Overthinking and its signs that Everyone relates to - Counselors Overthinking and its signs that Everyone relates to - Counselors

Overthinking and its signs that Everyone relates to

Thinking about all the things you could have done differently, second-guessing every decision you make, and imagining all the worst-case scenarios in life can be exhausting. But, overthinking is a hard habit to break.

You might even convince yourself that thinking about something for a really long time is the key to developing the best solution, but that’s usually not the case.

In fact, the longer you think about something, the less time and energy you might have to take productive action. Of course, everyone overthinks sometimes. Maybe you keep thinking about all the things that could go wrong when you give a presentation next week.

Maybe you’ve wasted countless hours trying to decide what to wear to that job interview and as a result, you didn’t spend any time preparing your answers. Before you can put an end to overthinking, you have to recognize when you’re doing it. Here’s how to know when you’re overthinking.


Scroll through solutions to some general overthinking-related issues at https://www.heelrcare.com/counseling/

You’re Not Solution-Focused

Overthinking is different from problem-solving. Overthinking is about dwelling on the problem, while problem-solving involves looking for a solution.

You Experience Repetitive Thoughts

Ruminating—or rehashing the same things over and over again—isn’t helpful. But, when you’re overthinking, you might find yourself replaying a conversation in your head repeatedly or imagining something bad happening many times.

Your Worrying Keeps You Up at Night

When you’re overthinking you might feel like your brain won’t shut off. When you try to sleep, you might even feel as though your brain is on overdrive as it replays scenarios in your head and causes you to imagine bad things happening.

Research confirms what you likely already know—rumination interferes with sleep. Overthinking makes it harder to fall asleep.

You Struggle to Make Decisions due to Overthinking

You might try to convince yourself that thinking longer and harder helps you. After all, you’re looking at a problem from every possible angle.

But, overanalyzing and obsessing actually becomes a barrier. Research shows thinking too much makes it tough to make decisions.

You Second Guess Decisions

Overthinking sometimes involves beating yourself up for the decisions you already made.

You could waste a lot of time thinking your life would be better if you’d only taken that other job or not started a business. Or maybe you get upset with yourself for not seeing red flags sooner—because you believe they should have been obvious!

What to Do About Overthinking?

Research shows thinking less about a problem might actually be the key to developing better solutions.

If you can’t break free from overthinking, consider getting professional help. Overthinking may be a symptom of a mental health issue, like depression or anxiety. On the flip side, it may also increase your susceptibility to developing mental health problems.

A mental health professional may teach you skills that will help you stop obsessing, ruminating, and dwelling on things that aren’t helpful. They may also help you identify coping strategies that work for you, such as mindfulness or physical exercise.

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