The Wheel of Overthinking
-Written by Dr. Shambhavi Vashist
The cerebrum’s clock starts ticking and it begins the never- ending, the most exhausting and the most daunting of its functions – thinking. The moment you start realizing that thinking is that fulcrum of a see-saw where you stand balanced, a step forward or a step backward, can plunge you deep in the ground from where it is going to be difficult to get back to your balance, is when you have entered the stage of overthinking.
You’re laid back on your study chair holding your pen, all your devices running on the table and with your book opened in front with its pages flipping. It is this moment, the clutter in your brain begins. You start getting fogged by the thought of what the future holds for you. You start by thinking what tasks need to be done before midnight, then the ones to be completed tomorrow, followed by the wanting to tick off those you set for the week. You want to know about the minute of the details of how you will be able to achieve them and all what could go wrong in your effort.
You convince your brain to start feeling that this isn’t overthinking, but a kosher analysis of your determination towards your goal. Now, you start questioning your ideas and wonder if you’re still on your right path. The thoughts about subsequent events in your life commence. You’re looking for answers to your ideas but meanwhile creating more uncertain questions in your head. The whats, the hows, the what-ifs, try to cloud you into thinking the whys: why am I doing this when there exist so many unanswered queries. You know you’ve reached the peak. You start getting hasty, impatient, wanting to know everything about the unpredictabilities right at that moment. You reach a covenant with yourself to begin your descent from the peak, or else you do nothing but roam around in the same circle of thoughts.
You gather yourself saying enough is enough and reassure that you need to just be in the moment, be utterly cautious of your thinking, be ready to embrace the positive even when you know you might be becoming a pessimist. You contemplate that things on the other end will always be unanticipated. The descent from your peak just began when you again delve deep into your positive thoughts. Your aspirations for yourself take a timeline and you see yourself in the places you actually want to be. You start putting yourself in happy situations and now you have created a loop of your thoughts. Stuck.
Now begins the stage of distractions, you figure out to get out of your loop. You kick off this stage by getting up from your chair, scrolling on your phone mindlessly or maybe grab something to munch until your thoughts dim out. Minutes, hours pass and that sinking feeling of guilt begins. You get dragged down by your own thoughts. See, how one thought has stopped you to reach that fulcrum?
The solution, you ask? All overthinkers are looking for it. You know it right away that it is in your own hands. To get out of that loop isn’t another duty or a responsibility you have, nor is it an escape. It is just a mere comprehension of your own strength. The soundness of your mind needs to resonate with what your heart says. This is the art that helps you reach that fulcrum. It doesn’t come easy. It is an experience that you gain by gradually shielding yourself from your thoughts.
Enough talking with my mind! I should get back to my study chair.