#ScienceSays: Overthinking Things? It Might Be A Sign of Genius!
Gayatri SahayGuest Contributor
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Most of us are prone to that inner monologue in our heads taking over from time to time. But there are those who overthink literally everything. While one might worry for these people, science has decided that overthinkers and over-worriers actually deserve praise! This is because they tend to be highly creative people with strengths beyond the average human brain. Read on to find out why…!
1. Danger, Danger
Overthinking activates parts of the brain (the medial prefrontal cortex) that are otherwise not used. This is the part of the brain that allows us to perceive threat or danger, but it’s also what is most stimulated when one is being creative. When we begin to overthink, this part of the brain comes up with possibilities and situations - i.e., stimulates the creative juices in our brains that allow us to become more imaginative.
2. No Pain, No Gain
We’ve all heard this one before, and it’s true. When is the last time you can remember doing something out of your comfort zone when you didn’t actually need to? Perhaps then, when one goes through the pain of driving themselves to think in a creative and pioneering manner they are forcing their minds to innovate beyond current understanding, allowing for them to gain genius status.
3. I Think, Therefore I Am
Sometimes overthinking and over-worrying about situations can cause great unhappiness and find constant fault with the world around them. This feeling of fault might lead one to lead a more innovative or genuine lifestyle, even when it doesn’t fit in with the “norm.” You see, it’s thanks to this sort of thinking that some of our greatest inventions came about!
4. What’s The Problem?
When it comes to generic problem solving (something that arises in many standardized tests), over-thinkers are bound to have a great advantage over those of us who lead a more happy-go-lucky lifestyle. This is because over thinkers tend to tap into the parts of the brain that control both possible negative outcomes and potential solutions more often. It’s almost compulsive to imagine the worst case scenario and then over-indulge and figure your way out of it. So, if the apocalypse should happen - you know who to hedge your bets on!
5. Someone Has To Think Of It First…
As they say necessity is the mother of invention, but what happens when things are innovated before their time? Interestingly enough, most of our greatest (or, at least, significant) inventions were born of fear. Industrialized food? Fear of starvation. Medicine? Fear of death and illness. Weaponry? Fear of invasion. It’s concern that creates innovation, and those who over-think enough to be able to envision such scenarios are likely to be the ones who pioneer!
6. Modern Worrier Vs Ancient Warrior
Think back to the time of the hunter/ gatherer - during the summer months when things were in fruition, everyone was happy. But, come winter - it would only be the hunter/ gatherer who had thought ahead that would have reserves stored up. Similarly, modern worriers find creative ways of dealing with small everyday problems, work-related tasks, and improving their safety by worrying about such things served as a worst-case scenarios and safety mechanisms against them!