“If its out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.”

– Ivan Nuru

By: Tanya Kulkarni

In life, we are often faced with the thoughts of the “what ifs” or the “should I’s” or the “Maybe not’s”. As humans who think, we tend to second guess our own thoughts and analyse every small possibility of things before they even happen. These thoughts slowly form a cluster in our minds and take up all our mental space and just like that, in no time, we find ourselves panicking over situations which have not yet happened and might never. This excessive thinking is called “Overthinking”.

While it’s human nature to think things through when making a decision or evaluating a situation, it becomes overthinking when you can’t get out of your own head. It happens to all of us at some point in our lives – we all
experience events that cause us worry or stress. But some people can’t seem to turn their concerns off. They worry about the future, making catastrophic predictions about unlikely events that haven’t happened yet. They also ruminate about the past, beating themselves up about “should haves” and “could haves.” They fret over what others might think of them or let negative self -talk build up in their minds. These thoughts are often
unhealthy and affect our mental health as well as affect our bodies in ways we might have never imagined.

In the meantime, while we are busy spending our lives worrying about things that are not in our control, we forget to do things that make us happy. Whatever we do in life, we should make sure that at the end of the day, WE are happy. Life is way too short to be stressed or sad over unnecessary things. We can’t let pain and trauma become so familiar to us that we forget that happiness is a choice. We’re either going to live a life that we are happy in or a life that we had to settle for. It is up to us.

We should be so confident in knowing who we are, that anyone else’s idea of us belongs solely to them. We cannot change what people say or think but we can start with ourselves. Overthinking will often lead us to talk ourselves out of rooms that we have earned the right to be in.

Most of us overthink situations mainly because we fear rejection. We are scared of telling people how we feel because of what we think the opposite
person’s answer might be. Thus instead of facing this fear and making the first move, we often overthink the situation and end up not doing anything about it. We fear that showing actual emotions is heavily frowned upon, whereas the reality is, there is gratitude for honesty. We tend to build walls around us and push people away because of our fear of rejection.

We shouldn’t let negative thoughts take over our minds so easily that they
engulf us. Nowadays we’ve just made things endlessly more complicated and frustrating for ourselves. By running away from situations, the situations don’t end; instead, they become a source of unhappiness and emptiness. By playing it safe and between the lines, while of course, we avoid the situations and the heartbreak we think we will have, we also miss out on everything amazing that could have happened to us if we were brave enough to give ourselves the chance.

In the end, it is our life. Every choice, every decision we take… Will be entirely ours and thus if things don’t go as planned, we will be able to blame ourselves and no one else. In the end, we need to learn to care about others feelings without letting them mess with ours. In the end, it’s not about what others think about us, but it’s what we think of ourselves. Life is all about new experiences and chances that we should embrace, instead of avoiding. In the end, it’s not about making a bucket list, it’s about doing everything on it. It’s about having fun, no matter what others think of you and no matter how silly you think you look. As cliche as it sounds, make every moment count.

So here’s to;

All the hours of sleep we’ve lost due to overthinking,
all the texts we never sent,
all the people we were scared of approaching,
all the unwanted tears we’ve shed,
all the restless hours we’ve spent worrying about things we have no control over,
all the things we wanted to do but never did because of “what will people say”,
all the high expectations we have from ourselves,
all the love that we gave up on,
all the Instagram photos we never posted,
all the outfits we were too shy to wear,
all the conversations we never had,
the courage to have…
to all the things we never did and said.

May we never repeat any of it ever again and follow what our hearts and minds say.

To read more such things, check out The Word.