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Overthinking Can Cause Depression and Rob Your Peace of Mind

July 8, 2020 Mahevash Shaikh

Overthinking and depression is often overlooked as we commonly hold it responsible for causing anxiety. But we shouldn't overlook the fact that that overthinking because of depression can be problematic too. 

The Link Between Overthinking and Depression

Overthinking, as the term implies, is when you think about something for longer than you should. In other words, it is unnecessarily thinking about something again and again. In my experience, overthinking is both a symptom as well as a cause of depression. It typically takes place when you have to make some important decisions or while you evaluate a major and often intimidating life event.

One might think that thinking deeply about something is the right thing to do if you want to make good choices, improve yourself, and grow in general. However, rumination is harmful and often causes inertia because when you are busy thinking about something, you are wasting the time you could have used to take action instead. 

Overthinking Doesn't Help at All

While overthinking has been one of my issues for years, I have noticed that it became significantly worse on two occasions: when I didn't know what to do after graduating as a technology-hating information technology engineer and after my marriage ended. I thought about what to do for work and what went wrong with my marriage so often on a daily basis that instead of coming up with answers, I ended up with headaches and depression.

Even though my rational mind knew that mentally chewing the cud wasn't helping, it was hard for me to stop doing it. My best ideas have always come when I am relaxed and my mind is at ease, like when I am in the shower. A quick search online will show you that this is a rule that applies to not just me, but to many of us. Therefore, it is important to stop yourself from overthinking to stay calm and happy and tap into your creative and intelligent side. 

Take a look at the video below to know how I deal with overthinking.

(Please note that I hesitated to upload this video because I was afraid of the reactions to my unusual eye makeup, the frizziness of my hair, and so on. But I replaced the negative thoughts by focusing on what was for lunch instead. If that hadn't worked, I would have applied the second tip that I discuss in the video and shut down my inner critic for a while.) 

How does overthinking and depression affect you day to day? How do you combat overthinking to ensure your life is depression-free, not on hold, and spontaneous? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2020, July 8). Overthinking Can Cause Depression and Rob Your Peace of Mind, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 14 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2020/7/overthinking-can-cause-depression-and-rob-your-peace-of-mind



Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

John Walker
July, 20 2020 at 9:32 pm

This all sounds great but how exactly does one stop "overthinking"? Is it a form of anxiety? If so, does one merely take an anti-anxiety medicine to calm the overthinking down? Or, are there natural ways to calm overthinking down? Thank you.

Lizanne Corbit
July, 12 2020 at 9:46 pm

I love that you also added this point, "My best ideas have always come when I am relaxed and my mind is at ease" -- yes! Not only does this help us to see how overthinking can rob us of our peace of mind, but this is also a beautiful example of how, when our minds are at ease, they truly function so much better. If we can be gentle to ourselves in times of overthinking and bring ourselves back to a neutral space we can breathe and remember, overthinking is not where we want to be and we can bring ourselves back out of it. It is a practice and a process. Gentleness, always.

Ravi
July, 9 2020 at 1:42 am

So brave of you to fight your critic and do what you wanted to do.

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