Why Overthinking Kills Your Happiness & Makes You A Selfish Jerk

Photo: getty
Why Overthinking Kills Your Happiness & Makes You A Selfish Jerk

Sometimes you're happy and nothing can ruin it, like when you find $20 on the ground and use it to by an ice cream cone. Other times, your happiness is fragile and can literally be destroyed by seeing a social media post.

Your happiness all depends on how much time you allow yourself to spend inside your head overthinking.

One minute you're just scrolling, not a care in the world, when you stumble upon a photo of your high school buddies out together at a bar. Nobody called you, and it's not even like you would have gone. Jessica was there and you hate Jessica, but Kevin made it and you thought the two of you were pals.

RELATED: 9 Steps To Stop Overthinking When Your Mind Is Spinning Out Of Control

Then, you wonder how many times these hangs weren't on Instagram. Maybe they've been leaving you out for years.

You picture them together, sipping on margaritas on the beach watching the sunset when someone says, "Hey, how come we never invite Emily out?" Kevin responds, "Oh, dude, I thought she died."

And before you know it, you're crying alone over a bucket of ice cream because you've convinced yourself that all your friends have forgotten about you. 

In reality (a place in which, apparently, we do not live when we get in these zones), nobody called you because it was Kevin's birthday and you haven't talked to Kevin in, like, two years. Who's the jerk now? 

Scenarios like the one above happen all the time when you're prone to overthinking. Not only are you spending the majority of your time freaking out over things that aren't real or haven't happened yet, but you're also being a lousy friend/girlfriend/daughter/employee.

Overthinking kind of makes you a terrible person, and it destroys your happiness in the process.

RELATED: The Cool Reason Introverts Overthink Things (And 'Analyze' Everything Too Much)

When you spend all your time worrying about things "happening to you," you neglect the problems and lives of everyone else in your life. For example, the time you spent worrying about if everyone was still friends with you — that time could have been spent being a better friend. 

Is there a way to learn how to stop overthinking? For one, helping other people is the best way to combat overthinking. 

So, if you find yourself wallowing over a thought that turned into a story that turned into you having a sobfest, try the following steps: 

1. Call someone. 

It could be your mom, your sister or your third grade teacher. 

2. Ask them about their life. 

Go beyond the simple "how are you" and really dig in to what's going on with them.

3. Just listen!

Shut off your brain for 20 minutes and listen to what the other person is telling you! When you're unhappy, the quickest route to happiness is focusing on how to make someone else happy.

Note: This article is not meant for people suffering a real mental illness. If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, seek the opinion of a medical professional. 

RELATED: 4 Ways To Finally Stop Overthinking Every Little Thing In Your Relationship

Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between.