Why do I overthink about myself?: Reasons why

In this blog we will answer the question “Why do I overthink about myself?”

We will also discuss what are some of the steps that you can take to deal with overthinking. 

Why do I overthink about myself: Reasons why

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Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

Reasons why you overthink about yourself can include low self esteem which causes one to self-doubt, anxiety leading to worry and stress, depression due to a deep sense of worthlessness and low self esteem, as well as fears related to perfectionism

Over-thinking is not a mental disorder however it is closely related to mental disorders- it can either be a symptom of a mental disorder or it can also be one of the causes of mental disorders when negative rumination is done mindlessly.

People who overthink about themselves tend to struggle with anxiety as well as depression. Rumination is one of the hallmark symptoms of both anxiety disorders as well as mood disorders.

Overthinking can become so debilitating that it can impact an individual ability to socialise, to manage their work, and maintain their relationships as well. 

At times, tough life circumstances and stress can also be some of the reasons why we over think about ourselves due to the insecurities and self doubt that we carry on our own about ourselves. 

Another reason why people tend to overthink about one’s self is because of their perfectionist tendencies where they are afraid of failing and making mistakes so they engage in overthinking as a way to assert control over their lives. 

People tend to believe that overthinking will allow them to be in control in situations where one is uncertain about the outcome. 

Overthinking and rumination can be maladaptive and lead to various problems which can negatively impact your quality of life. 

Melissa Stanger, a contributor for Talk Space, on rumination, refers to rumination as,

“…obsessive thinking about an idea, situation, or choice. It can cause distress and frustration in an individual especially when it interferes with normal mental functioning.”

A person who ruminates is unable to get past what they are obsessing over which might affect their emotions and their behaviours. They might be unable to do a certain task because they are completely preoccupied with the thoughts of something else. 

Rumination involves over-thinking about what has happened, or what can happen and is very different from self reflection and problem solving. 

If you are ruminating about yourself and overthinking about what you have done or what you are doing without any intent to solve problems and improve, it is likely that this will eventually impact your quality of life negatively. 

Self doubt can impact your ability to take initiative, to set and work towards goals, and it can also impact the way you maintain your relationships. Overthinking marked with self doubt can also lead to intense stress and worry and even depression.

If you are overthinking about being judged by others, about how you are perceived and viewed by other people, it is possible that you have social anxiety- in the case that it is impacting your quality of life. 

If your overthinking comes with low moods, hopelessness, and despair, it is possible that your overthinking is also marked by depression.

If you are overthinking due to anxiety or depression it is important that you seek professional help to treat these conditions. 

9 Steps to stop overthinking about yourself

Step 1: Build awareness 

The first thing that you need to do is to be aware of your thoughts and the triggers that lead you down the spiral of overthinking and ruination. 

Make sure that you take note of what leads you to think negatively about yourself and when you notice them, make note of how you are feeling and what these thoughts make you do. 

Developing an awareness is crucial to getting these overthinking thoughts to stop. 

Step 2: Examine your thought patterns

Take time to pay attention to your thoughts- the ones that you ruminate over and cause distress. You can also develop keen awareness of where your mind wanders to. By gaining awareness of your thoughts you can take the time to evaluate these thoughts or the subject of your rumination. 

By evaluating them you can identify whether your thoughts are rational and adaptive or whether they are based on biassed beliefs that are mostly a distorted view of yourself and the world. 

Once you identify the distortions and the irrational beliefs you can challenge them by putting them against evidence that is contrary to these intrusive thoughts.

Step 3: Broaden your perspective

Sometimes the enormity of the negative things that you are thinking about yourself is all in your head. We tend to maximise your negatives and minimise our positives.

So take time to broaden your view about yourself and also take into account the positive assets that you have in your life.

Step 4: Distract yourself

To deal with overthinking, one thing that you can do is to distract yourself by doing something else.

Rather than remaining inactive and thinking over everything negative in your life, distract yourself by doing something that you like and that brings you joy. 

Step 5: Be present 

Choose to be mindful and present in your day to day life. 

This means that instead of walling in your negative thoughts, choose to be present with the space around you and do some mindfulness exercises to be present.

Mindfulness grounding exercises could be something that you can try to help yourself come out of these thoughts and instead focus on what is present rather than negative assumptions about yourself and your life. 

Step 6: Change your view of fear.

One of the reasons why most of us overthink is because we are afraid and anxious about our future, our lives etc.

Instead of looking at the future with fear, reframe this fear into something else- nervousness or excitement. It’s okay if you are nervous, everyone is nervous at one point but it is not as nearly as crippling as fear.

So changing perspectives can be one way of dealing with this anxiety that you have around yourself and your life. 

Step 7: Let go of what you cannot control

No one can be in control of everything all the time; when you try to do that you wear yourself thin and this causes a lot of stress and anxiety that leads to over thinking. 

So instead of overthinking about everything, let go of the things you cannot control and start focusing on the things that you can control. 

For example, if you are over thinking about the way you look, instead of just sitting on that- start thinking about what you can do to look better- healthy diet and exercise. 

Step 8: Focus On Solutions

Writers at Tony Robbins note that if you engage in a lot of rumination and overthinking about yourself, the one way you can deal with this is to take change over your life.

One way you can do that is to work towards solutions rather than focusing on your problems. Most of the time, overthinking is caused by stress at work and in one’s personal life, so set goals for yourself so that you can solve the problem you are faced with. 

Instead of ruminating about what is going wrong, what you have done wrong, what is wrong with your life etc- focus on what you can do to make it better and start doing it. 

Step 9: Talk to a Therapist

If overthinking is impacting your ability to function, lowering your self-esteem, or negatively impacting your quality of life, talking to a therapist is something you should consider.

A professional can help you get a deeper insight of your ruminations and actually steer you towards adaptive deep thinking which can help you learn about yourself and even rebuild new perspectives of yourself, others, and the world.

Conclusion

In this blog we have answered the question “Why do I overthink about myself?”

We also discussed what are some of the steps that you can take to deal with overthinking. 

FAQ related to Why Do i overthink about myself?

What is overthinking a symptom of?

Overthinking is a symptoms that is commonly associated with depression and anxiety as well as other mood disorders, schizophrenia, and related disorders. 

Why am I overthinking for no reason?

It is possible that you are overthinking because you have anxiety disorders or depression as well as because you are stressed and have a lot of self doubt. 

How do you stop overthinking about yourself?

The first thing that you need to do is to be aware of your thoughts and the triggers that lead you down the spiral of overthinking and ruination. 

Make sure that you take note of what leads you to think negatively about yourself and when you notice them, make note of how you are feeling and what these thoughts make you do. 

Can overthinking cause panic attacks?

Yes, overthinking can lead to panic attacks due to the anxiety it causes. People who have panic disorder or anxiety tend to experience attacks when their triggers are magnified due to over thinking. 

Is overthinking toxic?

Overthinking can become dangerous and toxic when it is done mindlessly. Overthinking and rumination can be maladaptive and lead to various problems which can negatively impact your quality of life. 

References

Lolly Daskal. 10 Simple Ways You Can Stop Yourself From Overthinking. Inc. Retrieved on 6th April 2022. https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/10-simple-ways-you-can-stop-yourself-from-overthinking.html#:~:text=In%20many%20 cases%2C%20overthinking%20is,thoughts%20print%20and%20up%20front.

Mara Santilli. What Causes Overthinking—And 6 Ways To Stop. Forbes Health. Retrieved on 6th April 2022. https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/what-causes-overthinking-and-6-ways-to-stop/

How To Stop Overthinking. Tony Robbins. Retrieved on 6th April 2022. https://www.tonyrobbins.com/mental-health/how-to-stop-overthinking/

Stephanie Anderson Witmer. What Is Overthinking, and How Do I Stop Overthinking Everything? Retrieved on 6th April 2022. 

https://www.goodrx.com/well-being/healthy-mind/how-can-i-stop-overthinking-everything

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