Are you an overthinker? It’s normal for you to have a few obsessive thoughts, as you’re only human. Sadly, there comes the point where these intrusive thoughts consume you, and the issue can become chronic. Overthinking is classic for anxiety disorders, and the same part of your brain that gives you the fight or flight sensation also causes you to overanalyze things.

Ten Signs of Overthinking and How Overthinkers Can Calm Their Worried Minds

Ruminating about every little thing can be exhausting. Your mind never shuts down, and it can make for some long, sleepless nights. Since this is an anxiety-based disorder, it can cause your mental health to plummet. According to the Cleveland Clinic, an overthinking disorder is recognized by the American Psychological Association and is included in the DMS-5.

It’s a sister disease to post-traumatic stress, generalized anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive syndrome. The first step to realizing you have a problem is identifying the key issues and seeing if they fit your symptoms. Here are the ten most common signs that you’re constantly overthinking, and there are some ways to fix it.


1. Overthinking Means That You Wear Your Emotions on Your Sleeves

A significant problem for overthinkers is that they wear their emotions on their sleeve. You take the opinions of others way too seriously, and it drives you crazy.

You’re analyzing each detail of events and conversations, and you always think someone is putting you down. If you have an empathetic personality, this will make you even more sensitive to the opinions of others.

How to fix it:

It’s helpful to have someone else to toss around your thoughts with on a situation. A voice of reason can help you to decipher if you ruminate unnecessarily or if you have justification for your intense feelings.

2. You Worry About Things That Haven’t Even Happened Yet

An idea pops into your mind, but the thought overwhelms you. You ruminate about it so much that you get all worked up to the point of an anxiety attack. For instance, your friends and neighbors are receiving higher electric bills due to an increase.

You begin to think about how you will constantly pay such a bill. You remember events where the lights were left on all night, and you analyze the temperature you set your HVAC system at during the month. You work yourself into an anxious frenzy because you can’t stop worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

How to fix it:

According to Dr. Robert Leah’s book The Worry Cure, over 85 percent of the things you worry about won’t happen anyway. You only waste your time and energy focusing on something that probably won’t be an issue. Stop catastrophizing events that may not warrant it. Instead, write in a journal, listen to music, or read a chapter of your favorite book.

3. Overthinking Burdens Those Around You

When your emotions are on high alert, and you’re always nervous and analyzing things, it’s hard to live with you. If your spouse is a sensible thinker, they might have difficulty relating to your overthinking ways. If you have this anxiety disorder, you might enjoy working solo, as it causes you less worry about later.

How to fix it:

You don’t want to burden the ones you love. It would help if you found an outlet for all this overthinking. Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out on paper without involving those around you. It can be the answer to putting these nagging ruminating thoughts to rest.

4. You’re Unlucky in Love and Close Yourself Off

Your soul is very delicate and pure. Sadly, the chances of finding the love and devotion you want are slim. You’re down on yourself and close yourself off from others because your heart is always wounded.

How to fix it:

You’ll end up alone if you push everyone away due to a closed-off nature. Start slowly by letting people in and trying your hardest not to overthink things. You’ve built a shell around you, but you want to crack this exterior slowly and not tear it all off at once.

5. You Replay Every Word of a Conversation

You had a conversation with your boss today about changes in the company, and he informed you that they would be laying people off soon. He didn’t say you were getting laid off, but you can’t help but wonder if you will get your pink slip.

You remember every word and detail of that conversation and analyze each one. You’re under extreme pressure and have already checked to see how much you can draw on unemployment.

You’ve turned the situation into something more than what it was intended to be. He was likely warning you about the upcoming slack that needs to be managed in the company.

How to fix it:

Your boss likely wouldn’t have told you about the layoffs if you were one of the people being cut. When you hang on to every word of a conversation, your mind will make it ten times worse. It’s challenging not to worry, but you must remember that even if you get laid off, you were looking for a job when you found this one.


6. Overthinkers Often Fight Depression and Negative Moods

Your analytical thinking style can cause your mood to drop. It’s called a worry spiral, where you dwell on things beyond your control to the point where it consumes you.

Life is no fun when you spend your days fretting about things that don’t matter or may never happen. It can affect your overall well-being but dramatically impacts your mental health.

How to fix it:

Depression and anxiety usually co-exist and are the perfect storm. It will help if you put more positivity into your life. Try embracing the moment through mindful living. If you focus on your today, your tomorrow will take care of itself. Don’t borrow trouble.

7. The Universe Understands You More Than People

Overthinking can cause many problems, so it’s helpful for the person prone to ruminating to develop a connection with the Universe. Since it is commonplace for you to feel very distant from the world around you, having this connection with something bigger than you can be helpful.

How to fix it:

Getting in tune with your spiritual side can be very helpful if you’re constantly overthinking. Spirituality is grounding and can provide comfort when people can’t help. Read the holy text of your faith, pray, or meditate to reconnect to your Higher Power.

8. You Have a Perfectionist Approach if Overthinking

If you tend to overthink, you likely have a perfectionist approach to life. You’re always in problem-solving mode and often spend your sleeping hours fixing issues. You must break free from this spiral and move to a place where the worries are no longer relevant to you.

How to fix it:

You must realize that life isn’t perfect, nor is anyone that walks on this planet. When these intrusive thoughts come into your mind, you need to acknowledge them and defuse them. Counter the negative thoughts with something positive until you learn to change your mindset.

9. Ruminating Causes Chronic Insomnia

Overthinking can keep you up at night. While you’ve already lived out your day, you replay the events and conversations at night. You can’t sleep because your mind is stuck in this perpetual loop that won’t quit.

How to fix it:

Try meditation before bedtime to purge negative thoughts from your mind. There are also natural herbs like melatonin and chamomile that are known to help with insomnia.

10. Everything Is All or Nothing When Overthinking

A classic sign of an overthinker is that you only see things in one way or another. There’s a right or wrong and nothing in between. You cannot see moderate views, which can be detrimental to relationships.

How to fix it:

It’s typical that people who see things as all or nothing only have one perspective of thinking, and you hyperfocus on this. To switch your thought process, use more moderate language. When these rigid thoughts pop into your mind, counter them with something neutral or in the middle.


Final Thoughts on Recognizing the Signs of Overthinking

The world around you is full of chaos and confusion, so it’s only natural that you might be on high alert. If you suffer from an overthinking disorder, your mind can become so cluttered that you can’t keep your thoughts straight. You need to find outlets to learn how to let this negativity go.

A few helpful things include mindful living, journaling, meditation, and even yoga, which can all assist with putting you in a better headspace. You don’t want to miss out on love or other opportunities because your overthinking ways are ruining your life. A therapist might be beneficial to help learn how to counter these negative thoughts with those that are more positive.

The world around you might not understand you overanalyzing every little thing, which can push people away. Anxiety can ruin your life if you allow it to, but you can take control and retrain your brain for positive thinking. Who needs all this pessimism anyway?