Advertising

If Overthinking Is Your Habit, You’ve Judged Yourself Too Much

If Overthinking Is Your Habit, You’ve Judged Yourself Too Much
Advertising

We are all victims of overthinking. For some of us it can be a fleeting thought but for many of us it can cause real damage in our perception of ourselves, others and the world around us.

Overthinking is an epidemic stemming from our tendency to compare ourselves to others; feeling inadequate and focusing too much on negative aspects of situations. In essence, it’s our judgemental thought patterns that create this world in our mind – a world of low self-worth and disconnect with our true self.

How Overthinking and Self-Judgement Are Connected

As humans, we are capable of deep, critical thinking about many subjects. If our mental health isn’t always healthy, we tend to judge ourselves and the relationship we have with everything. This causes us to hone in on a narrow idea of who we are. We’re too fat, too old, unsuccessful, unassertive, not passionate enough – and the worst one of all: not good enough.

Advertising

For example, if you have feelings of self-doubt about your ability to be successful, then this seed of thought can affect all areas of your life such as career, goals and dreams, relationships and friendships. Overthinking the lack of success and your ability to achieve it leads to more self-judgement. When opportunities arise in life like the perfect job interview or the perfect love, you end up sabotaging your potential through the act of overthinking your low worth and inability to succeed.

In essence, it can be a vicious cycle where overthinking leads to self-criticising, which in turn, leads to more overthinking.

To Stop Judging Ourselves We Need To Stop Judging Others

Judging others is just the start. If we have the ability to judge others based on our preconceived ideas and prejudices, then we have the ability to judge ourselves but with much harsher consequences. This inevitably leads to the overthinking we’re so familiar with.

Advertising

Training ourselves not to judge others is the first step. Look at these two people – what judgemental thoughts arise when you look at them?

    Advertising

      Is the well-dressed, slim person successful but the over-weight person lazy or unsuccessful? Neither are necessarily true. It can be shocking what assumptions we make based on first perceptions but it’s these that are the basis of our own self-judgement.

      The art of taking in the whole view rather than making a stern, often wrong, decision on something is often practised by Buddhists. Mediation teaches us to not judge our thoughts but to note them and let them go on their merry way. Just observing a simple object can help identify our way of making judgements.

      Advertising

        Try with a strawberry – what conclusions to do get from looking at it? Ask yourself why you make these assumptions.

        Move on to people – watch people when you’re out and about. See what assumptions you make about them and their lives – why do you have these views?

        Finally try this on the judgements you make on yourself and question whether your perceptions are really just illusions you create.

        Advertising

        By doing this, you can start to lessen your tendency to overthink. Once negative thoughts about yourself start to build up, you are in a better position to notice and understand them. But more importantly, stop them in their tracks.

        So, don’t beat yourself up for judging yourself. Realise that your perceptions can be based on false views and assumptions. Having the right mindset is the key to creating happiness in yourself – free of unnecessary worry and overthinking and building a space of non-judgement. Give yourself a break.

        More by this author

        Jenny Marchal

        A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

        How to Celebrate Small Wins to Achieve Big Goals Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset How To Overcome Self Imposed Limitations For Goal Setting To Reach Your Goals, Start With Planning For The Worst Why Setting Intrinsic Goals Can Make You Happier

        Trending in Psychology

        1 20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About 2 11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind 3 4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting 4 How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing 5 How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on February 11, 2021

        20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

        20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About
        Advertising

        Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

        Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

        Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

          If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

          The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

          Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

          There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

          Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

          Advertising

          Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

          Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

          Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

          • The idea for Google -Larry Page
          • Alternating current generator -Tesla
          • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
          • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
          • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

          …and many, many more.

          Fact #4: Premonition dreams

          There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

          You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

          • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
          • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
          • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
          • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

          Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

          Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

          Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

          Advertising

          Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

          In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

          Fact #7: Sexual dreams

          The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

          Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

            Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

            Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

            • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
            • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
            • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

            Fact #9: Dream drug

            There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

            Fact #10 Dream-catcher

            Advertising

              The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

              Fact #11: Increased brain activity

              You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

              Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

              As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

              Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

              In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

              Fact #13: Pets dream too

                Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

                Advertising

                Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

                Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

                Fact #15: Blind people dream too

                Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

                Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

                  It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

                  Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

                  Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

                  Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

                  You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

                  Fact #19: Gender differences

                  Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

                  Advertising

                  Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

                  As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Read Next