Overthinking Hampers Happiness

3 minutes
Over thinking – I bet most of us can relate to this phrase. Constant contemplation of the choice to be made out of the multiple options and after making that choice continuously analyzing the “correctness” of our choice or continuously thinking about the situation wherein we could have chosen other options- That is Over thinking in a nut shell.
At one point or the other we tend to over analyze the situation which eventually leads to disappointment or anxiety. “Maybe I should have bought that dress” “He/She liked my photo on Facebook-I am important for her/him” “ Maybe that career option was better for me” “What if I get this job ? I would save much more then” etc. 

Source: themindunleased.org

Question is why do we over think? When we were kids we had the innocent characteristics of not caring about anything we say or do. However as we attain maturity we also attain social consciousness. We tend to take decisions based on whether or not it is “right”. Hence we live in fear of making “wrong” decisions which leads to the indecisiveness.

Over thinking is also called “Analysis Paralysis”. Over thinking is not only about thinImage Source: themindunleased.orgking too much about certain things but it is also about too much analysis of the situation and not producing the result. Over thinking is about “paralyzing” the action in such situations.

Ever wondered why a golfer who undergoes harsh training throughout the year might get it wrong in the main event owing to choking? Or a batsman who scores above 90 might just get out at 99 (nervous 90)?Let’s look at the classic psychology rhyme to understand that; “Centipede’s Dilemma” :


A centipede was happy – quite!
Until a toad in fun
Said, “Pray, which leg comes after which?”
Which threw her mind in such a pitch,
She laid bewildered in the ditch
Considering how to run.

The Centipede’s Dilemma” is a short poem that has lent its name to a psychological effect called the centipede effect or centipede syndrome. The centipede effect occurs when a normally automatic or unconscious activity is disrupted by consciousness of it or reflection on it. This is otherwise known as Humphrey’s law. Whenever you think too much about the task you are currently doing, you are impairing the result of it. That’s what happens in case of choking or nervous 90’s.

Over thinking in excess as a habit hampers your growth. You start feeling gloomy about everything in your life and feel disappointed. In certain extreme cases where over thinking plays an important factor; this might lead to depression.

Yes, we all over think in our life in many situations; but if it is becoming your habit then it is killing you inside. A life without satisfaction, A life without happiness, A Life full of “if’s” and  “could’ve” is equivalent to a life without any meaning.

We have been given this amazing gift of life. Why should we waste it in thinking about something that happened in past or might happen in future? Reading between the lines is important but focusing only on the interpretation of “between the lines” kills you mentally.

So let’s rise above our habits and let’s STOP over thinking because we probably know the solution already.


Charmy Chitnis is a Physics Graduate from St Xavier's Mumbai. She loves to compose music and play guitar during her free time. She is a trekking enthusiast, likes meeting new people and trying new adventures in life. Being an avid writer, she wants to leverage YourDOST platform to convey her thoughts about mental issues with people.