Are you stuck in the vicious cycle of overthinking? It’s risky, warns an expert

Updated on: 29 April 2022, 14:14 pm IST
Overthinking is a big threat to your overall health, including mental and physical. In fact, thinking too much can raise these 6 problems.
Aayushi Gupta
Don’t overthink it! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Do you ever feel that your thoughts are taking over your life? Or that you think deeply and repeatedly way too much? Well, if that’s the case, you are currently dealing with a pattern of overthinking. Overthinking is common and people with stress usually experience this condition. It involves thinking of negative thoughts, dwelling on the past and worrying about the future.

Overthinking can easily become your daily habit if you do not take any steps to control it. And this habit not only impacts your emotional health, but can put your mental and physical health at risk as well.

Stop overthinking. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Narayan Gadkar, Cardiologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, spoke to HealthShots about the impact of overthinking on overall health.

According to Dr Gadkar, overthinking gives rise to these 6 health problems:

1. Overthinking leads to high blood pressure

If you constantly overthink, doing so will steal your peace of mind. It can invite stress that can further raise your blood pressure and make you susceptible to heart problems like a stroke or a heart attack. High stress means high cholesterol levels, and you may also adopt unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption that can create havoc on your overall well-being.

2. Overthinking can cause sleep problems

Do you try hard, but your never-ending thoughts keep you awake? Well, facing troubles in sleeping is one of the well-known impacts of overthinking. So, if you’re an over-thinker, you will be unable to get a sound sleep at night. And, you will end up feeling groggy, cranky, and fatigued the next morning. This will make it difficult for you to concentrate on your work, decrease productivity, and make you overeat by gaining oodles of weight.

3. Overthinking will suppress your appetite

Even overthinking for a short period of time can lead to a loss of appetite. Because it keeps your brain busy and doesn’t let the signal pass to the brain that you’re hungry or it’s time to eat. Dr Gadkar says, “If you are stressed due to overthinking, you may not eat or overeat. Both habits are harmful to your health.”

Eat your favorite food and avoid overthinking. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Overthinking will impact the brain

Overthinking changes the structure and connectivity of the brain leading to mood disorders therefore it can lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety, stress, and depression. Moreover, it can decrease your energy to focus and can affect your problem solving and decision making power.

5. It affects the digestive system

Stress due to overthinking can take a toll on your digestive health because it decreases the amount of blood flow and oxygen to the stomach. Stress due to overthinking results in gastrointestinal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

6. It will weaken the immune system

If you are stressed, the hormone cortisol is released in the body, which in turn weakens the immune system, and you will be at a higher risk of suffering from allergies, infections, and diseases.

Avoid feeling stuck in a vicious cycle of overthinking and use these 7 tips to move on:

You may think you can’t control it, but there are some tips that if you follow them regularly, can help you stop overthinking. Here they are:

1. Distract yourself: If you find yourself overthinking, stop and take up a hobby or try to do something else to stay away from troubling thoughts.

2. Listen to music: Listen to your favourite music to distract your mind from negative thoughts.

Meditation can give you a chance to internalise. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Note it down: Keep a diary and take note of what you’re thinking.

4. Share your worries: If you’re someone with whom you can share your fear and worries, share them. This will release your burden.

5. Let go of the past: If the cause of your overthinking is thinking about your past then let go of it. Whatever the case may be, accept it and move on.

6. Breathing exercises: Practicing breathing exercises to reduce the level of stress and to put a full stop to overthinking is the best solution. You can also meditate.

7. Stay in the present: Leave your past and live in the present. Plus, do not dwell between your past, present, or future. Enjoy your present moments.

Last but not the least, don’t be hard on yourself. Set the time to allow yourself to overthink, this will help you limit the time of the duration you overthink.

Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.

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