The Introvert's Corner

How to live a quiet life in a noisy world

The Trouble with Thinking

Have you ever been accused of thinking too much? Is that possible? Socrates said "The unexamined life is not worth living," but is it possible to self-examine yourself into a hole? Where is the line between introspection and rumination? Read More

Stewing and Brewing or

...chewing?..Chewing implies assimilation and digestion of thoughts and ideas...healthy processing. Yes? To where stewing and brewing is what we do when we identify ourselves as helpless victims of one injustice or another.
So then it becomes about looking at the content of our thoughts...what are we saying to ourselves about our situation and what is the mental snag that might be keeping us from doing something or accepting a situation? For instance, my mental snag might be "this person created a problem in my life and so I'm secretly waiting for them to fix it" It may take a while to dig up that truth and for some of us, it may take even longer to let go of the fantasy of being rescued.
I have found acceptance is the fastest path to relief...turning my thoughts towards gratitude and then watching for shifts in my attitude and choices. Sometimes the answer we are loking for is not the answer that shows up.

".. how do you know when

".. how do you know when you’re on the road to depression rather than personal growth?"
I try to ask myself: Is this creative or repetitive thinking? Am I problem solving or wallowing? Am I taking myself too seriously? Do I feel compassionate or judgemental?
Usually a little self honesty goes a long way for me.

Thinking too much

I've asked the same question of myself many times, which likely indicates rumination rather than examination ending in conclusion & action. What I'd love to see is positively-directed guidance or referral to other materials/sources to make the distinction, so we navel-gazers can move forward & outward. Otherwise, posing this open-ended question only increases frustration.

I'll see what I can do...

I posed the question because so often, people who comment here are very wise and give me new ways to think about and look at things. But I'll look for someone to interview who might be able to help us figure this out.

Thinking Too Much

Thank you, that would be fantastic! Looking forward to any helpful information you might be able to provide.

hi

I've read your book Sophia and it's So true! During group discussions, I take quite long to ruminate and by the time I want to speak it's over and they've moved onto other points. Some people backstabbed me that I don't give them ideas. I'm bad at brainstorming, and they talk so much no room to think!
So when there are online discussions then I am able to succeed. unfortunately brainstorming and meetings are way of life. what can I do to prevent such happenings again?
because I hope to be able to stay on at my next job.
Glad you shared all your tips

Hi ilker

What has (mostly) helped me with this is to find out, if possible, the upcoming topics being discussed and spending time coming up with ideas before the meeting. I find evenings to be the best time for me. Then I write them down and take it with me to the meeting. Turns out some of the best ideas are mine!
I've also found that doodling during the meeting seems to free up my 'right brain' and ideas just pop up. I think the secret is to just throw them out there as soon as they do and not let myself dwell on them. Hope this helps.

Thinking Too Much

This topic brings to mind that AA prayer about accepting what you can't control changing what you can and knowing the difference between the two. For me thoughts that have no actionable items and turn into endless loops are the ones that need to be dropped, sometimes forcibly, in favor of a more productive line of thinking. Those loops (I call them hamster wheels) can be very seductive at times but ultimately lead nowhere and put me further behind in all the other aspects of life. Occasionally when I get stuck in one of those hamster wheels, I'll have to really push out of my head and engage in extroverted activities for a while just to break up the routine. That usually puts me into a different head space and I can go back to healthy introspection.

Definitely

It can get to the point of self-abuse when the self-improvement never ends. When is the endpoint at which you will be good enough?

It's a dangerous game to play, and I'm in recovery for it. By definition, self-improvement implies fault or a *need* to improve rather than accept.

The test is how we feel on a day-to-day basis.

I feel if it doesn't end in a

I feel if it doesn't end in a usable decision, then it's over-thinking. :)

if the theme/topic can be

if the theme/topic can be carried forth with positive emotion than i believe it is closer to introspection. leads to happiness and eventually enlightenment.

if it is carried with negative emotion then a loop of rumination can occur. can lead to depression and eventually suicide.

i believe logical philosophy can end a rumination. as if to say that introspection can become a "combo breaker" of sorts against rumination. lol.

logic of course is as arbitrary as the mind it is in.

basically:

introspection = positive emotion

rumination = negative emotion

logic = neutral [at least in my case]

The trouble with thinking

I get so tired of being told I think too much. I feel there is no such thing. I can think as much as I like. I don't understand why others don't bother to think. I think a situation from beginning to end and decide if it is the right move. Introspection versus rumination, I do both. I make no excuses for it. It is the way my brain works. Does it do me any good to ruminate? I would say yes as I continue to do it until something logical breaks through. Does it lead to depression? It could, but that just comes with the territory for me as I cannot change the way I think. I don't know what it is like to not think as all my life I have done just that.

I do wonder why other people seem to not think at all until after the fact. When thinking is a bit late, and damage control is in effect.

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Sophia Dembling is a widely published Dallas, Texas-based writer. Her latest book is The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World.

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