Almost everyone has an addiction of one sort or another, whether they choose to admit it to themselves or not. Some are addicted to alcohol, others to sex, others to food, or as in Robert Palmer’s case, they’re addicted to love. My addiction is known to some, but many would not have added it to a list of things they might potentially become addicted to. Thinking is my addiction. I like to ponder, contemplate, meditate, cogitate, ruminate, and occasionally pontificate, as some of you may have noticed. Some of the side effects of excessive thinking include chronic depression, an inability to form healthy relationships, reckless correction of others’ grammatical failings, and judgmental behavior towards folks who can’t think as much as you do.
As it stands, my addiction is my affliction. For example, when I wanted to assess my chances of lasting happiness in the context of a long-term relationship with a woman, I did an analysis of demographic trends and some quick calculations to assess how many women in the global population had a high statistical likelihood of compatibility with me. It probably would have been more useful for me to just go out and meet women. Thinking does not always increase effectiveness in performing a particular task successfully, and it can cause people to compare you to Dr. House, which is at once tragic and wondrous.
So how do I deal with the negative consequences of excessive thinking? Is there some healthy way that I can decrease how often and how much I think so that it no longer gets in the way of a normal and healthy life?