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Are You An Overthinker?

Anastasia Eremko will help to understand if you are overthinking.

Are You An Overthinker?

There are many different kinds of cheeses. You walk into any other grocery store and there it is – the long daunting shelf of all cheeses ever existed. So, you need cheese for tonight’s dinner but it is turning out to be the hardest decision of your life. If you can relate to this or a situation less ridiculous, but similar to this, you are probably an overthinker.

Many of us are guilty of being overthinkers and there is nothing wrong with it. Here is the list of some things overthinkers can relate to.

  • Apologizing too much

    Before you’re even sure if something is your fault you’re already apologizing for it.  This leaves you feeling vulnerable and exposed to more trouble. For example, taking the blame for every situation may cause others to take advantage of you. Overthinkers tend to want to smooth over the rough patches but sometimes it can cause more trouble than it worth.

  • Reliving past experience

    Overthinkers relive embarrassing past experiences in their heads. You tend to repeatedly relive the moments you are less proud of in your mind. For example, imagine you’re having a perfectly normal day then your brain decides to remind you of that one time in middle school when you ripped your pants in gym class. And just like that your whole day is ruined. You tend to relive these past experiences and imagine how it could’ve gone differently.

  • Appearing more insecure

    Overthinkers appear more insecure than they really are. Because of your indecisive nature it may cause others to view you as unsure of yourself. This becomes apparent in working situations because you take too long to make decisions for clients or projects.

  • Sleep problems

    Overthinkers have sleeping problems. When you lay down at night your brain starts to process all of the information you learned from that day. If you’re a natural overthinker your brain is working out at night trying to organize all the thoughts that you’re having. You may lay down in your bed at 9:30 p.m. only to find yourself wide awake at 1 a.m. forming a plan how you’re finally going to start going to the gym on a regular basis.

    A study published in May 2003 "Researchers Study Interpersonal Effects of Hypochondriasis" states that there is a direct link between rumination or overthinking and negative emotions and thoughts. Sleep quality and depressive and irritated moods go hand-in-hand.  

  • Worrying about making others happy

    You often disregard your own desires for the sole purpose of satisfying someone else. You may repress your own opinion so as not to contradict someone else. You constantly make decisions based on how other people would react to them rather than what is best for you. 

  • Need a second opinion

    It’s hard for you to make a decision on your own. You may spend hours in the department store because you’re taking pictures of every outfit and sending them to all your friends for their input. That may be difficult for you to make even simple decisions without consulting an outside source.

  • Worry about things out of their power

    Overthinkers spend time worrying about things they have no control over. Whether you like it or not there are always going to be things in the world that you have no control over. In fact, most things fall into that category. Sometimes overthinkers make their lives more difficult than they have to be. 

    A study published in September 2008 “Rethinking Rumination” states that there is a strong relationship between over thinking and mental illness. Based on a person’s proneness to overthink you may be able to predict the likelihood of that person being depressed or having anxiety.

Being an overthinker can make you good at critical thinking as well as sympathetic to others and their problems. But there are many options out there to help stop you from overthinking your whole life, if you feel that it’s a problem. Try to put things in a perspective, do some meditation or deep breathing, stop trying to make everything perfect because that more than likely isn’t ever going to happen. If you an overthinker try to overthink good things in your life rather than bad ones.

Resources:

  1. Dorthe Kirkegaard Thomsen, Mimi Yung Mehlsen, Søren Christensen,Robert Zachariae Rumination—relationship with negative mood and sleep quality // Personality and Individual Differences. 2003. №34 
  2. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Blair E. Wisco, and Sonja Lyubomirsky Rethinking Rumination // Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2008. №Vol. 3 №5.  
  3. University of Iowa Researchers Study Interpersonal Effects Of Hypochondriasis // Science Daily. 2003. № https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030714092759.htm   

Text by
Anastasia Eremko