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How to benefit from overthinking?

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola May 26, 2022
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How to deal with overthinking and, at the same time, benefit from it? Is there a way how we can tackle the problem and turn overthinkers into brainstormers? Are the brainstormers just collaborative overthinkers? Did the brainstormers learn how to control the overthinking? Can thus brainstorming help with depression or anxiety? Can we benefit from overthinking?
Additional information
Overthinking is a term defining thinking about a situation or topic to an excessive amount or in a simpler way thinking about (something) too much or for too long . Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members . However, if we look at some types of brainstorming like directed, guided, individual or question brainstorming, they all seem to mimic similar processes which occur during the overthinking, but in a an engaging, balanced environment.
Does it ring any bells?

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overthinking_(disambiguation)

[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstorming#Guided_brainstorming

6
Creative contributions

Benefits in other cognitive areas

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković May 27, 2022
  • Make yourself overthink out loud in order to improve your eloquence and orator skills.
  • Or make yourself overthink in a foreign language you still haven't quite mastered to improve your vocabulary and pronunciation.
  • Make yourself overthink out loud imitating different persons to practice your comedic skills. Although this might be a highway to schizophrenia. 😁
  • Type out your overthinking and try to improve your touch typing speed. Could even lead to transcription jobs.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa month ago
Great line of thoughts! I especially like the first two and will definitely try to implement them :)
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Disciplined overthinking

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 31, 2022
  1. First, overthink the hell out of what you want to do with your life, what you want to achieve, etc. Make a list of goals. Prioritize it. Periodically re-prioritize it. The higher an item is on your list, the more of your attention/time it should get.
  2. Look at the list. These are the areas/topics/problems you are encouraged to overthink. You should master them.
  3. If you catch yourself overthinking about anything else, stop and remember that it doesn't matter because it's not on the list. Will it get you closer to achieving anything on the list? If yes, do it. If not, find a new interesting aspect of something on the list.

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia month ago
A few questions you can ask yourself and answer while overthinking. Direct yourself to answer these questions and stay away from zones that create pointless chaos. The questions are:
  1. Have I thought of this before? If yes, move on.
  2. Is the goal/ end-product/ destiny known? If yes, now focus on the ways to reach there.
  3. If I am stuck, how can I ask for help?
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
I was about to post that meme, the benefit of overthinking is overaming :D
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Data presentation to better understand your overthinking

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković May 27, 2022
Record yourself overthinking out loud and put the recording through a software that can detect how many times you repeated some word or a phrase. Possibly illustrating just how much running in circles did you do. The app could also detect the changes in your voice that might illustrate just which part of your thoughts is making you the most emotional and in which way. Via voice breaking, stuttering, raising the tone...
It could also be a way of coming to grips with the hangups, beliefs, or traumas that cause you to overthink.
Can be done somewhat with typing as well.
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
There is a problem with "out loud". People are not used to think out loud, especially more introverted people. To do this you'd have to practice, it's a job upon itself just to master this first part. This is also valid for your other contribution.
One of the reasons it's hard to do it is because thinking, and especially overthinking is too fast, so while you talk you think on top, you think about what you said, how your voice sounds, did you said everything you thought or not, etc. You see the problem?
So while trying to talk out loud your overthinking you might really seem like totally nuts, even to yourself.
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stankovića month ago
Povilas S We sort of think out loud when we speak to others. Rarely do people have a prepared outlook for every topic mentioned by the other side in a dialogue.
It's worth noting that introversion is not strictly correlated with overthinking, I know very sociable people who overthink. Often, overthinking is particularly related to social matters.
The issue of being not used to overthinking out loud isn't really an issue. We're not used to doing most of the things we propose on this platform. It's not going to be second nature at first, but it's quite doable. It's making the best out of an undesirable situation. Overthinking is so fast and often that is the reason why people keep running in circles. Talking will slow it down and make the process more mindful.
For the last sentence - hence doing it out loud can be a way of realizing the issue that one might have even more and then have an extra incentive to stop or decrease overthinking. It's holding a mirror to your behaviour.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa month ago
This could be easily implemented into the proposed contribution of the Collaborative overthinking platform, I think. It would greatly help people to understand the basic problems that cause the overthinking, and also to understand themselves better. Great ideas!
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Overthinking as a tool for mental reiteration of ideas/concepts

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain May 27, 2022
Though this might not always work, overthinking can be useful when you need to refine an idea.
Sometimes, ideas in their early stage are not obviously clear to an individual. Some concepts might need a lot of thinking, stressing over and rethinking before they become plausible and comprehensive. This is even more applicable to me as a researcher. For example, when I need to find a research gap in any field of study, I have to dig into the literature and overthink so many theories/concepts. Overthinking about the domain then helps me come up with a pool of new concepts/ideas. Not all of these concepts will be coherent and logical, and again with more thinking in a re-iterative manner, I can finally narrow down at least a few hypotheses that are sensible. Overthinking, if done right, is an excellent ally when preparing for interviews/presentations. It helps me to come up with all the questions and comments that the audience might have about my content and helps me prepare accordingly. Moreover, as I overthink about some particular issues, the idea behind it becomes more clear and I feel like I understand the stuff better than before.
However, the fact about overthinking is that it causes mental fatigue. That is why we need to come up with some strategic way to overthink. For instance, practising overthinking beyond our regular worspace - during outings, hiking, swimming, might help. Similarly, overthinking in groups is another way to make it more productive/ less stressful. Also, we need to reward ourselves when we get something beneficial as a result of overthinking.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa month ago
I completely agree with you. That's why I think the concept of "guided overthinking" is exactly what we need. It doesn't matter if you are alone hiking, or in a group, some professional personalized guidance approach is needed for the maximum benefit from the overthinking.
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A collaborative overthinking platform

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola May 26, 2022
What if we created a platform that incentivizes overthinking in a collaborative and guided manner to help you define the problem, think it through many times and with many people, and examine all the possible scenarios before you get bored of it. In other words, a platform that guides your overthinking and makes you a brainstormer.
Why?
  • to help the overthinkers by reducing the anxiety and stress
  • learning to guide your thoughts can be precious creativity and problem-solving tool
  • all current tools help you get your mind out of the topic you are overthinking; why not try the other way around?
How would it work?
Confession
You record a voice message or write a 100 character text explaining what are you thinking about. The bot asks you questions of the subject to understand your situation. You answer to the bot. The bot makes notes and puts a small recap of everything you said (100 characters). It's structured to clearly highlight the problem, your position and additional information. You read the recap and agree or disagree. The notes go into your notes history.
Analysis
The recap is then compared to the other peoples recaps of the same subject/category/position/etc.
Collaboration and learning
Then you get somebody's elses problem of a similar manner to read and give your comment. You get another one. Somebody else gets yours and comment on it. You continue commenting on other problems and...
Re-evaluation of your situation
....you suddenly get your recap. You read it and comment it now, when you read and commented many similar recaps of other people. If you feel like the recap is not exactly explaining your problem, you can edit it by introducing minor changes. This gets saved in version control.
Repeat
You again go through the process of commenting and comment on other recaps. By the time you again get your recap, you read 50+ recaps on similar topic and commented on it. Through commenting, you realized the others have the same problem, the problem can be solved and/or collaboratively understood and worked on and that you became an expert on giving everybody else comments on similar problem. You close the app and continue normal living.
The key feature - guided collaborative overthinking
The main value of the proposed idea would be to allow an individual to overthink on other people problems that are easily relate-able to his/her own. The smart algorithm would determine which recap should the individual read next based on its comments and feedbacks. Through every new recap, you would learn the diversity of problems, you would be guided to understand things better and give constructive comments. At one point, you would be guided to give yourself a constructive comment which will make you finally realize that it's time to stop thinking about it.
What do you think?
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Overthinking highlights the silence of awareness

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jun 07, 2022
Similarly how silence is very vivid after noise, overthinking can help emphasize and therefore shift the focus to (become aware of) the awareness in which it happens. Becoming aware of the silence of awareness rather than the thoughts is the basis of meditation. Meditation, in turn, helps reduce overthinking, so it's a perfect feedback loop.
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