This is your brain on overthinking it

Continuing with the theme of extreme self-consciousness, this is how my mind spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon:

Oh my gosh I just commented on one of my favorite blogs and they commented back I’m so excited but oh no now my original comment seems kind of stupid and they don’t sound very happy maybe they thought it was rude or too matter-of-fact or just lame ugh why did I say anything maybe I shouldn’t comment any more but no I have to keep commenting so they know I’m not really rude I shouldn’t have included a quote that was dumb and it messed up the formatting I must seem like such a n00b …

… and so on.

Do normal people’s brains work like this?  Any suggestions on how to stop completely over-analyzing every little interaction?

4 thoughts on “This is your brain on overthinking it

  1. Every single time I get positive feedback for something I have been feeling self-conscious about, I make a mental note, emphasize it with mental highlighter, and remind myself not to be such a stress factory in the future. This has certainly helped my general sense of well-being.

    I have, however, realized that spending time with negative, worry-addicted friends and family members quickly sends me sailing back into flights of insecurity. It’s not that said friends and relations are critical of me, but rather that I’m liable to fall into the emotionally inhibiting patterns these people use to understand their own lives. At this point, I’m trying to develop such a firm foundation of general well-being (not happiness, just not rampant self-directed pessimism) that not even other people’s sad habits can rub off on me.


    • I have enormous difficulty accepting compliments – I’m not sure whether I’m fundamentally convinced that any praise directed my way must be untrue, or afraid that I have caused expectations to rise to an unsustainable level. It’s probably some of both.

      I’m glad you made me think of that. One of my goals for the week is to work on positive affirmations. “It’s OK to accept compliments” would be a valuable affirmation to include.

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  2. Are we the same person? Haha, I do this too. It’s absolutely maddening. I’m working on caring less but it’s challenging. If I find a magic solution, I’ll let you know – and please do the same! 🙂


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