7 SCIENTIFIC REASONS WHY WE SELF SABOTAGE

By Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor

“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” ~ Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
We all get in our way of intent occasionally and some may do it repeatedly, whether it’s procrastinating drinking or overeating. Self sabotaging behaviours are such damaging behaviours which create problems and interfere with long standing goals. They are actions that get in the way of achieving your goals.
Following are 7 reasons why we self sabotage
1. CONTROL

A thing that always feels good is having control of your own life, especially the failures. It feels better to control your own failure than to let it blindside you. Self – sabotage isn’t pretty, but it’s a dignified alternative to spinning out of control. Reaching for something, desperately working something and it not working out would be more humiliating and damaging than if you just burnt it all down yourself in the first place.

2. SELF WORTH-

Dr. Ellen Hendrickson puts it, “People like to be consistent- our actions tend to be in sync with our beliefs and values.” When they aren’t in sync we make efforts to line them up. If we start to rack up the victories and accomplishments, yet still view ourselves as flawed and worthless, we “pull the plug” to get rid of dissonance. Most common ways of doing this is by procrastinating, or numbing oneself through alcohol, binge eating or even general recklessness.

3. BOREDOM-

People do actually self sabotage when they are bored. Yes, sometimes we indulge in activities in activities that are considered to be “destructive” only because we are bored of our lives. Boredom can either be due to uninteresting work to do or due to no work. Sometimes we self sabotage simply to push buttons.

4. FAMILIARITY-

We all like to be consistent. We tend to choose consistency over our own contentment and happiness. If you’re used to being neglected, abused, ignored, or exploited, it’s oddly comforting to keep putting yourself in that position. You’ve probably been there your whole life, and while you may not be happy, that which you know is preferable to the unknown. This familiarity removes out the fear of failure.

5. ALLOCENTRIC-

It is to care about what others think of us. If your tribe members decided to kick you out of the camp, your chances of survival alone in the “wild” would be tiny. Taking everything so seriously, especially other people’s opinions can be another common cause of self sabotaging. We waste so much precious time and energy worrying about what other people think about the things we do. We will stress out over every little detail, comment, or choice because we worry what will s/he think? We shouldn’t have the emotional capital to spend on it. So give yourself a break from it; you’ve earned it.

6. SCAPEGOATING-

If things aren’t resolved (or when they aren’t resolved, because that’s the only option, right?), we can blame the action instead of ourselves. Of course she left me — I was never around. Of course I failed the class — I barely studied for any exams. While these reasons may be true, they are more frivolous, and easier to come to terms with and swallow than the deeper reasons we only believe to be true. Of course she left me — I’m not worthy of love. Of course I failed the class — I’m incapable of grasping the material.

7. PERCEIVED FRAUDULENCE-

As the stakes get higher and higher—you ascend to ever more rare levels of education, take on more responsibility at work, or do something that raises your public profile—you feel you only have farther to fall. You think if you call attention to yourself by being successful, it’ll be more likely that you’re called out as a fraud. You may push hard and go big, but worry you’ll be revealed at any moment. Either way, feeling like a fake is a one-way ticket to procrastination and getting distracted—if you’re faced with a task that makes you feel like a big fat fraud, it’s a lot more appealing to check Twitter, or realize you’ve never made banana bread from scratch and, by gosh.

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7 psychology researches that changed our thinking of what it is to be human.

by Komal Sharma, freelance contributor 

 

This article is a digest for everyone who thinks psychology is common sense and for wiser others too.

Today you will read about intriguing psychological studies (scientifically proven) showing our default mode of being which is interwoven thickly in our system. You will find most of them, if not all, resonate with your experiences and will also give meaning to them.

 

1) Forgetting is intelligent :

 

Our brain actively works to gather  and store information from our immediate surrounding beyond our awareness too, but it also functions to discard information to optimize decision-making. According to recent research at University of Toronto, forgetting helps us eradicate outdated information and helps in making better decisions in given circumstances by understanding bigger picture over specific details. This concept is called ‘regularization’ in Artificial Intelligence for building computer models. Now you can quote this research when you forget some General Trivia Question next time!

 

2) Warmth over competency: 

 

If you are one of those who worry to perfect your first impression by trying very hard not to do anything stupid? You can do something much simpler. Harvard research finds that 80% of our judgments about people come down to warmth and competence. And given in any situation your skills do not complement, the more important quality to focus on is warmth. To put it candidly, we all, all of us, will prefer a company of lovable moron over a competent jerk most of the time.

 

3) False Consensus:

 

Do you think most people have same belief and faith system as yours? To your (mis)fortune, I am going to prick your bubble! According to a 1977 – Stanford University psychology experiment showed that we can incorrectly infer that others think the same way they do, or form a “false consensus” about the beliefs and preferences of others. So the next time your girlfriend does not like your favorite food, cut her some slack!

 

4) Cognitive Dissonance:

 

Mount Everest is ‘not’ the tallest mountain. It is Mauna Kea if we measure area underwater! Did you feel little uncomfortable with this information? There will be a tacit shift how you see another tall mountain now. This concept of cognitive dissonance was studied by Leon Festinger, he addresses to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This conflict produces an innate sense of unsettlement and discomfort. It requires a change in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to mitigate or eliminate the discomfort and restore balance.

 

5) Bad Habits or choices?

 

You do not actively think for 50% of your day, as you have learnt it by repetitively doing it. Basketball coaches emphasize on learning the right arm-action to hoop a ball through net otherwise it will become a natural way of shooting impacting your overall game. A Duke study shows a full 40% of your daily choices aren’t choices — they’re habits. So if your habits are not building you, you’re simply a machine functioning around screwing your life up. You need to understand how bad habits work, how to snap out of the loop, and how to ‘replace’ it with better habits.

 
6) Halo Effect:

 

Do you think attractive people have it easy? Well, we let them have it easy by associating goodness with them. It is a University of Michigan study where The Halo Effect states that people generally assume that people who are physically attractive are more likely to be intelligent, friendly, and display good judgment. Halo Effect impacts personal logic, judgment, inferences and then produces more complex social behaviors (which we can talk about the next time).

 

7) Emotional Intelligence:

 

Were your exams screwed due to emotional turbulence during that phase? Yes, that’s most of us. Emotional intelligence often matters more than cognitive intelligence when it comes to acing in life. It is just not about your academic aptitude which will lead you to success; ability to channelize your emotions to work in your favor is far more a rare and important competency that contributes to your growth in personal and professional domains.

 

-If these were not enough for your psychological appetite, then use Boredom to your benefit – Research suggests that you will do a good job when you pursue creative tasks when bored. Is that a hack to your boredom?

 

Komal is a post-graduate in Psychology, an alumnus of Delhi University, with a number of academic research papers published. Her core interests lie in psychoanalysis, social psychology and understanding gender roles. She values the importance of an overall emphasis on the holistic fitness of mind and body. In her alternate world, she reads for profession and her passion. She is young, intense and aware of the gravity of the work she does.
Mail: komal7722@gmail.com

 

The 7 Thought-Habits of Highly Self-Confident People

by Meg Selig, via psychologytoday.com

 

Are there mental habits that will increase your self-confidence? Most definitely. You’ll read about 7 such powerful thinking habits below.

My last blog revealed the very best mental habit I know for building self-confidence: “The Daily Success Review.” This short and simple 3-minute procedure nudges you to tune into the little things you do right every day instead of over-focusing on what you think you did wrong. I have nicknamed this daily technique, “The Small-Success Review,” to counter the destructive mindset of thinking that only huge and dramatic successes and accomplishments really “count” when it comes to bolstering self-esteem.

In addition to the Small-Successes method, there are other ways to increase your self-confidence just by altering your mindset slightly. Of course, it is also important to practice behaviors that will increase your confidence and to learn to project self-confidence to others, and those will be the topics of upcoming blogs. This blog will spotlight the thinking activities you can do right now to build a self-esteem mindset. Below are 7 of my favorites:

1. Don’t worry if you don’t feel confident all the time. It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But Dr. Alice Boyes, in her useful new book, The Healthy Mind Toolkit, describes her realization that she needs both self-confidence and self-doubt to do her best work. A little self-doubt can keep you humble enough to realize you may need to learn more or work harder at something. It may even give you the dogged determination to keep going and “show people what you’re made of.” Doubt, according to Boyes, “causes us to question what we’re doing, mentally prepares us to accept change, propels us to work harder or differently, and can lead to us taking more cooperative approaches in dealing with people who disagree with us.”

I love this reminder that your feelings of confidence will ebb and flow during the course of a day–or a lifetime—and that this fluctuation is normal. Not to worry!

2. Show compassion toward your Future Self. Caring for your Future Self could involve actions as small as filling up your gas tank this afternoon because you have a busy morning tomorrow and as far-sighted as exercising now for better health as you age. “I may not want to exercise,” you could say to yourself, “But my Future Self sure would appreciate it.” In this blog (link is external), habits guru Leo Babauta points out that people who don’t procrastinate are also likely to be people who want their Future Selves to be happy. Can you decide to be one of them?

3. Practice compassionate and realistic self-talk. Being able to realize when you are suffering, to comfort yourself, and to tell yourself that “tomorrow is another day,” will help you accept yourself even when you haven’t been able to handle yourself the way you would have preferred. Being supportive and kind to yourself when you have made mistakes will not only boost self-esteem; it will also boost your motivation and self-control, according to research cited by psychologist Kelly McGonigal in her book, The Willpower Instinct.

 

Some examples of compassionate self-talk:

“It’s true that you didn’t do as well as you wanted on the talk, but given that you didn’t feel well, you were a hero just to get through it.”
“Yes, you feel bad that you didn’t say NO to your friend’s request. Think of what you could say next time and put it in your mental file.”
“You don’t have to be perfect.”
“Don’t let it get you down. This too shall pass.”
4. Relabel “failures” as setbacks, challenges, opportunities, or learning experiences. Relabeling “failures” as “challenges,” for example, will immediately lower the level of stress hormones in your body. How could you meet this latest “challenge?” Changing one word can initiate a cascade of problem-solving thoughts. Analyzing past mistakes and setbacks may also improve your future performance, according to this research (link is external). Strike the ugly f-word “failure” from your mental vocabulary list! Practice enough, and you will develop a “growth mindset,” as psychologist Carol Dweck calls it.
5. Don’t assume that other people know what you know. Own your expertise! This reminder is also from The Healthy Mind Toolkit by Alice Boyes. Do you know…the best places to find inexpensive clothing? Your city’s ordinances about trash, permits, and large-item pickups? The best restaurants for any occasion? Think about the times when people turn to you for information; your friends realize that you have numerous areas of expertise, both career-related and life-related.

6. Know your strengths. Think back on compliments and positive feedback from others. Notice how much you enjoy or dislike certain kinds of tasks. Take in the way you contributed to a situation and made it better. When you’ve had a success, mentally replay it again and again. Remembering and savoring positive feedback from others will help you internalize your strengths. Likewise, remembering other positive experiences will ingrain your special qualities into your brain. (Many readers have found this blog on “knowing yourself” a helpful way to focus on strengths.)

7. Remember your higher purpose and your meaningful values and goals. Reminding yourself of your most important values, goals, and life mission can give you more willpower, persistence, and self-confidence, according to considerable research. Your values keep you oriented to your “true north,” pointing to the core of who you are.

If nothing is working, and you feel prey to constant feelings of worthlessness or self-hatred, find a good therapist. Your therapist will help you challenge any deep-seated negative beliefs about yourself. Yes, therapy involves time, money, and work, but it’s worth it to improve your self-confidence. There’s a lot of truth in this quote by Maxwell Maltz: “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on.”

 

Here is the link to the original article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/changepower/201805/the-7-thought-habits-highly-self-confident-people

8 Ways to stop overthinking

By Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor 

 

“To think too much is a disease.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

What is holding people back from the life they truly want to live and enjoy? That one very common and destructive thing is that they think too much. Overthinking is equally deliberate as it is common. Here are 8 ways to stop overthinking-

Notice when you are overthinking-

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Before you understand how to cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of when it is
happening. Awareness is the seed of the change you want to make. Once you notice that you are overthinking you can stop yourself from getting lost in the thought.

Keep yourself busy-

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One main reason you overthink is that you have the time to do so. Keep yourself busy. Be active throughout the day and tire your body out, so that you have no time left for the over analysis. Not one day can be fruitful if more time than necessary is allowed for aimless thinking.

Change your mind-

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Distract yourself into happiness once you feel that you are falling prey to overthinking. Sometimes it is helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like meditation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, drawing, painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the over analysis.

Sleep-

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Sleeping is like pressing the reboot button on your mind. When you haven’t slept you become more vulnerable to overthinking. Get plenty of good quality sleep. Sleeping leads to a fresh mind which disrupts the complex web of overthinking. Listening to some good music may help to get a good sleep.

Practice mindfulness-

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It is an activity where one focuses on the present moment without judgement. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in; you acknowledge them and then let them go, energetically release them clearing your space. One of the biggest struggle is the ability to live in the present moment. Control what you think.

Use positive daily affirmations for anxiety-

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Affirmations are statements that help you overcome negative thoughts. Some good affirmations for anxiety are- “I have the power to decide what I will think about. My thoughts do not control me”; “I refuse to allow my imagination to show me disastrous future.” Use these affirmations daily to stop negative thoughts of overthinking.

List your thoughts down-

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Make a list of things that are troubling you down. Keep a diary of things that are troubling you. Jot down all the things on your mind every day. Go over what you have written; try to deal with the thoughts yourself. Ask for advice if you are finding it difficult to deal with things by yourself. Ask for advice if needed.

Realise that no good can be achieved by overthinking-

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Overthinking may lead to excessive worrying, anxiety, panic, fatigue, inability to concentrate, muscle tension, digestive disorders etc. There are more cons of overthinking than its pros. Overthinking leads to no good and may lead to severe health issues. Nothing can be achieved by overthinking. You cannot predict the future, and thus should not waste your efforts on stressing about things.

7 things people with social anxiety disorder go through

By Pallavi Kandhari, Freelance Contributor 

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Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. A person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) may sometimes think that people would ‘judge’ them if they talk about this fear. But it is the most common anxiety disorder with up to 10% of people being affected at some point in their life. So, you are not alone. Here are some points every person going through SAD can relate to-

1) Excessive worry about one’s looks

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They tend to spend more time in getting ready than what an average person would do and that is because of the fear of being negatively “judged” by people they don’t really know… So, they need to look their best every time they step out of the house in order to avoid the fear of being negatively evaluated. And as Eleanor Roosevelt said rightly,” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
2) Being the center of attention is a NIGHTMARE

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Have to give a presentation at work, school or college? Have to give a speech? The mere thought of being the center of attention is equivalent to a nightmare and cripples them with fear and anxiety. They are afraid that what if people notice, how anxious they are? Sweating, trembling and other physiological reactions come naturally when asked to give a speech or presentation.
3) Shyness is a pervasive personal state

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Having any sort of conversation with any stranger or sometimes even known people triggers shyness related anxiety and they begin to having irrational thoughts that they might end up getting judged, mocked or negatively percieved in some way. However it is important to remember that many people who are shy do not have the negative emotions and feelings that accompany social anxiety disorder. They live a normal life, and do not view shyness as a negative trait.
4) Hesitance and low self confidence tend to be mostly around the corner

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People with social anxiety usually (but not always) tend to have a low self esteem due to the fear of being rejected or being mocked at. They try to avoid conversations as much as possible in order to avoid being judged or evaluated. They constantly have the fear of being criticized and disapproved. They sometimes hesitate to take decisions and risk ending up coming across as ill-equipped in handling pressure situations.
5) Ordering food is not meant for them.

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Ordering food in person or on phone can be very stressful as it involves taking a decision and then interacting with a stranger. When they go to a restaurant they constantly feel that people will judge and laugh at them. Sometimes they may have the fear of pronouncing something wrong and that raises their anxiety even before they order as they feel that they may end up sounding silly.
6) Escape becomes their best friend

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Leaving a party, social gathering or a family function after spending a brief amount of time is very common. They are the last ones to enter and the first one to leave. Escaping from these situations when anxiety raises can sometimes help them to calm down and they have no regrets of leaving early or escaping from anxiety provoking social gatherings.
7) They become their own best friends

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With the constant fear of being negatively evaluated or criticized by people, they mostly avoid their company and start to enjoy their own company. They become their own best friends and end up spending a lot of time with themselves which sometimes curbs the anxiety provoking thoughts and make them a feel a bit relaxed.

 

7 non-clichéd ways to therapeutically meditate

Komal Sharma, Freelance Contributor 

”Meditation is great, but I don’t know where to start/ but it isn’t going forward/but I don’t understand it”
The rationale behind this article is to understand that the process of meditation can never be put across in hard lines. It is happening, right now, as I type, fully aware of my being and senses. I hope these tenets will guide you to curate your own method, instead of following one of the gazillion techniques which you’d probably end up sacrificing third day into practice; because meditation, like love, is a personal experience.

1. Sensation
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Do you love it when someone smoothly runs their finger on your arm? Does the soft caress of grass against your feet melts you? Does warm water give your body an immense therapeutic satisfaction?
Sure it feels good, but how can you use it? – By feeling each drop of water interacting with the cell in your body. By sensing each grass strand tickle and tingle your skin. Let yourself be free to thoroughly travel through your sensations, lose the track of time and, just, let yourself be.

2. Singing Bowl :
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Every bowl speaks to you a different song. How willing are you to listen?
Each bowl has its own personality; you know it when you ‘choose’ yours. From its appearance, to its size and rhythm that’s produced, each aspect will pull correct chords within you. Delving in music you produce will help you connect your frequency to it, and you will experience a convergence and expansion of your energy.

3. Catching a tone in music:
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Love listening to music?
From classical to EDM – Catch the sound of any instrument you like (flute/drums); mentally focus on it (but DO NOT STRESS). Keep the process as easy as you can. If you’re able to focus from 3-minutes at a stretch consistently, it means you have mastered the art. Now you’d not only have great taste in music but also an extended attention span and focus.

4. Trataka yoga
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Don’t like shutting your eyes close? Ever caught yourself looking blankly across the room and found it so relaxing that you lost yourself in it? Then this practice is absolutely for you. FOCUS. Gaze internally (on an object you might imagine) or externally (at moon, or flower). Initially, it will be strenuous to keep staring mindfully at an imagined or physical object. With practice,though, you’ll find it immensely liberating.

5. Mandala:
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Got a hand of an artist or not, this is a proven way to meditate. Get yourself a compass and colors. It is said that the Mandala that you draw is the state of your mind. Eventually you will be drawing more vibrant and lovely Mandalas. Also, you can get yourself a Mandala book and just color it. Drawing Mandala or just doodling is a way to bring your meta-feeling in physical existence. Worth a try, isn’t it?

6. Thoughtlessness
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The key here is not to aim to be thoughtless. Yogis focus on the Chakra located at the center of your crown. Gradually with due practice, you observe your physical body as a third being’s consciousness. With years of practice, one can switch their thoughts on and off as and when required. You save yourself from the thoughts that potentially can cause harm.

7. Movement meditation
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I know many people who have excruciating time sitting plain idle. Your actions will lead you as you pay vivid attention to them and let it scintillate your imagination. The way your hands touch cold and warm objects and the sound of crushing leaves under your feet. The feeling of wind gently passing through your hair and the heavy sigh you take after a long hike. You can go around places and still have the calm within you; one may call it ‘wandering peace’.

If you have gone through all the ways mentioned above- you’d have realized that it is not about which way is better, it is about the way which is closest of your style-of-being.

 

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10 indications that you’re overthinking stuff

Shivangi Srivastava, Freelance Contributor

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Do things keep playing in your head on repeat mode?
Are you always trying to crack some secret code?
Does your sleep ditch you at night?
Are you constantly worrying about your future?

To think about things or situations in life is necessary but when ‘thinking’ goes overboard, that’s when we start facing problems in life. Over-thinking is a state of constant worrying, where our mind starts to work extra hard, unnecessarily.
Here are 10 indications that will help you understand if you’re over thinking it:

1) You’re hesitant when it comes to giving a voice to your opinions.

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You may find it very difficult to share your thoughts and opinions regarding a certain topic or situation because you fear that people will JUDGE you for how you think and for the kind of choices you’ve made or are currently making in life.

2) All the possibilities are only assessed as either ‘BAD’ or ‘WORSE’.

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For you, ‘WORST-CASE SCENARIOS’ are the only possible scenarios. You may find yourself focusing too much on all the things that can possibly go wrong. Good outcomes are just a matter of luck for you. Also, you tend to be over critical about yourself. People who overthink rarely are able to see their own positive sides because they’re too busy evaluating themselves on their negatives.

3) It seems as if the whole world is conspiring against you.

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You may feel as if people around you observe all the things that you do and judge you for it. It may seem as if everybody around you is talking about you, is criticizing your actions and has formed strong opinions AGAINST you.

4) You believe that one must know ‘EVERYTHING’ in order to understand you.

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You try to include all the possible details while telling somebody about anything. In your opinion, missing out on any piece of information would mean that the message was not conveyed exactly how you wanted it to be and now people won’t understand you and may form negative opinions about you.

5) Creative skills are mostly used in decoding ‘HIDDEN’ messages which may not exist at all.

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Being an over-thinker, it is possible for you to consume your energy in looking for underlying meanings for every word that you hear. You may find yourself constantly worrying if somebody’s motive was to indirectly tell or indicate something to you while conversing with you.

6) You cross-check the messages you’re about to send multiple times.

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It takes you a lot of time to send a message to somebody. You keep going through the messages, again and again, deleting or editing its content. You have the notion of sending an error-free or so-called ‘perfect message’ so that the person on the receiving end does not take you for a dumb individual.

7) Maladaptive daydreaming
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As an over thinker, you experience frequent and intrusive daydreams that can disrupt your everyday tasks and quality of life. Certain situations are often stuck in repeat mode inside your head or you start imagining things that have no end to them and eventually find it very difficult to come to reality and do your daily tasks.

8) You take ‘LITTLE’ things very ‘SERIOUSLY’.
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While having a conversation with somebody, you may find yourself taking little things very seriously. There may be times when people are just talking or discussing things on a very general level but you might take things personally and feel disturbed. It sometimes gets a little difficult to convince you that everything’s okay because you usually want every piece of information to make up your mind.

9) Your behaviour and actions are mostly based on your ‘ASSUMPTIONS’.
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The term ‘over-thinking’ itself suggests thinking more than required; thinking more than there is to think actually. Over-thinkers usually pre-assume a lot of things (basically, jumping to conclusions) and later are found constantly worrying about things that may or may not exist. This eventually leads them to behave oddly around people.

10) Anxiety knocks and blows good night’s sleep away.
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Overthinking often generates anxiety and results in panic attacks. This anxiety holds you back and disrupts your normal functioning. Messing up one thing might mean messing up the entire thing, in your opinion. You keep ruminating about it and thus, face trouble sleeping.