11 things you don’t realize you’re doing because you’re an overthinker

Do you ever find yourself thinking a bit too much?

Like when you’re lying awake at 2 a.m., or when a simple text message makes you wonder more than it should.

Overthinking can sneak up on us, causing unnecessary worry and stress.

And often, we don’t even know we’re doing it!

In this light-hearted article, we’ll explore 10 things you might be doing without realizing it, all because of overthinking.

So, let’s get started and see what makes us overthinkers tick!

1. You’re Always Reading Between the Lines

Ever caught yourself analyzing a ‘Good Morning’ text for hidden meanings?

Or dissecting a casual conversation with your friend, searching for signals that don’t exist? That’s classic overthinking right there.

You might not even realize it, but as an overthinker, you’re always reading between the lines.

You’re convinced there’s a secret message or some hidden agenda in the simplest of interactions.

But here’s the deal: sometimes, a ‘Good Morning’ text is just a ‘Good Morning’ text. Overthinkers tend to dig deep where there’s no treasure to be found.

So next time you catch yourself decrypting a simple conversation, remember – not everything needs your detective skills!

2. You’re a Master at Creating Scenarios

To an overthinker, the mind is like a movie theater, constantly playing out various scenarios that may never actually happen.

You’ve probably found yourself lying in bed, lost in a sea of ‘what ifs’.

What if you hadn’t said that thing to your coworker? What if you took a different career path? What if you never moved to this city?

It’s like your brain is a scenario simulation machine, creating stories from every decision, big or small.

But remember, while it’s okay to consider possibilities, it’s important not to get lost in imaginary outcomes.

Life isn’t scripted, and that’s the beauty of it!

3. You Find It Hard to Let Go of Mistakes

Here’s something I’ve caught myself doing a lot: dwelling on past mistakes.

I remember this one time, I made a minor error in a presentation at work. Most people brushed it off as nothing serious, but not me.

I spent days replaying the situation in my head, thinking about all the ways I could have avoided the mistake.

I lost sleep over it and let it affect my mood for days.

Sounds familiar? This is a classic sign of overthinking. We tend to hold on to our past mistakes, analyzing them over and over again.

But mistakes are a part of life, and learning from them is essential.

What’s not essential? Letting them take up permanent residence in our minds.

So let’s learn, let go, and move on!

4. You Struggle to Make Decisions

As an overthinker, making decisions can feel like an episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

Every choice seems like a life-altering decision. Picking a restaurant, choosing a movie, or even deciding what outfit to wear can turn into an internal debate. It’s exhausting, right?

This might be why decision-making can feel like such a struggle.

So, next time you’re stuck in the decision-making process, remember, it’s not always about the perfect choice, but about making a choice and giving it your best!

5. You’re Constantly Seeking Reassurance

As an overthinker, you might find yourself constantly seeking reassurance from others.

“Did I do okay?” “Was that alright?” “Are you sure you’re not mad at me?”

Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. It’s a common trait among overthinkers to doubt themselves and seek validation from others.

While it’s perfectly okay to ask for feedback, constantly doubting your abilities can take a toll on your self-esteem.

Remember, you’re capable and smart, and it’s alright to trust yourself.

It’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to not have all the answers.

You’re human, after all, and that in itself is something truly wonderful.

6. You Can’t Turn Your Brain Off

Let me tell you about my typical night. I climb into bed, tired and ready for a good night’s sleep.

But my brain? It has an entirely different plan. It starts replaying the day, the conversation I had with my boss, the joke I cracked during lunch, the look on my friend’s face when I said something… and it just doesn’t stop.

And there I am, staring at the ceiling at 2 a.m., wishing my brain came with an ‘off’ switch.

As an overthinker, turning your brain off, especially at night, can feel like an impossible task.

But remember, it’s okay to give yourself permission to rest. Your mind deserves a break just as much as your body does!

7. You’re Often Lost in Thought

Overthinkers are professional daydreamers. You might be in the middle of a conversation, a meeting, or even crossing the road, and boom – you’re lost in your own world.

Your mind is constantly churning, analyzing, and wandering into territories that are miles away from where you physically are.

It’s like you’re always multitasking, even if you’re just sitting quietly by yourself.

This might make you seem distant or disinterested to others, but that’s not it at all.

You’re just busy battling the whirlwind of thoughts inside your head.

So if you ever find yourself drifting away, gently remind yourself to stay present and enjoy the moment as it is!

8. You’re Prone to Procrastination

Procrastination and overthinking often go hand in hand.

You might find yourself delaying tasks, not because you’re lazy, but because you’re busy over-analyzing every possible outcome.

Sometimes, overthinkers are more likely to procrastinate due to their fear of making mistakes and facing criticism.

So next time you catch yourself putting off tasks, remind yourself that it’s okay to not be perfect.

The beauty lies in starting somewhere and learning along the way!

9. You Tend to Overplan

Ever heard of the term ‘analysis paralysis’? I suffer from it quite often.

Let me share an example. Last summer, I decided to take a solo trip.

Instead of enjoying the spontaneity, I found myself overplanning every minute detail – from what I’d wear each day, to the exact time I’d visit each tourist spot.

I spent so much time planning that I nearly forgot to enjoy the anticipation of the trip itself!

As an overthinker, you might find yourself overplanning too – be it a project, a vacation, or even a simple dinner party.

While planning is good, obsessing over every detail can rob you of the joy of spontaneity.

So let’s try to find a balance and leave some room for surprises. 

10. You Constantly Worry About the Future

Here’s a hard truth: overthinkers are often prisoners of their own future.

You might find yourself constantly worrying about what lies ahead, to the point where it consumes your present.

Your mind is filled with countless “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios.

You’re forever preparing for disasters that may never strike. It’s exhausting and draining.

But remember, the future is not in our hands.

All we can do is give our best in the present and trust that we’ll be able to handle whatever comes our way.

11. You’re Your Own Worst Critic

As an overthinker, you might have a tendency to be overly critical of yourself.

Every mistake, every blunder is magnified in your mind, leading you to believe you’re less than you are.

You replay your shortcomings on a loop, beating yourself up over things most people have long forgotten. It’s heartbreaking to see how harsh we can be on ourselves.

But here’s the thing: we’re all human and we all make mistakes. It’s time we showed ourselves the same kindness and understanding we so readily give to others.

Remember, being an overthinker is not a flaw; it’s just a part of who you are.

It means you’re thoughtful, introspective, and considerate. But it’s also important not to let overthinking steal your peace of mind and joy in life.

So let’s acknowledge these habits, laugh at them a little, and continue this wonderful journey of self-understanding and growth!

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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