Inside The Brain Of An Over-Thinker.

I’m an over-thinker.

It took me a couple of minutes of thinking before I wrote that first line. I’m currently thinking about hundreds of things at once right now as I write this very sentence. Should I just stop and not write anything? Who’s going to read it? Will anyone care? Do I even care? Do I even want to write it? Should I be doing something else?

Now that I got that out of the way, let me share what I want to share. Naturally, I decided to write all of this because I was thinking about it. Shocker. I guess I’m hoping people will read it and share it so that thousands of people will read it and write back. I want to know what others think about this. I’m sure I’m not the only one but I wonder if we are all the same.

My brain hurts sometimes. I get these massive headaches from always thinking too much. A lot of the time I’m just running simulations in my head trying to figure out the optimal approach to doing something in order to establish my expected value (‘EV’). Should I cut the red wire or the blue wire? Just kidding. What I meant to say is, should I pull the cereal bowl out of the cupboard before I grab the milk and the spoon? Which way will be faster? What makes more sense?

This happens all the time. Every second, whenever I’m awake. It’s a lot! My head is constantly running all the possible scenarios in order to determine the best move. While doing this the clock is ticking and new things are happening around me, which in turn affect the possible scenarios and thus require MORE THINKING. That’s why it hurts.

Don’t get me wrong, it does have its benefits. Think about it (hah, really?), what this means is that I rarely take uncalculated risks. On the contrary I make a lot of calculations before I do something, say something, react to something and so on. In fact I think way more than I talk. In a conversation with someone as the other person is talking I’m thinking of things to say, and then predicting what they would say after that, and if I would have something good to say after. If it’s not optimal I’d rather not say anything. I’d rather just think.

Other things I think about are the past and the future. I think about good and bad things that happened in the past and how I want to do better things in the present in order to have better experiences in the future. It gets pretty loud in my head. All these thoughts running around at once can be a lot to handle.

It feels good putting some of these thoughts to words and sharing them with all of you. While writing this article/story, or whatever you want to call it, I thought about 5–10 other things completely not related to this, paused and stared at my screen for a couple of minutes to run calculations, and oh, my head kind of hurts now so I’ll wrap things up.

I’m sure there are a lot of you out there that go through something similar. It would be great to hear how this affects you in a positive and negative way. All I can say is that the one time I stopped thinking, I filled my car up with petrol instead of diesel. It sucked. But don’t worry, I thought a lot about why it happened after!

I share some of my thoughts on Twitter. You can follow me here: @JonahVella

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