the why, when, what, who, where does my overthinking come from and how do I get to that proverbial red light so I can just stop for a second and relax.

(Just Me: Imagining some silent cheers and nods from you as you are reading this)

As a Human Performance Specialist, I often work with overthinkers, while navigating my own overthinking (Sounds fun doesn't it!) I mean, if I can do that! Then surely I'm on to something here!

Remember, Overthinking isn't only negative thing! (Read More) It gives some Super Powers as well.

In my internal and external evaluation of Overthinking, What did I find out?

The "why" behind overthinking is diverse, and relative to the overthinker themselves...but for the sake of avoiding overthinking it...

In a nutshell...

The main causes of overthinking stems from Evolution, Anxiety and Self Perception mixed with the the Pressures and Patterns of your life.

Of course you want to know let me explain.

Our brains are wired for Survival. Back in the day, pondering over potential threats, what may or may not happen, and weighing all the options, etc...was crucial for staying alive. Fast forward to the present, and the area of the brain that is responsible for this hasn't evolved. So, that overanalyzing? Blame it on our Amygdala.

The amygdala triggers a person's fight-or-flight response. This leads to the release of hormones that prepare the body to fight the source of danger or flee from it. Amygdala hijack occurs when the amygdala activates the fight-or-flight response when there is no serious threat to a person's safety.

Let me save you the trouble of googling...'Can I remove the Amygdala?' (or some variation of that question)

There is a Psychosurgery called an amygdalotomy, which is a procedure to remove/destroy the amygdala. It can and has been done, but it's usually for patients/people that suffer from severe aggressive behavioral disorders like hyperexcitability, violent outbursts and self harm, and even then, it's a last resort treatment.

I'd say overthinking that text, or over-analysis of that decision hardly counts as reason enough to get this procedure done...Sorry.

Even further, you also wouldn't want to lose control or access your ability to feel...Right!?!

The focus on the Future; what could be, or 'what if's' is often a symptom of Anxiety. It can trigger a set of thoughts that you might feel like are all valid or connected in some way or another. Anxiety doesn't only affect your mind and thought processing, but it can also affect your body and it's system processing as well.

Overthinking can also arise from Self-Doubt or Low Self-Esteem which affects our Self Perception. When we lack confidence in our abilities or fear judgment from others, we can succumb to the overthinking symptom of constantly second-guessing ourselves and overanalyzing our thoughts and actions...and those of others.

With these two causes of Overthinking (Anxiety and Self Perception), there's actually something you can do about it!

Consider this when beginning to seek control of your overthinking tendencies. Overthinking can become a habitual thinking Pattern that persists even when there is no immediate cause for concern. If you have developed a tendency to ruminate or obsessively analyze, it may have become ingrained in your thinking process, or a default to how you approach situations or interactions.

The Good News

If you have trained yourself to Overthink...then you can Untrain Yourself too!

Now that you know the Potential Causes of your Overthinking, the next thing on the agenda would be to understand what your Overthinking Triggers are, and WHY these things Trigger your Overthinking. (Keep Reading)


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