How to stop being an over-thinker

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How to stop being an over-thinker

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As a rule, thinking is a good thing and while some people don’t do it enough, some over-think everything. Both genders can fall into either category – today we’re going to chat about the one who does too much.

Some people think themselves into stagnation, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety and even illness. They have an aptitude for making the simple, complex, the easy, hard, the minor issue, a major drama and the pain-less, pain-full. They are adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and also at wasting their time and talent through age-old art of over-analysing everything and everyone; analysis paralysis. They are experts at misinterpreting what people are saying and if there is a way to have their feelings hurt, they’ll find it. Even go looking for it. Not only do they have a history of almost doing things but more often than not they are obsessive, compulsive with perfectionistic tendencies. They worry too much. About nearly everything. They are people-pleasers who want change (different) but the change process scares them. They don’t need other people to sabotage their dreams or goals, they can do that all by themselves. They are highly skilled in the art of self-sabotage and if anyone will get in their way, it’s them. They are… the Over-Thinker.

So, if you identify with any of the above, then you probably inhabit the cerebral landscape somewhere between casual Over-Thinker and chronic Over-Thinker. Here’s a few tips to help you deal with your Over-Thinking-Ness (a word). (Now).

1. Stop waiting for perfection (perfect timing, perfect conditions) before you do what you know you should have done long ago. Being ambitious is great but aiming for perfection is unrealistic, impractical and debilitating. Aim for constant improvement and consciously and methodically work towards positive change where you need it most.

2. Don’t assume. Don’t act on hunches, act on facts.

3. Be more proactive; do stuff! Get out of the theory and into the practical. Now! Do at least one thing each day every day that will get you closer to where you want to be. Even if it scares you. Especially if it scares you. To steal someone else’s book title, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.” Don’t let fear hijack your potential or run your life (into the ground).

4. Ask yourself the right type of questions; the ones which will put you (mentally) in a positive, practical, productive and solution-focused head space. Acknowledge the problem but be all about the solution. Consciously find the good.

5. Have a sounding board (coach, friend, mentor, relative); someone who will provide you with relevant, meaningful, specific, unemotional feedback – you can’t be objective about you. Make sure it’s someone who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

6. In order to consistently and consciously move from mediocre to amazing, create a plan and totally commit to it. Don’t give yourself an escape clause. Identify and commit to your non-negotiable behaviours.

7. Stop rationalising, justifying and explaining what you’re not doing. Try honesty, it’s quite effective. And liberating.

8. Keep a Success Diary (wanky name but great concept). Journaling your thoughts, decisions, behaviours and results is a great way to keep perspective, stay focused and motivated and to de-emotionalise the change process. It’s also a good way for you to learn what works – for you.

9. Get out of your thoughts. Eckhart Tolle talks about finding that very quiet, relaxing and beautiful space beyond our thoughts. The place where peace, calm, joy and freedom live. This is something which needs to be worked on but with practice you’ll be able to do it almost anywhere at any time. We don’t know how hard it is to stop thinking until we try. And the irony is that moving beyond our thoughts is not really about trying but about letting go. Of the chaos. The mind can be an exhausting place and sometimes we need a holiday from it. If you struggle with this concept, start by losing yourself in some of your favourite music. Step out of your mind and into the music; away from the cerebral and into the creative. The spiritual. The non-thinker. If you’re interested in exploring and understanding this concept more, check out Eckhart Tolle’s book the Power of Now. It’s kind of heavy going (possibly weird depending on where you’re at) but well worth it if you can persevere and digest his words thoughtfully.

10. With all the thoughts traveling around in your head, some of them should be evicted, others are stuck and are too scared to come out. See your brain’s thoughts as one massive Apartment Block. Let’s look at Level 2 of your Apartment Block … as you walk down the corridor, you hear the ol’ crazy woman behind Apt 22 “you should have done it this way stuuupid…”. Further down is the chatterbox in Apt 28 who always has her door open and jumps out and distracts you, just as you’re trying to get somewhere. At the end of the corridor is Mr Gotnothingbettertodo who without fail stops you dead in your tracks “if you only saw how silly you looked you’ve never do that again!”. These trouble-making tenants are in fact those thoughts that interupt your driving forces and freeze you with guilt, anxiety and reasons to keep us still. These tenants are really easy to spot, haven’t paid rent in years, are up to no good and are causing trouble to all the other (good) tenants. These tenants must be evicted – effective immediately!

Start right now – select the most disturbing tenant you know is doing you no good and hand deliver your notice NOW! Get in that elevator, press the button to the floor that you know you keep avoiding.. and march to their door with confidence and hand deliver that notice. If they don’t co-operate, grab them by the ankles and toss them out. These tenants have been settled for a long time and know how to persuade you – so don’t give in! Remember, you have other fantastic tenants there that will be right by your side to support you in this mass evacuation.

This will make room for new, inspirational tenants. Make this Apartment Block your own – bring it back to life, create activities for your community, put in groovy carpet, bring in leafy plants, put in a bar upstairs with 24/7 feel good music (next to the brain spa and indoor pool) – even renovate a complete level and turn it into a brain haven where your tenants can go to put their feet up and recuperate. It’s your Apartment Block – the possibilities are endless!

How to stop being an over-thinker

Frequently, my clients talk to me about how they overthink many problems or over-analyze a situation. People do this because they engage in something that I call “preemptive coping.”

A good example is playing chess and trying to figure out all the possible moves before picking up a chess piece. Or looking at a situation and saying, “okay, if this person makes this move, then I’ll do this. If this person makes this move, then I’ll do that.” People do this in order to preemptively cope with all possible outcomes.

The problem is that they’re doing that in order to cope with the outcomes. And by doing that, they backhandedly diminish their belief in their own problem-solving ability. Plus, it’s mentally exhausting. Anyone who overthinks or over-analyzes can relate to the fact that it is mentally exhausting.

The other problem with it is if you’re playing this chess game of all the possible outcomes that could happen, many times, none of the situations actually occur. You could be thinking, “okay, these 10 things could happen, and if these 10 things happen, I will have these 10 responses to these 10 things.” You have all these possible outcomes and none of them happen.

It’s a perpetual cycle of overthinking or over-analyzing. It is common to over-analyze what another person might have said or what another person might have done. People tend to make a lot of assumptions based on what people are thinking or what people are saying without a lot of evidence that they’re going to do anything. Then based on these assumptions, people are left guessing about what that person is thinking or what that person’s next behavior is going to be.

That’s when the overthinking and overanalyzing comes in. “Okay, I think this person is thinking this, I think this person is going to do this based on X.” Without evidence. “And because I think they’re going to do this, I’m going to do X, Y or Z in return.” Many times none of that ever happens, and people usually waste a lot of precious mental energy on this task and then they’re on to the next.

The next day, something else happens, they make more assumptions about something else that someone said or did and they repeat the same behavior. “Okay, I think that they may be thinking this, or that what they just did meant that. And they are about to say or do X to me, then I’m going to do X, Y, or Z in return.” Oftentimes none of these eventualities ever occur. All this guessing diminishes a strong belief in your problem-solving ability and your coping ability.

It’s critically important that people have a belief in their ability to cope with different situations. This speaks to their need to be able to have patience and frustration tolerance to wait for an event to occur. It’s really hard to have patience, it’s really hard to have frustration tolerance. The more you can cope and wait for something to actually happen, the more satisfied you’ll be with your life. People spend too much time acting on assumptions instead of acting on actual events, which causes them to be really dissatisfied.

If you can learn to live and cope with the unknown, have the ability to tolerate with patience and frustration tolerance with the unknown, and only cope with things as they happen, you will feel more satisfied. You will believe in your ability to cope with things that actually happen. This will help reduce overthinking and over-analyzing and following a path that will only lead to further mental exhaustion.

A Path to Sustainable Life Satisfaction

I invite you to view my new YouTube, “A Path To Sustainable Life Satisfaction Special” which features all six of my empowering techniques and web series episodes I created to help people master and achieve sustainable satisfaction in their lives.

4. Schedule a time for it, and stick to it.

Posted February 12, 2016 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma

Key points

  • Overthinking falls into two categories: ruminating (rehashing the past) and worrying (making often catastrophic predictions about the future).
  • Overthinking interferes with sleep and threatens one’s mental health.
  • One way to avoid overthinking is to focus instead on active solutions.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Whether they beat themselves up over a mistake they made yesterday or fret about how they’re going to succeed tomorrow, overthinkers are plagued by distressing thoughts—and their inability to get out of their own heads leaves them in a state of constant anguish.

While everyone overthinks things once in a while, some people just can’t ever seem to quiet the constant barrage of thoughts. Their inner monologue includes two destructive thought patterns—ruminating and worrying.

Ruminating involves rehashing the past:

  • I shouldn’t have spoken up in the meeting today. Everyone looked at me like I was an idiot.
  • I could have stuck it out at my old job. I would be happier if I would have just stayed there.
  • My parents always said I wouldn’t amount to anything. And they were right.

Worrying involves negative—often catastrophic—predictions about the future:

  • I’m going to embarrass myself tomorrow when I give that presentation. My hands will shake, my face will turn red, and everyone will see that I’m incompetent.
  • I’ll never get promoted. It doesn’t matter what I do. It’s not going to happen.
  • My spouse is going to find someone better than I am. I’m going to end up divorced and alone.

Overthinkers don’t just use words to contemplate their lives. Sometimes, they conjure up images. too. They may envision their car going off the road or replay a distressing event in their minds like a movie. Either way, their tendency to overthink everything holds them back from doing something productive.

The Dangers of Overthinking

Thinking too much about things isn’t just a nuisance; it can take a serious toll on your well-being. Research finds that dwelling on your shortcomings, mistakes, and problems increases your risk of mental health problems. And as your mental health declines, your tendency to ruminate increases, leading to a vicious cycle that is hard to break.

Studies also show that overthinking leads to serious emotional distress. To escape that distress, many overthinkers resort to unhealthy coping strategies, such as alcohol or food.

If you’re an overthinker, you likely already know you can’t sleep when your mind won’t shut off. Studies confirm this, finding that rumination and worry lead to fewer hours of sleep and poorer sleep quality.

How to Stop Overthinking

Putting an end to rehashing, second-guessing, and catastrophic predictions is easier said than done. But with consistent practice, you can limit your negative thinking patterns:

1. Notice When You’re Thinking Too Much

Awareness is the first step in putting an end to overthinking. Start paying attention to the way you think. When you notice yourself replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive.

2. Challenge Your Thoughts

It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. Before you conclude that calling in sick is going to get you fired, or that forgetting one deadline is going to cause you to become homeless, acknowledge that your thoughts may be exaggeratedly negative. Learn to recognize and replace thinking errors before they work you into a complete frenzy.

3. Keep the Focus on Active Problem-Solving

Dwelling on your problems isn’t helpful, but looking for solutions is. Ask yourself what steps you can take to learn from a mistake or avoid a future problem. Instead of asking why something happened, ask yourself what you can do about it.

4. Schedule Time for Reflection

Stewing on problems for long periods of time isn’t productive, but brief reflection can be helpful. Thinking about how you could do things differently or recognizing potential pitfalls to a plan, for example, can help you do better in the future. Incorporate 20 minutes of “thinking time” into your daily schedule. During this time, let yourself worry, ruminate, or mull over whatever you want. Then, when the time is up, move on to something more productive. When you notice yourself overthinking things outside of your scheduled time, remind yourself that you’ll think about it later.

5. Practice Mindfulness

It’s impossible to rehash yesterday or worry about tomorrow when you’re living in the present. Commit to becoming more aware of the here and now. Mindfulness takes practice, like any other skill, but over time, it can decrease overthinking.

6. Change the Channel

Telling yourself to stop thinking about something can backfire. The more you try to avoid the thought from entering your brain, the more likely it is to keep popping up. Busying yourself with an activity is the best way to change the channel. Exercise, engage in conversation on a completely different subject or get working on a project that will distract your mind from a barrage of negative thoughts.

LinkedIn Image Credit: F8 studio/Shutterstock

Are you an over thinker?

Do you leave a meeting or conversation and analyse everything that was said, or everything you could have said or everything they didn’t say or what you could have responded with etc etc etc…?

Maybe, just maybe…you’re an over thinker, like I used to be and you may even be delving in to the realms of chronic rumination

In fact, in my corporate career one of the things that I often heard people say was “calm down, you are going to give yourself a heart attack.”

Today, I give you an insight in to the science of how over-thinking stress can cause health issues, including heart attacks, and also importantly two tips to break that cycle of rumination!

So, briefly, what happens in that moment of rumination is that you activate something called your sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as ‘fight or flight mode’. It is clearly designed for our good, to protect us, but only for short periods of time. But we humans tend to extend our ‘fight or flight’ response out for unhealthily long periods of time, like when you are constantly thinking about a situation. Watch this weeks video to find out what happens to your body!

As always, if your brain doesn’t have a compelling reason to transform from a cycle of over thinking to one of inner calm it will never create the change you need. So, ask yourself why you want to stop overthinking?!

Who or what do you have in your life that you want to be healthy for?

If you can’t do it for yourself, can you do it for them?! Watch this week’s video (4mins 35secs) to learn how over thinking affects your health and how to start doing things differently – for the benefit of your sanity (and those around you!)

Her Side

Imagine this: You sent a text to a person that you just went out on a date with, and it said you had a great time and would love to hang out again. Then, 20 minutes later, the person replies with a smiley face 🙂

You think, “OMG, what does that mean? It’s a smiley face, so that’s good, right? That must mean he wants to see me again too!

But wait.

He didn’t actually say that. Maybe he really doesn’t want to see me again and didn’t want to hurt my feelings, so he thought it was easier to say nothing and just send a smiley face.

But wait.

Maybe he’s just busy and didn’t have time to write anything, and he’ll write again later saying he had a good time too.

But wait.

If he was really interested, he would have made the time to write back even if he’s busy …

But wait …

Does this sound like you? If it does, then you just might be an over-thinker.

If you want to stop being an over-thinker, there are some things you can do.

7 Ways to Stop Being an Over-Thinker

You might think that you were just born this way, and there is no way you can ever stop over-thinking things in your life. But you’re wrong! If over-thinking drives you crazy, here are some things you can do to stop it. [Read: How to be successful – 7 negative thoughts that are holding you back]

1. Don’t make assumptions.

“She rolled her eyes at me, she must think I’m stupid.”

“He didn’t text me back for 3 hours … he must be doing that on purpose. He’s trying to blow me off!”

“I haven’t seen my fried Mary for 3 months, and she’s probably mad at me for not calling her.”

These are assumptions. They are not necessarily based in truth. But an over-thinker’s mind makes all sorts of assumptions. That’s part of the problem.

Usually, making assumptions creates more problems – and more over-thinking. Then you get caught in a nasty downward spiral. Instead, you should live by this rule: “DNAA” … Do Not Assume Anything. Instead, ask people for the facts. Don’t jump to conclusions. [Read: Going through a hard time? Here are 10 things that help you get through it]

2. Don’t assume the worst.

“He was supposed to be here by 5:00. It’s now 5:12. OMG what if he was killed in a car accident? I wonder who I would call to find out? What route was he driving? Let me go check the police and traffic reports online to see if everything’s okay. Oh, that’s ridiculous. He’s only 12 minutes late. Maybe he just lost track of time. But maybe he didn’t. OMG what’s wrong. ”

Usually, the worst doesn’t happen. Sure, it does sometimes, but if you think about it, 99% of the stuff we over-think and over-worry about doesn’t actually come to pass. So wasting so much mental energy trying figuring out why people died or were captured by an alien really doesn’t do us any good.

3. Don’t think in terms of “What if…”

“This guy asked me out, and I don’t really think I like him, so I’m not going to go. But what if he’s really my soul mate? If I don’t go out with him, I’ll never know! But he’s kind of short. Oh that’s stupid – am I really not going to give him a chance because of that? Oh, but what if I go out with him and he’s a bump on a log. Then I’ve wasted a few hours of my life. And if I went out with him, what would I wear? Nothing too sexy because I don’t want him to like me THAT much. But what if I really do like him, then I will want him to find me sexy….”

There are literally infinite “what if’s” that could occur. And we imagine every little teensy tiny scenario. They drive you crazy! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. So stop thinking about all the things that COULD happen.Try to practice living in the NOW. Because that is really all we can control. [Read: How to deal with judgmental people – 10 ways to take your power back]

4. Don’t stress about things that you can’t control.

“My son loves baseball. I HATE baseball. But what if he took guitar lessons and started a band? I would love that … because I love music! Oh, but I can’t take way his baseball, that would make me a bad parent. Maybe he would like football? At least that’s not boring. Oh but what if he gets a concussion and has brain damage. That would be awful. What other ways can I make sure that I don’t have to go watch boring baseball games? Oh, if only I could wave a magic wand and make things happen the way I want them to!”

We can’t control anything or anyone but ourselves. Over-thinking about how we can change things so we can be happier, or life will be better somehow, just sends us into another crazy cycle of spinning our mental wheels.

5. Realize that you are frequently wrong.

“After days of sleepless nights because of over-thinking it, I am convinced he doesn’t like me!”

“That little jerk! I’m sure he said that because of …”

Because over-thinkers imagine SO many different possibilities and scenarios, statistically speaking, you’re often wrong with your assumptions. Because if you come up with 100 different possibilities in your head, there’s going to be a 99% chance that you are wrong – because only one of those actually WILL be right. So don’t convince yourself that you are right – or wrong. Most of the time, you will never know the truth with your own over-analyzing. [Read: How to love yourself – 15 ways to feel happy in your own skin]

6. Don’t get into your own “analysis paralysis.”

“OMG, just stop it! You’ll never figure it out.”

“I know I’m torturing myself … but I just can’t stop it. ”

“My head hurts and I’m exhausted from thinking about this!”

Over-thinkers say these things to themselves very frequently. Running things over in your mind over and over really does lead to exhaustion! Sometimes you really wish there was an “off switch” in your brain so you can stop. When this happens, try thinking about something else. Or doing something else. It really can distract you and calm you down.

7. Don’t seek other people’s opinions to help you over-think … do it to help you stop.

“I’m going to forward this text to Julie and see what she thinks he means.”

“I got a job offer, but I can’t make a decision because I can think of too many pros and cons! Let me ask 5 of my friends what they would do … ”

Because over-thinkers get stuck in “analysis paralysis,” they often look outside themselves for answers. They either get sick of themselves, exhausted, or the situation just becomes so cloudy from the over-thinking that they can’t think straight. It’s during that times that over-thinkers turn to other people to help them make decisions, and even to calm them down. This is actually a good thing to do. It helps put some objectivity into your mind, and/or distracts you from your own craziness.

Over-thinking isn’t necessarily bad. It says we care. It says we have complex minds. It shows that we know there are multiple scenarios that can play out in life. But the secret is to gain control over your mind so it doesn’t run out of control. And you can do this, it just takes some effort!

There’s a big difference between ruminating and problem-solving.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Although there’s some evidence that suggests women are more likely to be overthinkers than men (which is why I included an entire chapter about it my latest book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do), the truth is, everyone overthinks sometimes.

Overthinking is a common issue I address in my therapy office. People often come to their appointments saying things like, “I can’t relax. It’s like my brain won’t shut off,” or “I can’t stop thinking about how my life could have been better if I’d done things differently.”

The link between overthinking and mental health problems is a chicken-or-egg type question. Overthinking is linked to psychological problems, like depression and anxiety.

It’s likely that overthinking causes mental health to decline and as your mental health declines, the more likely you are to overthink. It’s a vicious downward spiral.

But, it’s hard to recognize that spiral when you’re caught in the middle of it. In fact, your brain might try to convince you that worrying and ruminating is somehow helpful.

After all, won’t you develop a better solution or prevent yourself from making the same mistake if you spend more time thinking? Not necessarily.

In fact, the opposite is often true. Analysis paralysis is a real problem. The more you think, the worse you feel. And your feelings of misery, anxiety, or anger may cloud your judgment and prevent you from taking positive action.

Two Forms of Overthinking

Overthinking comes in two forms; ruminating about the past and worrying about the future.

It’s different than problem-solving. Problem-solving involves thinking about a solution. Overthinking involves dwelling on the problem.

Overthinking is also different than self-reflection. Healthy self-reflection is about learning something about yourself or gaining a new perspective about a situation. It’s purposeful.

Overthinking involves dwelling on how bad you feel and thinking about all the things you have no control over. It won’t help you develop new insight.

The difference between problem-solving, self-reflection, and overthinking isn’t about the amount of time you spend in deep thought. Time spent developing creative solutions or learning from your behavior is productive. But time spent overthinking, whether it’s 10 minutes or 10 hours, won’t enhance your life.

Signs You’re an Overthinker

When you become more aware of your tendency to overthink things, you can take steps to change. But first, you have to recognize that overthinking does more harm than good.

Sometimes, people think that their overthinking somehow prevents bad things from happening. And they think if they don’t worry enough or rehash the past enough then somehow, they’ll encounter more problems. But, the research is pretty clear–overthinking is bad for you and it does nothing to prevent or solve problems.

Here are 10 signs that you’re an overthinker:

  1. I relive embarrassing moments in my head repeatedly.
  2. I have trouble sleeping because it feels like my brain won’t shut off.
  3. I ask myself a lot of “what if. ” questions.
  4. I spend a lot of time thinking about the hidden meaning in things people say or events that happen.
  5. I rehash conversations I had with people in my mind and think about all the things I wished I had or hadn’t said.
  6. I constantly relive my mistakes.
  7. When someone says or acts in a way I don’t like, I keep replaying it in my mind.
  8. Sometimes I’m not aware of what’s going on around me because I’m dwelling on things that happened in the past or worrying about things that might happen in the future.
  9. I spend a lot of time worrying about things I have no control over.
  10. I can’t get my mind off my worries.

How to Deal With Overthinking

If you recognize that you tend to get caught up in overthinking, don’t despair. You can take steps to reclaim your time, energy, and brain power.

From scheduling time to worry to changing the channel, there are several mental strength exercises that can help you stop overthinking everything.

“The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed,” wrote Bethany Brookbank.

Overthinking sounds like a simple problem.

Unfortunately, if you give it a second look, you will see it is anything but. Our world is just not made for over-thinkers. It is made for not-so-thoughtful doers.

An overactive mind can easily miss the best opportunities. The result is anxiety, and an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt. Being a chronic overthinker is difficult. Loving one can be even more so.

Here are 16 things you should know if your loved one is an over-thinker:

1. Telling your partner to stop overthinking is as useless as telling them to stop breathing.

If anything, doing this will only lead to more overthinking about overthinking. This meta overthinking is like a vicious circle. A way out is to suggest your partner that they should stop making a mountain out of a molehill.

2. Word choice is important to an over-thinker.

When you are having a world with him or her, try to make yourself as clear as possible, or else you risk exacerbating the problem. Honesty and transparency are appreciated.

3. Your actions must be consistent with your words, values, and identity.

Otherwise, all three will be doubted. Your over-thinker needs to be sure of who you are. That said, you should be careful if you ever decide to play even the most innocent joke on him or her. The consequences may be hard to predict.

4. Project confidence in your relationship.

Your partner will pick up on this and feel safer and more secure. This can help to alleviate their racing thoughts and keep them in the moment. Stop overthinking your relationship. Enjoy the nice time you are having together instead of worrying about what may happen in the future.

5. Over-thinking can often lead to pessimism.

Your partner will appreciate someone who shows them the bright side of life. From time to time you’ve got to remind them of that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

6. Commitment may come more slowly with an over-thinker.

Give them time and space to come around. Rushing them will only cause more doubt and anxiety. You may also need to reassure them of your feelings every now and then. Even if you two get on like a house on fire, your overthinking partner may still get possessed by doubts about the future.

7. Encourage your partner to do their over-thinking out loud.

Offer to act as a non-judgmental sounding board. Verbalizing a worry can help their brain cope with it more effectively. This exercise also increases trust and understanding.

8. An over-thinker will always notice and appreciate the good things that you do for them.

They are unlikely to take your good deeds for granted. In fact, they might appreciate your efforts like nobody else ever has. That’s one of the nicest things about being in a relationship with such a person.

9. An over-thinker is easily overwhelmed.

Give your partner time and space to process the information they are bombarded with every day. Otherwise they may just block off and withdraw into themselves.

10. It can be difficult to get an over-thinker out of their own head.

I mean, most of the time they are preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings. If you manage to do it, however, you can rest assured that you’ve really made a difference in their life.

11. Spontaneity may seem romantic, but it isn’t a good idea if you are in a relationship with an overthinker.

So as to feel confident and at ease in a particular situation, they need to have planned it well in advance.

12. Try not to become irritated if your over-thinker needs constant reassurance.

It means they are happy with you and they are afraid lest they may lose you. That said, you may gently try to boost their self confidence.

13. Details are important to an over-thinker.

They need to know as much background information as possible so as to clearly see the bigger picture. At the beginning It may seem tedious, but in the long run it will pay off for you both.

14. They have no more control over the way their brain processes information than you have over your ability to see colors or hear musical tones.

It’s a part of them. To put it more simply, they just can’t help overthinking stuff.

15. An over-thinker will ask more questions than most.

It can be easy to take these as accusations. Don’t worry – they’re not. Over-thinkers just need more information than others do to feel secure. Because of their natural attention to the detail and highly-developed analytical skills, they usually make good detectives or forensic scientists.

16. Their mind is sometimes playing tricks on them.

They don’t need you to do the same.

“Overthinking, also, best known as creating problems that are never there,” wrote David Sikhosana.

Unfortunately, these problems are very real to your partner. Even if your partner is aware of the fact that they are over-thinking, this does nothing to slow their thoughts and lessen their anxiety.

Your patience, consistency, and trust, however, can do wonders to improve their emotional balance.

This article was co-authored by Chloe Carmichael, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Amy Bobinger. Chloe Carmichael, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who runs a private practice in New York City. With over a decade of psychological consulting experience, Dr. Chloe specializes in relationship issues, stress management, self esteem, and career coaching. She has also instructed undergraduate courses at Long Island University and has served as adjunct faculty at the City University of New York. Dr. Chloe completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York and her clinical training at Lenox Hill Hospital and Kings County Hospital. She is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is the author of “Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety” and “Dr. Chloe’s 10 Commandments of Dating.”

There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 14 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

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Do you ever find yourself weighing the pros and cons of a situation for so long that you forget to ever take action? Or maybe you play out a conversation in your head so many times that you feel like you’ve actually talked to the other person. If so, you might be an overthinker! While everybody gets caught up in their head once in a while, chronic overthinking can make it hard to actually deal with problems, so it’s important to learn new strategies so you can get out of your head and back into the present moment.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Getty Images

Are you guilty of dwelling on a problem much longer than you should? Many people get caught up in overthinking problems from time to time, but some people make a habit of it. This habit can affect grades and academic performance because students get so caught up in thinking mode that they never get to a good solution.

Some people who overthink tend to get stuck in analysis mode by over-analyzing every nook and cranny of a situation repeatedly, and in a circular pattern (around and back again). That situation is sometimes called ​analysis paralysis. It’s also one form of procrastination.

Analysis Paralysis

It’s not difficult to imagine why this could be unhelpful or even harmful to academic work.

Students who encounter certain kinds of test questions are in danger of analysis paralysis:

  • Complex essay questions can cause you to get stuck thinking about a single aspect of the question and ignore others.
  • You will be at a loss when trying to decide how to start writing an answer to essay questions because there are so many options. This can be a time-waster.
  • Long multiple-choice questions can also cause analysis paralysis. You may try to read too much into the question and spin yourself into total confusion.
  • You can also overthink their choices in a multiple-choice situation and read more into each choice than you should.

If the situations above sound familiar, you are like many other students. You are also wise to recognize that this is a potential problem for you. If you know it, then you can address it!

Stop Overthinking

Overthinking during a test can really hurt! The big risk you face is failing to complete the test because you think too much and can’t make a decision. Go into the test with a time management plan.

As soon as you get the test, do a quick assessment to determine how much time you should spend on each section. The open-ended essay answers are the most time-consuming.

If you tend to be an overthinker, you will have to manage your urge to dwell on the many possibilities when trying to answer an open-ended test question. To do this, you must give yourself time to brainstorm, but also give yourself a time limit. Once you reach the predetermined time limit, you must stop thinking and go into action.

If you’re facing a multiple-choice, resist the tendency to read too much into the questions and answers. Read the question once, then (without looking at your options) think of a good answer. Then see if this matches one that’s listed. If it does, select it and move on!

Thinking Too Much About Assignments

Creative students can also think too much when it comes to getting started on a research paper or a big project because there are so many possibilities. A creative mind loves to explore possibilities.

Although it probably goes against your nature, you will have to force yourself to be methodical when selecting a topic. You can be creative and imaginative for the first day or two to come up with a list of possible topics, then stop. Pick one and go with it.

Creative projects like fiction writing and art projects can be downright paralyzing as well. There are so many directions you could go! How can you possibly start? What if you make the wrong choice?

The truth is that you will continue to create as you go. The final creative project rarely ends up exactly as you intended at first. Just relax, get started, and create as you go. It’s ok!

Students can also fall into analysis paralysis when starting to write a school report. The best way to conquer this type of roadblock is to start writing in the middle, don’t try to start at the beginning. You can go back and write the introduction and rearrange your paragraphs as you edit.

Posted on Last updated: January 10, 2022

How to stop being an over-thinker

It’s indeed tough to love an overthinker. But the good news is it’s not impossible.

When you think about it, an overthinker is a person who is confused most of the time. And that’s why many people find it difficult to settle down with someone who overthinks everything.

When you love an overthinker, you love someone who can’t just switch their brain off whenever they want. They’re constantly thinking about a thousand things at once and have a thousand more questions.

An overthinker’s mind works differently. They don’t process things like the rest of us do because their mind is a complete mess.

Most of the time, they’re unable to control their thoughts. They’re constantly trying to dissect and organize those tangled thoughts into categories as it’s all floating around in complete chaos.

You may think that they’re calm and collected, but as soon as something happens or if they find themselves in an unfamiliar situation, they start overthinking things.

Their beautiful mind starts asking questions like “What if…” and “How will I manage…” They’re constantly worried and nervous about the possible outcome.

That’s why an overthinker takes one thing at a time. They don’t act impulsively. Only once they gather enough information about the situation will they then make a decision.

They won’t act unless they’re one hundred percent sure it is the right thing to do. And when they’re done with one thing, they start overthinking about the next.

It’s tough living this way – being labeled as an overthinker.

That’s why loving a person like this is challenging. You need to have a lot of patience when you love someone who overthinks. You have to find a way to calm their storm and avoid making the situation worse than it actually is.

It’s difficult to understand an overthinker, but not impossible.

How to stop being an over-thinker

An overthinker needs to be certain that you won’t leave them once the going gets tough. You need to show them that you’ll always be by their side, no matter what happens.

They won’t believe mere words and promises. You have to show them that you’re trustworthy and that you’ll have their back at all times.

And if you break your promise, then they’ll start overthinking even more, which will take you back to square one.

They’re looking for someone who’ll save them from being suffocated by the endless questions inside their mind. You have to learn how to calm them down and pull them back to reality.

There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and for every problem, there is a solution. Reassure them of that. They need to be sure that you’re going to work together to solve issues.

To love an overthinker, you need to have a lot of understanding.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Even when you think that everything is alright, remember, they don’t see the situation as you do. They’re always scared that something terrible might happen.

Don’t be surprised if you’re flooded with questions, as it’s only natural for them to question second-guess everything. They don’t purposefully have mood swings. They’re afraid of being hurt, so that’s why they analyze everything.

Their thought process is different from ours. They can’t magically decide to control their mind and get rid of the thoughts that are keeping them up all night.

It’s tough loving someone when they’re a mess, but that’s exactly what you should do even when they doubt themselves. You must show them empathy and prove to them you’re always going to be by their side.

Let them see that you also have a vulnerable side and that there are some things that you’re afraid of, too. They have to know that they’re not alone in this chaotic world.

Show them that they don’t have to be afraid to tell you what they’re worried about.

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to tell your partner that you love them a hundred times a day, then you can’t be with an overthinker. Why?

Because hearing that constantly makes them feel more relaxed and calm. Those three simple words might mean nothing to you, but they mean the world to an overthinker.

You have to remind them that they are beautiful as they are and don’t have to change.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Emphasize how gorgeous their mind is and point out their good sides and qualities. By doing so, you’re helping them chase away their anxiety.

It’s difficult to love someone who questions everything, including you, but it’s totally possible. You just need to be prepared for anything as you never know how they’ll react in certain situations.

I understand that loving an overthinker is hard, but isn’t love hard? Don’t all relationships have their challenges?

An overthinker may indeed drive you crazy, but you’ll love them even more for that. The more a person grows on you, the more is at stake.

The good thing is that an overthinker will never leave you. They’ll be loyal to you for the rest of your lives. Their love is unique and pure because they don’t let random people walk into their lives.

They appreciate everything that you do for them. They’re aware of the fact that they can be difficult to love. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to find true love.

Their love for you will never fade, no matter how many flaws you have or how much of an oddball you are. They’ll look beyond the things you did in the past and accept you as you are.

And most importantly, they won’t give up on you two so easily.

While everyone overthinks situations once in a while, some people are plagued with a constant barrage of thoughts all the time. Chronic overthinkers rehash conversations they had yesterday, second-guess every decision they make, and imagine disastrous outcomes all day, every day.

Thinking too much about something often involves more than words—overthinkers conjure up disastrous images, too. Their minds resemble a movie where they imagine their car going off the road or replay distressing events over and over again.

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Thinking too much prevents you from getting anything done. And, it wreaks havoc on your mood.

Destructive Thought Patterns

Overthinking often involves two destructive thought patterns—ruminating and incessant worrying.

Ruminating involves dwelling on the past. Thoughts may include things like:

  • I shouldn’t have said those things at the meeting yesterday. Everyone must think I’m an idiot.
  • I should have stayed at my last job. I would be happier than I am now.
  • My parents didn’t teach me how to be confident. My insecurities have always held me back.

Persistent worrying involves negative—often catastrophic—predictions about the future. Thoughts may include things like:

  • I’m going to embarrass myself tomorrow when I give that presentation. I know I’m going to forget everything I’m supposed to say.
  • Everyone else will get promoted before me.
  • I know we won’t ever have enough money to retire. We’ll be too sick to work and we’ll run out of money.

Like all habits, changing your destructive thought patterns can be a challenge. But, with consistent practice, you can train your brain to think differently. Here are six ways to stop overthinking everything:

1. Notice When You’re Stuck in Your Head

Overthinking can become such a habit that you don’t even recognize when you’re doing it. Start paying attention to the way you think so you can become aware of the problem.

When you’re replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that this isn’t productive. Thinking is only helpful when it leads to positive action.

2. Keep the Focus on Problem-Solving

Dwelling on your problems isn’t helpful—but looking for solutions is. If it’s something you have some control over, consider how you can prevent the problem, or challenge yourself to identify five potential solutions.

If it’s something you have no control over—like a natural disaster—think about the strategies you can use to cope with it. Focus on the things you can control, like your attitude and effort.

3. Challenge Your Thoughts

It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. So, before you conclude that calling in sick is going to get you fired, or that forgetting one deadline will cause you to become homeless, acknowledge that your thoughts may be exaggeratedly negative.

Remember that your emotions will interfere with your ability to look at situations objectively. Take a step back and look at the evidence. What evidence do you have that your thought is true? What evidence do you have that your thought isn’t true?

4. Schedule Time for Reflection

Stewing on your problems for long periods of time isn’t productive, but brief reflection can be helpful. Thinking about how you could do things differently or recognizing potential pitfalls to your plan could help you perform better in the future.

Incorporate 20 minutes of “thinking time” into your daily schedule. During that time period, let yourself worry, ruminate, or mull over whatever you want.

When your time is up, move on to something else. And, when you start overthinking things outside of your scheduled time, simply remind yourself that you’ll need to wait until your “thinking time” to address those issues in your mind.

5. Learn Mindfulness Skills

It’s impossible to rehash yesterday or worry about tomorrow when you’re living in the present. Mindfulness will help you become more aware of the here and now.

Just like any other skill, mindfulness takes practice, but over time, it can decrease overthinking. There are classes, books, apps, courses, and videos available to help you learn mindfulness skills.

6. Change the Channel

Telling yourself to stop thinking about something will backfire. The more you try to prevent a thought from entering your brain, the more likely it is to keep popping up.

Change the channel in your brain by changing your activity. Exercise, engage in conversation on a completely different subject, or work on a project that distracts you. Doing something different will put an end to the barrage of negative thoughts.

Train Your Brain

Paying attention to the way you think can help you become more aware of your bad mental habits. With practice, you can train your brain to think differently. Over time, building healthier habits will help you build the mental muscle you need to become mentally stronger.

This article was originally published on Inc. It has been republished here with permission.

Posted on Last updated: May 10, 2022

How to stop being an over-thinker

A person who is constantly thinking about every detail of their life might seem really weird to other people.

An overthinker is the one who is always worrying and getting anxious about everything. It’s hard to get them, but they are really clever and good guys.

An overthinker falls in love hard and it is even harder for them to stay in a relationship. The biggest problem is they think too much. They are afraid to make a commitment and they analyze everything.

We all know that overthinking is a bad habit, but it can also become very useful. Overthinking leads to higher standards and higher expectations. It means an overthinker expects too much.

But they are really good after all. And if you do meet an overthinker don’t let them go.

An overthinker has these 12 great traits:

1. They don’t make wrong choices easily.

How to stop being an over-thinker

They make choices very carefully. Each choice feels vital for them. For them, everything needs to be perfect, or they will obsess over one thing they did wrong.

If it comes to a relationship, you should trust an overthinker because they will do their best to make the right choice.

2. When they’re sorry, they’re really sorry.

They don’t enjoy hurting others feelings. When they get in a fight, they’ll eventually break down the fight into each little detail so as to understand the battle from both sides.

They are really sorry and they need you to accept their apology. And remember that they won’t forget about it anytime soon.

3. Overthinkers are genuine.

How to stop being an over-thinker

They know who they are and they never pretend to be something they are not. And they expect from others to be true as well also.

4. They will challenge you.

They will never judge you or intentionally put you down. But they do over-analyze each word you say. So, they will call you out or disagree with you sometimes.

5. They aren’t control freaks, they just think. A lot.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Their mind is playing out a bunch of horrible scenarios. And if they reach your voicemail it doesn’t mean you have to call us back right away when you’re out.

But they think too much, and they might think you are cheating or you’ve died.

6. They know relationships can be challenging.

Most times people will never meet our expectations and that is why relationships can be challenging.

But overthinkers do take their actions seriously. They form many explanations around a simply innocent remark they put added meaning to it.

7. Overthinkers dislike social media.

How to stop being an over-thinker

This explains why their last post was about 20 weeks ago. They aren’t just afraid no one will like their post, but the concept of taking pictures, choosing filters and concocting the perfect caption is a hassle in and of itself.

They would rather be without likes and perfect pictures and enjoy the moment.

8. Overthinkers are loyal.

When they let you in their life, you are in for good. They are not the ones who are going to leave you for a fight.

They will try to fix a problem you two have and talk about it. And they will have your back unconditionally, always.

9. They can’t let anything go.

How to stop being an over-thinker

They’re convinced that if they just run over the details a few more times, they will uncover some new understanding of the situation. And maybe it will somehow change the outcome.

10. Overthinkers don’t play games.

They have a pure heart. Overthinkers will always tell you what they think and not leave you to figure it out because they can’t stand ambiguity.

Also, they won’t mess with your emotions and they will never manipulate you or use you.

11. They have high expectations.

How to stop being an over-thinker

They expect a lot of others because they give so much of themselves. Overthinking leads to higher standards and higher expectations.

They want to put their best foot forward.

12. Overthinkers have many alarms for the morning and they are going to be on time.

They try to be punctual and permanent fifteen minutes early. They have several alarms set up on their phones.

But sometimes, they prepare too much. Even if they consider every potential scenario that could make them late, they are going to meet you on time.

And if you do meet an overthinker don’t let them go.

Being an overthinker has benefits. I know, right? When I say these words, my inner voice goes into a painful soprano because my brain adds a disbelieving question mark. Being an overthinker has benefits? Being an overthinker has benefits!! Yes. Facts. What an uplifting & motivating truth.

So often, mental health issues or struggles such as overthinking are described in a negative light. We conceptualize them as ‘unnecessary’ parts of us that we want to move away from, get rid of, heal, hide, or fix. I find this especially true for mental health habits that are considered ‘unwanted’ & especially so when people have difficulty stopping these habits, such as overthinking. But there are benefits & more helpful ways of thinking about our habits & behavior that can help us be more accepting & tolerant, if not proud.

In this post, I’m sharing some benefits of being an overthinker. Note. I just need to be very clear about one thing before we get going. I AM NOT SAYING IT IS BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH TO CHRONICALLY OVERTHINK. If want to have more insight into why you overthinking click here. If you need tips on stopping yourself from overthinking click here.

Now that I’m clear, here we go.

Cognitive Flexibility

When a person overthinks, they are using incredible amounts of mental energy to think about the problem from multiple vantage points. Cognitive flexibility is all about the speed & efficiency of switching focus or tasks, like mental juggling. So that makes overthinkers are good at not only generating multiple iterations of imaginary scenarios but then finding solutions to imaginary problems. Lots of them. Just think about how much thinking that is! For example, they may have to predict how people may react, what are people likely to do or say, how the scenario will play out, what might go wrong, and what to do about x, y, & z. That’s a lot of mental juggling.

You might already know that the brain is a relatively dynamic organ. It changes. Memories fade. New ones appear. Things are forgotten. Things are learned. And the more we practice something, whether it’s the violin or how to use TikTok, the more we learn. When we practice, neuron connections are made & brain plasticity increases. When we practice mental juggling, we are training specific brain areas, & those specific areas grow & develop. Just like your biceps after 1000 hammer curls, except here it’s cognitive flex.


We tend to think creative people are creative because of who they are, like it’s an inherent quality, but that’s not totally accurate. People who overthink, ruminate, or spend a lot of time in their mental world are thinking Olympians. They use their imagination to generate new ideas at a level & speed that other people just can’t compete with. They have a creative edge, because they are able to not only see ‘what is’ from multiple angles, but also easily able to see ‘what might be.’ Just ask (with compassion & honest curiosity, of course) your most anxious friends what could go wrong today. You will hear a list of things that hadn’t even crossed your mind as a real possibility.

Because of this flexibility and an openness to thinking outside of ‘what is,’ overthinkers might introduce unconventional & novel ways of problem solving, pure creative genius. The world needs more of that magic.

Awesome planning, preparation & foresight

“Let’s see how this plays out and then decide what to do.” Said no overthinker ever. Overthinkers excel at using their mental powers to think through every possible outcome. Overthinkers have solutions for problems that don’t even exist yet. So, they excel at the ability to foresee, plan, and prepare for things that haven’t happened IRL. So, if you allow anyone to pack your bags for a wilderness survival adventure, let it be an overthinker. (And let them plan it too…).

High standards

Overthinking is associated with perfectionism. If someone is driven to overthink to find ‘perfect solutions’ or to appear ‘flawless,’ you can guarantee that their version of ‘perfect’ is unattainable for mortals. But that will not stop their quest. These impossibly talented, committed, hardworking people will burn the midnight oil, put their own happiness on the back burner, and do anything necessary to improve the odds of hitting an impossible mark. These are the people we want on group projects. But the high standards aren’t just applied to a task, but also themselves, everybody else, and society at large. That’s a lofty kind of admirable.

High achievement

Being a high achiever is related to perfectionism & having high standards as well. Overthinkers can also see many possible routes. But the perfectionist overthinker will try harder than all mortals to reach those unattainable standards, because they are typically highly motivated to avoid criticism, avoid perceived failure, or receive praise for going above and beyond. The reason behind this is that their self-worth is often tied up in achievement. Such that the only way to feel worthy is to meet those standards no matter the cost & receive that praise. But right now, let’s just congratulate you on your impressive cv & other well received contributions to humanity.

Great attention to detail

If you’ve ever spent time revising a piece of work, you’ll probably deeply appreciate that the process of revision often exceeds the process of creation. If your eyebrows are currently raised with confusion and you have, at some point in your life, submitted work without any revisions… Something like, finished writing 11.58pm, submitted 11.59pm before 12.00am deadline… I can say, hand on heart, that you are likely not significantly impacted by overthinking. If you’re smiling right now because of the pain of constant revision, I can say, hand on heart, that if you reread every single email looking for typos, remove extra spaces, or re-refine your words, that you deeply appreciate & understand what attention to detail is all about. You know that you’ll spot more things when your eyes are fresh. So, you keep rereading.

People who overthink may continue to work on finished work because they keep noticing minor improvements & keep pushing through that mental distress that is oh so familiar. So, the benefit, is that you are everybody’s favorite proof-reader & produce immaculate work.

Task persistence

The ability to spend lengthy periods of time absorbed in the ‘mental realm’ is exhausting just like long distance running. There’s a big difference in stamina between an occasional weekend runner & someone who runs long distances daily. It’s the endurance & ability to tolerate discomfort until the job is done. So overthinkers are kind of like professional long distance runners in that they have a greater ability to work under strain for longer periods until the job is done. So, hooray for sticking with it even though every iota in your being has been asking for a break. I know you’ll take a break when you’re finished, right?


This is ironic part. Overthinkers may have a more streamlined process for generating a few options, which would be great if only they were able to put the mental breaks on, decide, and next. But it’s the extra processing that slows the cogs. The extra editing. The just in case planning. You get the idea. Just do the sprint & not the marathon.

Hope you enjoyed reading about the benefits of being an overthinker. Remember you can always suggest topics for blogs & content in my Instagram story highlight titled ‘request.’

This article was written by Rebecca Tenzer, MAT, MA, LCSW, CCTP, CGCS, CCATP, CCFP and by wikiHow staff writer, Eric McClure. Rebecca Tenzer is the owner and head clinician at Astute Counseling Services, a private counseling practice in Chicago, Illinois. With over 18 years of clinical and educational experience in the field of mental health, Rebecca specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic, trauma, grief, interpersonal relationships using a combination of Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Psychodynamic therapy, and other evidence-based practices. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology and Anthropology from DePauw University, a Master in Teaching (MAT) from Dominican University, and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Chicago. Rebecca has served as a member of the AmeriCorps and is also a Professor of Psychology at the collegiate level. Rebecca is trained as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT), a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), a Certified Grief Counseling Specialist (CGCS), a Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP), and a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional (CCFP). Rebecca is also a member of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Society of America and The National Association of Social Workers.

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If you’re dating an overthinker, you may be wondering how you can best show them you care. While your partner may be a little indecisive sometimes, rest assured that there are plenty of ways for you to support and love them. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about building a relationship with an overthinker so that you can understand and support them the best way you can.

This article is based on an interview with our clinical therapist and adjunct professor, Rebecca Tenzer, owner of Astute Counseling Services. Check out the full interview here.

How to stop being an over-thinkerThe test below is not a diagnostic tool and is provided for educational purposes only. Please seek professional help if you have any concerns.

Do you second-guess your decisions?

Do you relive embarrassing moments in your mind over and over?

Do you lie in bed sleepless obsessing over something you or someone else has said or done?

Do you rehash conversations?

Do you imagine disastrous outcomes?

Your heart sinks when your boss calls you.
Agree strongly
Agree slightly

You overanalyze your personal relationships to the point that you are afraid of an emotional connection with another person.
Agree strongly
Agree slightly

Do you regret your purchasing decisions?

Do you suspect that someone’s seemingly innocent remark was, in fact, ill-intentioned?

You get stuck weighing the pros and cons to the point of being unable to decide.
Agree completely
Agree slightly

Do you feel that people around you constantly disappoint you?
A lot
Not at all

Are you so busy with your thoughts that you can’t focus on the person in front of you?

Do you ruminate about how your life could have been better if you had done things differently?
A lot
Not at all

You live in a state of constant worry.
Agree strongly
Agree slightly

What makes you the way you are? Take THIS TEST to discover your personality type.

You always try to read between the lines.
Agree strongly
Agree slightly

Do you dwell on unpleasant experiences?

You are either ruminating about the past or worried about the future.
Agree strongly
Agree slightly

Do you have difficulty sleeping because your brain won’t shut off?

Do you bring up the same topic every time you are with your trusted friend?

You constantly research subjects you are concerned about.
Agree strongly
Agree slightly

Above 40:

Your score suggests that you are a chronic overthinker, and you may be spending most of your waking time ruminating about things. Being an overthinker is incredibly stressful and exhausting. On top of that, it may increase your risk of mental illness.

As an overthinker, you are probably hard on yourself, constantly criticizing yourself and picking yourself apart.

You drive yourself insane with “what if” questions, never actually answering them.

You spend so much time in your head that you feel that life is passing you by.

You may already have physical and psychological symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

While thinking about things in depth can be a useful thing to do, overthinking and overanalyzing leads to hesitation and inaction.

Past a certain stage, overthinking becomes counterproductive. You may have difficulty making decisions, and it may strain your relationships.

To overcome your habit to overthink, try the following:

1. Replace negative thoughts with completely unrelated positive thoughts. Stopping thoughts doesn’t work very well, but replacing thoughts, on the other hand, is very effective.

2. Try distracting activities, such as going for a walk, going to the gym, organizing your kitchen or closet, etc.

3. Try breathing exercises for relaxation.

5. Write your thoughts down in a journal. Dumping things on paper can help clear your mind and relieve rumination.

Sometimes people overthink and ruminate because they have too much time on their hands. It’s like an empty vacuum that has to be filled with something.

The trick is to not allow this vacuum in the first place. Try to fill it with other things and activities. Do something instead of spending all the time in your head.

7. Work with a therapist.


Your score doesn’t suggest that you have a serious overthinking problem, but you do sometimes get stuck in negative thinking patterns. Or it may be that you overthink one particular area of your life but not the other areas. At this stage, the ruminating habit may interfere with your life, and it’s a good idea to consider the advice above.


You may overthink a few things once in a while, but you aren’t a chronic overthinker. However, no online test is 100 percent accurate, and if your ruminating feels disruptive, it’s a good idea to seek help from a therapist. In addition, you can employ the strategies suggested for chronic overthinking (see above).

How to stop being an over-thinker

Critical thinking is typically needed when graded performances and livelihoods are involved. However, its true value shines outside of academic and professional settings. When we have the power to think critically , we’re not only going to get recognized at school or at work. We also become better at solving personal problems , making crucial decisions, and maintaining good relationships with others.

No Openminded Person is Completely Infallible

In a perfect world, a person who always makes the effort to develop his or her thinking will make the right choices every single time. Unfortunately, we already know that that’s not how things operate. No matter how much we keep our minds open to new experiences and alternate viewpoints, we are not exempt from missing the point sometimes.

Yes, practicing critical thinking is bound to improve our thought processes and our whole understanding of the world. However, that is not enough to keep us from failing to exercise our best judgment in certain situations.

When we’re trying to develop a skill, we shouldn’t only focus on improving what we’re already good at. If we wish to become undeniably better, we should also look at what we’re bad at. Once we acknowledge our weaknesses, the room for growth becomes all the more limitless.

Barriers to Critical Thinking: What is Clouding Your Judgments?

There will be moments when we’ll lose sight of our problems’ best solution because something prevents us from moving towards the right path. Something is clouding our vision and holding us back from realizing that we are doing things wrong. These are the barriers to critical thinking.

  • Egocentric Thinking

This kind of thinking focuses too much on oneself. People who are egocentric thinkers are so consumed by their self-narratives and self-interests. They fail to consider other people’s ideas and thoughts. Sometimes they may not even be aware that they’re doing it.

Egocentric thinking usually stems from extreme closemindedness. If we wish to overcome this barrier, we should start being mindful of other’s needs. Our minds will gradually open up once we realize that their perspectives are as valid as ours.

  • Biased Experiences

The biased view of our experiences stems from egocentric thinking. While the saying “experience is the best teacher” rings true, our views of our experiences are usually distorted because of how it made us feel. When we’re too stuck inside our heads, this can lead to a cycle of self-delusion.

To get out of our biased experiences, it is important to question ourselves multiple times if we are thinking of our situation rationally. A good way of confirming this is to ask our trusted friends what they think. We must choose someone who can tell us things as it is –– someone who isn’t afraid to speak the truth even if that’s not what we want to hear.

  • Arrogance and Intolerance

Another offshoot of egocentric thinking are arrogance and intolerance. These two characteristics can set anyone back because it is often a result of a bloated sense of self. When someone believes in themselves too much, they refuse to see that others may have better ideas.

Arrogance and intolerance mainly stem from the fear of failing –– resulting in wanting to be right all the time. To combat this, we must learn to let go of the stubborn need to be right. Life is not simply about getting ahead of everyone else.

  • Schedule Pressures

Working against time can often cause people to think poorly and make the wrong decisions. While it is true that time is of the essence, unrealistic expectations will just result in a vicious cycle of shortcuts, procrastination, and unnecessary stress.

Oftentimes we underestimate the time and effort it takes to get things done, leading to the pressures of having to work within tight and unreasonable schedules. To break out of such a vicious cycle, we must learn how to properly plan things out before we even start. This will save us from wasting time and resources that we will never get back.

  • Drone Mentality

This mentality typically happens when we become too comfortable with the status quo. We begin to act without thinking, without paying attention to the world around us, like we are on autopilot. We forget how to act in the face of new challenges and would rather stay within our comfort zones.

To wake ourselves up from autopilot mode, it is important to constantly expose ourselves to things that excite us. This can be hard to do on our own, so it definitely helps to surround ourselves with people who will inspire us to go after personal growth.

  • Social Conditioning

One of humanity’s biggest problems is its inability to accept each other. More often than not, our refusal to accept others is a result of social conditioning from the moment we are born. We are taught to believe that certain stereotypes are the absolute truth.

This is why it’s important to recognize that our way of life is not the only right way to live. Once we choose to see beyond the stereotypes, we will learn to get rid of beliefs that only cause more harm than good.

  • Groupthink

When every form of media you come across expresses the same train of thought, people are bound to think that what they’re saying is the norm. This is another facet of social conditioning, and it becomes very dangerous when no one bothers to question the information that they’re being fed.

Depending on what is being established as the norm, it can be uncomfortable to go against the group’s tide. But to be a critical thinker means you have to continually ask if something makes logical sense. It’s about upholding your principles when you know that something clearly isn’t right.

To successfully avoid running into these harmful barriers, we must first become aware of what they are, and that we are not immune to them. When we know what we should consciously avoid, we allow ourselves to make informed decisions and become better at practicing the best critical thinking techniques.

What overthinking does

If overthinking leaves you exhausted, that’s because it literally drains your energy. “It can lead to disruptions in sleep, trouble socializing, and difficulty making decisions,” Goodman says. “It may also have a negative impact on self-esteem, especially if the overthinking is directed at the self.” Overthinking can have physiological effects as well. Judy Ho, Ph.D., ABPP, ABPdN, CFMHE, a licensed clinical forensic neuropsychologist, says overthinking can amp up your cortisol (aka the stress hormone), mess with your digestion, and—in severe cases—lead to anxiety and depressive disorders.

The reason it’s so dangerous, Goodman says, is because overthinking is fear-based instead of solution-focused. So when you start overthinking, you get stuck on something, look for other things to worry about, and don’t do anything to remedy the problem. It then becomes a vicious cycle because the more you obsess over something, the worse you feel, and the worse the overthinking gets. The irony, according to Dr. Ho, is that our brain actually believes overthinking is a good thing, and that it’s being productive and solving a problem. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

What causes overthinking

It’s hard to pinpoint just one cause of overthinking, says Goodman. Overthinking can be symptom of major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, and external factors may also trigger the overthinking pattern. (For example, if you interact with people who frequently question your abilities, you may start overthinking things and lose trust in yourself.) Or if you’ve just got too much going on, that’s another recipe for overthinking. “Being overwhelmed and dealing with burnout may also contribute to higher levels of anxiety and worry, leading to more rumination,” Goodman says.

How to stop overthinking

Ground yourself

When you notice yourself overthinking, you can interrupt the pattern by bringing awareness to your physical environment. “Plant your feet firmly on the ground, sit tall in your chair, and really lean into the back of your chair, noticing how it feels on your back,” Dr. Ho says. “Grab a cuddly item like a blanket or a soft jacket. This will get your mind oriented to the present moment very quickly.”

Another way to ground yourself is to use your senses to notice what’s around you. “Start by listing five things you hear, then four things you see, then three things you can touch from where you’re sitting, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste,” Goodman says. “This will help bring you out of your thoughts and into the present moment.”

Thank your mind

It may sound silly, but thanking your mind can also help stop the overthinking pattern. Remember, the mind thinks it’s trying to protect you, so taking your power back starts with acknowledging it for what it’s doing. Dr. Ho recommends giving your overthinking mind a name too to make it not so serious. You can say something like: “Thanks for your help, Betty, but I got this!”

Set aside time to worry

Scheduling a designated window of time to worry may seem counterintuitive when the goal is not to worry, but it works. “In many cases, when you get to your ‘worry time,’ you may have even forgotten why you were worried or what you were worried about,” Goodman says. “Scheduling it allows you to validate your concerns, create a time in your schedule to manage them, and stop the current overthinking loop.”

Try the “yes, but” technique

Dr. Ho suggests trying the “yes, but” technique. “Recognize the not-so-good, then link it with a ‘but’ followed by something you have been doing to move toward your goal,” she says. For example: Yes, I didn’t finish that work project, but I did make some progress, and I have time next week to finish.

Distract yourself

“Distractions have a bad reputation, but they’re actually a great tool,” Goodman says. “When you’re in a thinking spiral, it’s important to cut it off and get out of it.” Music, TV, exercise, calling a friend, or cooking are all easy ways to redirect your mind and interrupt the overthinking pattern. Whether you queue up your favorite playlist or take a walk—or maybe both!—you should be able to shift your thinking into a different place.

Overthinking can create a vicious cycle in our minds that is difficult to break apart from. It has a lasting effect on our mental and physical health that can get damaged if not looked after. Here are 6 early signs of overthinking and how to break the pattern.

The damages that overthinking has on our mental health are plenty. It will boggle your mind by just knowing how much overthinking can cause you mental hurt and imbalances in your body and mind. Overthinking can lead to severe emotional distress that not only comes in the way of performing your daily tasks but also hampers your productivity and physical wellbeing.

Some people find out temporary solutions to escape the cycle of overthinking which can cause temporary relief but can have a harmful effect in the long run like resorting to drugs and alcohol. These are the unhealthy ways of coping with overthinking and escaping reality.

Overthinking can disrupt your sleeping pattern, your eating habits by causing anxiety, it can make you slow and lazy. You tend to start procrastinating more and more and what’s worse is that you are caught in a chain of negative thoughts before you know it. This will start making your feel reluctant towards new beginnings, exciting projects, social gatherings and meeting someone new.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Some of the early signs of overthinking can be as simple as being non-productive, procrastinating, day dreaming, acting lazy and lethargic.

You may have negative thoughts about an event that is yet to happen, replaying emotional traumas of the past in your mind over and over again. The tendency to overthink everything holds you back from being happy and positive. You start feeling more pessimistic about everything than optimistic.

If these are the feelings that you can relate to then you need to look out for these 6 ways to break the cycle of overthinking and start focusing more on the present.

Focus on finishing the task

Rather than spending time procrastinating and thinking of multiple ways it could possibly wrong, focus on active problem solving. Do not keep dwelling on it as it will delay it. Think about the logistics of it and how it could go wrong later. Sit on it and act on it, that’s the only way to get it done and that is the only way you will get the motivation to move onto further tasks.

Find a distraction

Notice when your mind drifts away to random thoughts and channelise them towards something useful and productive. You could pick up a hobby or find a distraction like listening to music, cooking, dancing, singing, watching a tv show, writing, painting or joining an online yoga class. This way you will keep your mind active.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Take out time for introspection

It is always better to segregate time for self-reflection, introspection and analysation. Instead of dwelling in your thoughts all day long, you can simply schedule a time or spend 30 minutes of your day in self-reflection where you can think about your day or the week ahead. What goals you have in mind and what are you planning to achieve during the course of the next few days.

Tackle negative thoughts and recognise them

When you start thinking negative, have the eagerness to recognise and channel this negativity elsewhere. Tackle your negative thoughts and flush it out of your system. Sometimes, you have to force your way out of it and be strong enough to tackle the negativity out of your system.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Focus on the present

Stop wasting time thinking about how this might play out in the future. There could be multiple different possibilities for a single scenario. It is a waste of time to overthink about the result. All you have to do is give your 100 percent, focus on the present and forget about the outcome.

Practice mindful living

At times, it is important to unplug and unwind. Distress yourself from worldly pleasures, keep your distance from things that give you stress or create panic. Practice meditation from time to time and learn to be more present and in sync with your body. Shut off your laptop and go out for an evening stroll, surround yourself with nature and empty your mind.

How to stop being an over-thinker

The impact of over thinking is a very strange but normal occurrence with both males and females, but it is very powerful. When you deal with an over-thinker, you don’t see the thinking, just like everyone else, but you will one day be reminded of the occurrence. This over-thinker remembers everything, but maybe not exactly the way it happened.

Overthinking causes many problems in life. When you overthink, tension appears between people. It creates space and makes life seem so much harder than it needs to be. These over-thinkers take each situation, every word, every argument, and every statement and try to find the meaning behind each word. So when you’re talking to an over thinker that’s what they’re doing, they’re not listening, they’re thinking. And that’s the problem; these people never stop. Their brains are always moving.

I am personally an over thinker and I can say it is very real. My brain doesn’t stop, I even dream about occurrences that could have happened just because I was thinking about it all day, but this is normal to me and other over-thinkers. It is just a part of our routine, we listen, we respond and we think… we think 24/7.

Along with the overthinking, we also have a tendency to daydream. And no, I do not mean we sit and stare at the ceiling and dream. I mean we actively participate in daily activities, but going through our minds are continuous dreams. We dream all day and all night. Which is actually kind of cool. If you think about it, daydreaming sounds like a fun activity. You get to think about anything you want, and can play a whole scenario inside your head all the time. I like to think there are tiny people inside my head who are pulling the strings and having such a great time.

I bet most of you over-thinkers and day dreamers are wondering why I am writing about it because it is something you do not like, you feel it has ruined a few parts of your life. Believe me, I’ve been there. My overthinking lead me to go crazy in relationships, to overthink every sentence, to believe more than I should have, and I even have problems trusting people because I think the worst about people, only because I have already thought about the positives. But it’s not a bad thing, I mean I could have calmed down within a relationship and just had fun but now I think it’s a gift; a gift to be an over-thinker.

Think about it: how ironic of me to say. Your mind is so curious and so active that it needs 24 hours of consistent thinking and consistent dreaming. Just think about how creative you are, think about what you can make from that.

You can do anything.

You can pick up a job and instantly need to know the reasoning behind everything so that you can process each different decision, you can use it to your advantage by dealing with people and being able to understand their train of thought. The possibilities are endless. For me, I’ve turned my overthinking and my daydreaming into a hobby of which I want to someday make a career out of. It has helped me write about everything. It has allowed my headspace to grow into something completely new, it allows me to grow as a person and as a writer because my own train of thought changes all the time.

Take some time to actually think about how you can use your thinking to do something important, to use it as an advantage over those who can not overthink. It is actually quite an amazing gift, I am personally grateful to have it. I am a daydreamer and an over-thinker but I would not change it for anything. I love my sense of thought and you should love yours too.

How to stop being an over-thinker

Overthinking, worry, and negative painful thoughts can be incapacitating and very consuming.

Just like negative self-talk, excessive thinking can hold you back from functioning optimally and achieving your goals. It can kill your happiness.

With that in mind, I would like to give you insights on how to stop overthinking.

As a result, you will be able to live a more fulfilling and productive life. In addition, you will be able to stop the excessive thinking before it triggers anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Please keep reading.

5 Tips to Stop Overthinking

Overthinking can have a negative effect on your well-being.

With that in mind, below are some tips on how to stop overthinking before it starts affecting your daily functioning.

1 – Take Note of What Triggers Your Excessive Thinking

The first step towards addressing obsessive thoughts is by recognizing what triggers them.

For instance, you might be overthinking due to a past trauma, or a current event that is causing you stress.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you identify your triggers, and show you how overthinking affects your mental well-being.

Once you acknowledge unhelpful thought patterns, your therapist can work with you to help you resolve them.

2 – Shift Your Focus

Trying to suppress your thoughts can actually make them worse, and even lead to stress.

Therefore, it is important that you distract yourself or change your behavior instead.

In other words, if you find yourself overthinking, try to focus your mind on something else.

For instance, you can distract your mind by listening to music, spending time with friends and family, or exercising.

The idea is to find healthy ways of shifting your mind from what you are obsessively thinking about.

3 – Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is another effective strategy of how to stop overthinking.

Mindfulness stops you from rehashing about past trauma or future problems by focusing your attention in the here and now.

Learning to focus in the present moment, and listening to your body can help you slow down your thoughts.

In addition, mindfulness enables you to recognize your negative thoughts, neutralize them, and even challenge them.

Therefore, be sure to practice mindfulness for at least 15 minutes everyday so you can stop overthinking.

4 – Keep a Journal

Another good strategy of how to stop overthinking is journaling.

Putting your thoughts down on paper enables you to get repetitive thoughts out of your head. For instance, if you can’t stop overthinking about a big project you’ve been pursuing, journaling can help.

In other words, writing down what you have in mind about the project slows down your mind. It gives you the assurance that your ideas are safe, and that you will not forget them.

In addition, journaling can be beneficial to your mental well-being because it promotes cathartic release.

5 – Stop Perfectionist Thinking

Comparing yourself to others, and criticizing yourself for not achieving your goals can lead to overthinking and low self-esteem.

Therefore, breaking the cycle of perfectionism can help you overcome repetitive thoughts.

In other words, it is important to acknowledge that occasionally things will go wrong.

If things don’t work out, it is important that you focus on making progress instead of making things perfect.

Being able to do that will prevent you from asking the why, how, and should questions, which lead to overthinking.


Overthinking is often associated with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, anxiety, and even PTSD.

What’s more, overthinking can have debilitating effects on your social life, work life, and even personal life.

With that in mind, learning how to stop overthinking can help you lead a more productive life.

Some of the strategies that can help you curb overthinking are discussed above.

They include recognizing your triggers, journaling, mindfulness, self-distraction, and not focusing on perfectionism.

Are there times when you catch yourself overthinking situations? Let me know in the comments below.

Your mind is one of the most important organs of your body, and it is also the most complicated one. We generate about 70000 thoughts per day. That’s a lot of thoughts and thinking. An interesting thing is that we have very little control over our thoughts.

So What are these thoughts all about?
Are you thinking too much?
Are you thinking negatively?
Is it ok, or is it bad for you?

Today we will find out how to stop overthinking and save yourself from lots of anxiety.

Is overthinking really a big problem?
Yes, sure it is. If you are an over-thinker, then you might already be facing or may face some problems in the future. So which issue you may face?

Depression and anxiety

One of the most common problems due to overthinking is depression. When you overthink a situation, you get anxious and depressed.


It will become difficult for you to fall asleep. When your mind is constantly busy thinking about stuff and situations, you will not be able to sleep. The calmness of mind is necessary for falling asleep.

Problem in decision making

If you are an overthinker, you will find yourself struggling to take any big decision. The negative effect that can happen due to the decision will overpower the positive ones. And you will always remain in a dilemma even after reaching a conclusion.

Are you terrified? Let’s understand why we tend to overthink in the first place.

Nobody can deny that thinking is a precious gift to humankind. But what if our mind uses this tool as a weapon against ourselves?

There can be numerous reasons as to why we overthink, but the most common one is Fear.

Fear of the future, fear of losing someone you love, fear of being in a worst possible situation, Fearing other’s judgment on you. All these things make our mind uncomfortable.

So what can be done to stop Overthinking?

We have listed down some ways to stop overthinking.

1. Write Down your Thoughts

Start writing down your thoughts in a journal. Even if not all at least the noticeable ones. You will get to know what’s consuming your mind and is it actually helping you out.

2. Meditation

It is a tried and tested way to calm your mind and unlock its full potential. Try meditation daily even if for 5 min, but at least try it. It will steer clear your mind, let it stabilize and focus. Think about it as if you are training your mind to calm down when the situation is otherwise.

3. See the bigger picture

Make it a habit, if you realize you are overthinking on a situation or a decision, then try to see the bigger picture. You should ask yourself these question.

● What’s the worst that can happen?
● What’s the possibility of its happening?
● How much will it affect you?

And on the other side, What’s the best possible thing that can happen.

This way, it will be much easier for you to take a decision and move forward.

4. Performance anxiety

One of the common reasons for overthinking is what will happen. Don’t burden yourself too much on the outcomes, just give your best and enjoy the journey.

As said, “You cannot change your outcomes, you can only change your actions.”
So do your best and leave the rest.

5. Ditch negative thinking and come to Positive side

Has it ever occurred to you that we only overthink about negative things and negative situations?

When we surround ourselves with so much negativity that we just forget that something good can happen too. Thinking critically is a good thing, but totally ignoring the positive scenario is not reasonable.

So next time, try to think more positively, and you might get something good out of it too.

The above ways are definitely effective, and you should practice them to overcome overthinking habits. But what if you need to stop overthinking instantly. So here are some ways which will help you to relax your mind and stop overthinking instantly.

6. Go for a Walk

This is one of the most effective and easiest one. Go for a walk, enjoy the natural beauty, observe things around you, interact with people around you.

Don’t think about the problem. Just relax and walk. This will help you calm your mind and give it time to settle things up. Give it a try, and you will surely enjoy it.

7. Do what you love

Secondly, you can do something you love and enjoy doing, like painting, singing, reading, cooking, gardening, or even watching movies. This will divert your mind and fill you up with happiness. And a happy mind will not worry about silly things.

8. Communicate with other

We are social animals, it is in our DNA. We love to share our thoughts. While it may seem difficult to some, but sharing your thoughts with others will help your mind to feel a bit relaxed. You can share it with your friend, family, or your partner, whichever suits you. Besides feeling relaxed, you will also get more perspective to look at the situation.

In the last, I can only say that “You cannot eliminate it, but surely you can control it.”

Training your mind to see the positive things will take some time, but it will be worth the effort.

So which one are you going to use next?
Going for a Walk?
Or maybe speaking with your friend?

Dating an Overthinker? Here Are 8 Things That Will Always Happen in Your Relationship

Relationships are never meant to be perfect. They are messy, full of emotions, but are always filled with love. When you date someone, you involve yourselves in each others’ lives completely. While everybody is different, sometimes your partner turns out to be an overthinker. Overthinking may sound like a simple problem, although it is anything but that. Overthinkers may be the worst choice for a date, but that doesn’t make them terrible people. But a relationship with them is full of fireworks. While being a person who overthinks everything is difficult, loving one is even harder.

Asking them not to overthink is useless, they’ll do it anyway.

Overthinking is an emotional state, and emotions cannot be steered whenever one deems it fit. So, telling an over thinker to not overthink is useless. Dictating them how to react to a situation may just trigger them more. If anything, doing this will only lead them to overthink things even more.

You are constantly reassuring them.

Over thinkers find it really hard to get comfortable with a situation until and unless someone doesn’t walk them through it. It’s like being with a child, you just can’t get rid of them. You just keep on repeating a lullaby to constantly assure them. So if you are in a meeting and won’t be reachable for a while, you have to make sure they know you are not dead, because they will end up thinking otherwise.

Lying just becomes second nature.

When you are with an overthinker, you ultimately become a master of lies, because you know telling the truth will not do any good. It may not a good thing, but you just can’t help it, and eventually, it becomes a second nature. Overthinkers just find it really hard to believe a fact even if they are served with the truth.

Trust sometimes just doesn’t exist between you two.

Generally, trust is a concrete foundation that forms a relationship. But with over-thinkers, it is an other-worldly thing. Rationally, they know they can trust you, but their emotions don’t allow them to do so. Their brain has only two options, either its A or the apocalypse, there is no in between.

Emotions are always overflowing.

Overthinkers are a storage centre of emotions. It’s like wildfire, killing everything that comes in its course. Overthinkers are the worst at emotions. At one point they will become cold as ice, the other second they can kill you with their tears. You just don’t know what will happen the next moment.

Patience is nonexistent.

Patience is the key to peace, but with overthinkers it is nonexistent. They know that their partners might be stuck or busy, but they will always choose the most terrible option, and stress over it. They have the compulsive desire to control everything because waiting just too mainstream for them.

Sharing everything is important.

Overthinkers want to know every detail, they find solace in it. This is their way to reassure themselves that everything is going right and is under control.

Apologies seem to have no limit.

They know that sometimes they over-assess a situation and react dramatically, so when you are dating them, expect a hoard of apologies every day.

So, the next time you’re wondering what is wrong with your relationshipr, gentle piece of advice, don’t date them if you can’t handle the work. With overthinkers, all you need to do is listen and promise them you’re there. That’s it. They might be difficult to deal with at times, but with love and care it can turn out to be great. It’s just a relationship that requires a little more effort. In the end, it’s still going to be amazing, lovely, and fulfilling!

Being the office overachiever might feel good, what with all the pats on the back and thumbs ups from your boss. But there’s a fine line between doing your best work and being a chronic overachiever, which can set you up for failure. Here’s why you might want to rethink that “I can do it all” attitude.”

If you’re a chronic overachiever, however, being adequate isn’t ever enough. Occasionally, giving your work that extra something is the right thing to do, but making a habit of it turns your overachievement into your new work baseline. That sounds like a good thing, but it can actually lead to some serious problems. Some of these problems can actually hinder your work, cause more stress and burnout , or even cause you to hate what you do and who you work with. Worst of all, it can actually keep you from achieving things; and that defeats the purpose of overachieving in the first place.

Burnout Is Real: How to Identify and Address Your Burnout Problem

Most demanding careers practically guarantee stress, but if you’re feeling completely exhausted,…

You’ll Strive for Perfection Instead of Productivity

Being perfect is, of course, impossible, but if you’re an overachiever, you won’t always see it that way. Perfectionism , or the active pursuit of doing everything as perfectly as possible, can become a part of every single task you do. The new work baseline you’ve set for yourself by constantly overachieving at your job can turn even the simplest of to-dos into an opportunity to strive for pristine flawlessness.

How to stop being an over-thinker

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So what’s wrong with trying to do everything as perfectly as possible? According to psychologist Adrian Furnham , perfectionism is actually considered a handicap in the psychiatry field because perfectionism can lead to massive procrastination and misguided prioritization. As Gail Miller at ERE Recruiting Intelligence puts it , overachievers exhibit paralysis by analysis:

Overachievers have a hard time prioritizing because everything is equally important. Choosing one project to focus on at the expense of another can cause tremendous turmoil. After all, there’s no excuse for being lax about any task, no matter how far down on the priority list. This dilemma frequently causes overachievers to get stuck; it’s can be just too difficult to make those painful choices about what not to do perfectly. This type of wheel spinning is a drain on personal productivity.

On top of all that, an overachieving perfectionist’s work is never quite finished. There’s always “just one more thing” to do or something you “have” to do. If that sounds familiar, you’ve made rules for yourself that only you care about. Chances are, nobody is asking you to do more or telling you that your work is inadequate. Change those rules you’ve made for yourself , and break the cycle by intentionally doing less important things imperfectly . If you’re an overachiever, you’ll overpromise and underdeliver, which makes you look bad even if you’re working harder than ever. Remember, perfect is the enemy of good .

How Perfectionism Can Lead to Procrastination (and What to Do About It)

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You Can Become a People-Pleasing Pushover

Overachievers aim to please. They want to please their boss, they want to please their coworkers, they want to please their families. And while those people may see you as reliable, some folks will take advantage of that fact.

We teach others how we want to be treated. If you teach your boss and coworkers that you’re always willing to do the work that “someone’s gotta’ do,” you’ll always be the one it gets dropped on. Over time, you might turn into a pushover that doesn’t want to let anyone down, so you do all the grunt work; convincing yourself that you’re your boss’s “go-to” guy, when you’ve really just put a sign on your back that says “worker bee.”

Take a minute to think about what your duties really are. If you’re not sure, sit down with your boss and ask them. Your boss may not even expect you to be doing half of the things you are doing. They’ll appreciate it getting done, sure, but they may not appreciate the fact that you are the one that’s doing it all. Heck, they may not even know. Learn to say “no,” ask others to help you out, and start thinking about what doing certain tasks does for you. Literally ask yourself, “Is this something I’m expected to do, and how will it benefit me if I do it?”

How to Stop Being a Pushover

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You Could Miss Out on Promotions

If you thought becoming a pushover at work was bad, the same type of overachieving can also keep you from getting a promotion. Seem backwards? The sad reality is, the hardest workers don’t always get promoted. To get promoted, you need to show that you’re valuable. That usually comes down to a couple things :

  1. The less your boss worries about you, the more he or she values you.
  2. The more value you deliver the firm beyond your assigned work, the more likely you’ll get to the next level.
What They Don’t Tell You About Promotions

I always thought life was a game where for the most part, you have to figure out the rules to…

Number two may sound like being an overachiever, and you’d be right—but the good kind. Bringing more value “beyond your assigned work” doesn’t mean doing anything and everything that needs to be done. It means that you should be coming up with new ideas and projects, then executing them without direction. That grunt work can probably be done by anybody, so you doing it just makes you an “anybody,” and “andybodies” don’t get promotions. Instead, focus on creating value for your place of work, not just fulfilling on it.

On his LinkedIn blog, Slade Sundar, the COO at Forte Interactive, suggests there’s a big difference between high-performers—the people that get promoted—and the bad kind of overachievers:

  • High-Performers are Strategists: They know when to wait, when to attack, how to sacrifice, and when to change direction. They can position the company to achieve victory in multiple ways and move on non-linear paths.
  • Overachievers are Brute Force: They have one mission, and that is to get from point A to point B as fast as possible within the rules provided. They focus on completing as much as possible, in a linear fashion, until there is nothing left to complete.

If you feel like you’ve been busting your hump with nothing to show for it, consider what kind of work you’re killing yourself over. You could be giving your coworkers the extra time they need to strategize and snatch a promotion right out from under you . You could be doing ten times the work as your coworkers, but it doesn’t mean much if you’re just the brute force at work. Buzz, buzz, worker bee.

What to Do When a Co-Worker Becomes Your New Boss

So, there you are: It’s that awkward moment when you’re told that a fellow colleague is now your…

How to stop being an over-thinker

Frequently, my clients talk to me about how they overthink many problems or over-analyze a situation. People do this because they engage in something that I call “preemptive coping.”

A good example is playing chess and trying to figure out all the possible moves before picking up a chess piece. Or looking at a situation and saying, “okay, if this person makes this move, then I’ll do this. If this person makes this move, then I’ll do that.” People do this in order to preemptively cope with all possible outcomes.

The problem is that they’re doing that in order to cope with the outcomes. And by doing that, they backhandedly diminish their belief in their own problem-solving ability. Plus, it’s mentally exhausting. Anyone who overthinks or over-analyzes can relate to the fact that it is mentally exhausting.

The other problem with it is if you’re playing this chess game of all the possible outcomes that could happen, many times, none of the situations actually occur. You could be thinking, “okay, these 10 things could happen, and if these 10 things happen, I will have these 10 responses to these 10 things.” You have all these possible outcomes and none of them happen.

It’s a perpetual cycle of overthinking or over-analyzing. It is common to over-analyze what another person might have said or what another person might have done. People tend to make a lot of assumptions based on what people are thinking or what people are saying without a lot of evidence that they’re going to do anything. Then based on these assumptions, people are left guessing about what that person is thinking or what that person’s next behavior is going to be.

That’s when the overthinking and overanalyzing comes in. “Okay, I think this person is thinking this, I think this person is going to do this based on X.” Without evidence. “And because I think they’re going to do this, I’m going to do X, Y or Z in return.” Many times none of that ever happens, and people usually waste a lot of precious mental energy on this task and then they’re on to the next.

The next day, something else happens, they make more assumptions about something else that someone said or did and they repeat the same behavior. “Okay, I think that they may be thinking this, or that what they just did meant that. And they are about to say or do X to me, then I’m going to do X, Y, or Z in return.” Oftentimes none of these eventualities ever occur. All this guessing diminishes a strong belief in your problem-solving ability and your coping ability.

It’s critically important that people have a belief in their ability to cope with different situations. This speaks to their need to be able to have patience and frustration tolerance to wait for an event to occur. It’s really hard to have patience, it’s really hard to have frustration tolerance. The more you can cope and wait for something to actually happen, the more satisfied you’ll be with your life. People spend too much time acting on assumptions instead of acting on actual events, which causes them to be really dissatisfied.

If you can learn to live and cope with the unknown, have the ability to tolerate with patience and frustration tolerance with the unknown, and only cope with things as they happen, you will feel more satisfied. You will believe in your ability to cope with things that actually happen. This will help reduce overthinking and over-analyzing and following a path that will only lead to further mental exhaustion.