Overthinking: Definition, Symptoms and Solutions

Health / Life Purpose

Overthinking: Definition, Symptoms and Solutions

“Overthinking is the art of creating problem that weren’t even there.” – Preeti Shashank

I am stuck, I am stuck in mind. I am stuck in endless chatter inside my mind. I am busy most of the times mumbling words into my head and never transforming them into actions. It is all the time, but not in the present moment, I seem lost most of the time. I generally forget things and need to force my brain to recollect my thoughts. People around me also think that I am lost most of the times and that leads to irresponsible decisions and actions making things even worse.

Have you ever felt like this? Or even something close to this?

Have you ever considered yourself being an overthinker?

I estimate we all must have had situations when we felt the same. And it is not a type of weakness or something to be ashamed of. Anyone can experience such situations and it is completely natural.

It is just that we need to be aware of what leads us to such situations? And what can be possible steps to deal with it?

Today in this article I will give answers to the above-mentioned questions, so stay right here and read the article till the last word. Because I am sure the information presented here will help you or someone close to you some or the other day,

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time arrives for action then stop
thinking and go.” – Preeti Shashank

What is Over-thinking?

Overthinking is simply what the word spells, thinking too much. The overthinker brain is not capable to transform the thoughts into actions and decisions hence succumbing to the feelings of stress and anxiety making things even worse.

People who overthink run nonstop commentaries into their minds. This leads to criticising anything they said or did yesterday and anything they have planned for the next day. What ifs and should dominate their thinking.

Overthinking can take many forms such as endlessly deliberating when making a decision, attempting to read minds and predict future, reading into the smallest of details of any event.

So often overthinking is confused with decision making, but it is not. Overthinking is a sort of prolonged thinking before making any decision, without concluding.

Overthinking is exhaustive and mentally draining. It is a root to many life destructive problems such as anxiety, anger, low self-confidence, depression etc. It is very important to identify the overthinking problem at right time and deal with it efficiently.

Below are mentioned some of the most common symptoms of overthinking which you must not ignore at any cost if you are even close to it.

“The more you overthink the less you will understand.” – Preeti Shashank

Warning signs/symptoms

  1. Can’t stop worrying and often worry about things which are out of control.
  2. Constantly reminding yourself of your own mistakes.
  3. Avoid making decisions, problem solving becomes poor and live in the fear of failure.
  4. Have difficulty in sleeping properly feeling like the brain won’t shut off and shows signs of insomnia.
  5. Inability to stay on the present moment always seems lost and unaware.
  6. Ignoring your instincts and constantly ruminating unworthy things.
  7. Spends a huge amount of time worrying about the past and future, which can’t be changed and that which is unprecedented.
  8. Constantly second-guessing yourself and asking what-if questions on and on.
  9. Reliving embarrassing moments of the past and over analysing everything.
  10. You miss deadlines and let your anxiety hold back.

These are some of the most commonly found symptoms agreed upon by global psychologists accredited to Overthinking.

These are the general symptoms, but at times symptoms differ according to the age group.
For example Kids worry a lot about their performance in the schools, Teenagers are stuck in the circle of attracting the opposite sex, Adults are trapped in the circle of job, health, finance etc.

Similarly, gender also dominates the reason and symptoms of overthinking quite often.

After witnessing the symptoms, people start experiencing physical and mental issues. In those times it becomes difficult to relate mental and physical problems to overthinking, but in fact, it is. In this section, I will briefly discuss the physical and mental effects of overthinking.

“A crowded mind leaves no space for a peaceful heart.” – Preeti Shashank

Harmful effects of overthinking

  1. Digestive disorders – An overthinker tends to feel like eating nothing or eating more than required by the body. Disrupted meals often worsen the condition and is never a solution to this problem.
  2. Hormonal imbalance – Focussing the mind on only negative thoughts and feelings disturbs the hormonal balance in the body which results in the further breakdown of chemicals required for happiness.
  3. Cardiovascular disease – Concentrating on stress all the time and leads to severe blood pressure problems which in worse conditions gives rise to cardiovascular diseases. 
  4. Affects Immune system – Stress releases cortisol in the body, which makes you sick even more hence weakening your immune system.
  5. Mental illnessDwelling in the past and reliving the mistakes of your life disrupts the mental peace of your brain. It creates a vicious cycle, almost impossible to break.

After discussing the warning signs and effects, it is time to optimistic now.

Below I present the probable solutions for the Overthinking problem. One might choose according to their intensity and compatibility.

“Nothing can harm you more than your own thoughts unguarded.” – Preeti Shashank


  1. Awareness is the beginning of change
    Before anything the first and foremost thing is awareness. You need to aware of when it’s happening to you, only then you can deal with it effectively.
  2. Realize that not everything is in your control
    We must aim for perfection but at the same must be aware of the fact that not everything is in our control. We must give our best and accept our failure if we don’t get the desired results and try to understand that several external factors come into play which is not in our control. 
  3. Let go of the past and try to live in the moment
    Living in the present moment helps you to see things as it is. Thinking about the past and worrying about the future just kills your time and brings no good.
  4. Realize that the future is unpredictable & don’t fear failure
    No one can predict the future, all we have is the now. If we spend all the present worrying about the future, then we are probably left with nothing.
  5. Find a distraction or get some hobby
    It is helpful to find a distraction/hobby and run towards it when you sense stepping the ladder of overthinking. Guitar, Music, Workout, Books, Gardening are some to begin.
  6. Get good sleep and work out
    Not sleeping properly enough paves way for insomnia making things even worse. Have a workout schedule to keep your body fit and healthy. As it is profoundly known that “A sound mind resides in a Sound Body”.
  7. Focus on solutions & optimistic results
    Dwelling on your problems is not helpful, but instead, look for solutions. The first attempt may not give results, but be persistent and find solutions to your problems. Instead of saying why me? Say what can I do about it.
  8. Practice decision making & problem-solving
    Thinking about problems and not taking any actions never does any good. Start small and try to clear the clutter of petty problems that you have in your and then tackle the big life decisions.
  9. Don’t surround yourself with overthinkers
    Your social environment plays a crucial role. Surround yourself with clear-headed people with an optimistic attitude. Recognise the overthinkers and stay away from them. Also, keep in check what you see, listen, read. 
  10. Consider taking professional help
    This is the last option you have. In case you are deep in the vicious cycle of overthinking then you must consider taking professional help before it is too late.

“Stop overthinking and you have already solved half of your problem.” – Preeti Shashank


Overthink is thinking too much i.e. more than required on anything. It is very easy to be aware of that and probably that is the best solution. Just try to be aware when you overthink and then you have solved your problem right then and there. If it gets severe, consider professional help.

Thank you for reading.

Do share this article as much as possible, it might help someone. Share your suggestions and comments on how to deal with overthinking issue, if you have a related story, please share so that some of us can benefit from it.

Comment (1)

  1. Anand Waghray

    Very true. Over thinking creates more disturbance in Us.

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