Millennials: why we are a generation of overthinkers

Overthinking controls our lives

Overthinking is a beast that can have different coats. Overthinkers try to predict the future, endlessly evaluate instead of making a decision, attempt to read minds to predict the outcome of somebody’s actions, read too much into the tiniest details, and so on. Those who overthink are never satisfied and always second-guess every decision they make. They constantly run commentaries in their head. They criticize every decision made. Overthinkers are paranoid about a horrible future that might await them. They want to make the best decisions to prevent themselves from ending up in this made-up frightful future.

Millennials, the true overthinkers

We see that all the different ages suffer from overthinking. It does differ per age, but more evidently, it differs significantly per generation. We see that the millennial generation suffers most from overthinking. Many millennials are suffocated by their inner voices limiting them to act towards their potential. What makes the millennials so prone to overthinking? Are there biological, social or psychological factors skewing the numbers towards millennials?

Overstimulation generation

There are studies saying that nowadays, we experience the same amount of stimuli in a day that we did 100 years ago in our entire lives. For that reason, we can say that we are getting a little overstimulated by our current times. That’s okay. We all are affected by that. However, millennials haven’t grown up with it as generation Z has. Generation Z is already pawing on their iPad and smartphones from their baby years onwards. The millennials were ambushed by this stimuli cocktail of nowadays.

1. Focus on the positive

Sorry to let you know, but every single decision you’ll ever make in your life has its advantages and disadvantages. The two primary motivators in our decision-making process are:

  • Avoiding pain

2. Distract yourself from overthinking

3. Put things into solid perspective

Life is just life. Your skill to adapt your perspective to life determines your happiness. It’s always easy to make things seem bigger and more negative than they need to be. The next time you catch yourself making a mountain out of a molehill, ask yourself how much it will matter in a year. Or, for that matter, next month. Just this simple technique of changing up the time frame can help you shut down overthinking and bring things back into perspective.

4. Time-confine all your expectations and goals

5. Ask yourself the right questions

Don’t ask yourself questions that reinforce your overthinking pattern. Many overthinkers have the tendency to fuel their overthinking by asking themselves the wrong questions. Refrain from asking yourself questions like “why do I overthink?” or “why do I always break my exercise routine?”. I don’t say that you shouldn’t ask yourself any questions. Asking yourself questions and having that inner dialogue is super powerful. However, this power needs to be utilized properly. Try to ask yourself more constructive questions like “What kind of beliefs and habits do I have that make me break my exercise routine?” or “Who has experienced this before and can ask for advice?”. Try to nail down things that can help you tackle this matter you are overthinking, instead of questioning your own overthinking. Be kind to yourself and work constructively towards a way forward. Be decisive.

Overthinking can impede you from living life fully. It can restrain you from tapping into your potential. Has a bear ever caught a fish while he was contemplating which fish to go for in the river? Has a striker ever scored a goal while he was contemplating extensively how to aim? You, millennial! Just start making decisions and don’t let overthinking strangle your potential.

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