1. You Find Meaning In Absolutely Everything
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If you walk past someone and they don’t make eye contact with you but the second time they see you, they do, then your mind goes into overdrive and you wonder why this happened. Sometimes, it can consume you and you start over-analysing everything.
2. It’s Difficult To Let Go
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Because you’ve put in such a lot of effort to figure something out, you find it difficult to let go of it. You may continue thinking about it even after you thought you’d already let it go. The more you go over and over it in your mind, the more it can eat away at you.
3. You Get Excited To Find A Solution To A Problem But ….
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Maybe you’ve been mulling over a complex problem, couldn’t solve it for ages and then, hey presto, you have a lightbulb moment! You’ve figured it out. That should be the end of it but, no, not for you. You are so pleased with your accomplishment that you feel you’re floating on air. However, it’s short lived when you come across another issue and it makes you think about the first one.
4. You Think More About Doing Than Actually Doing!
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Ever heard the term analysis paralysis? You think so much that you end up doing nothing. You decide what the best outcome might be but then you compare the best outcome with a new possible best outcome. The cycle continues until you end up doing ….nothing.
5. You Are Patient
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You value highly the time it takes to ‘dot the i’s and cross the t’s.” Even if it takes you longer than most, you are so happy when you come out ahead because you’ve put in the time to work it out. You are willing to do this until you feel comfortable with the knowledge you’ve acquired. This allows you to be patient whilst others want snap solutions.
6. You Want To Get All The Ducks In A Row
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Be cautious with this one as it can often be an excuse to not taking any action. While you find it comforting to wait until you feel ready, that time may never arrive and you could be delaying the inevitable. Sometimes there will never be a best time and you won’t ever have as much time as you do now. Might as well jump in the water and then get your ducks in a row!
7. You Want To Know The ‘Why’
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Kids love to ask why – why this, why that! Over-thinkers tend to keep this inner child with them right through their life. They aren’t interested in surface level meaning but the why behind it. This can be extremely beneficial in solving complex problems but can be detrimental because some things just don’t have to have deep meanings.
8. You Want To Get Everything Right
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You might be a perfectionist and pride yourself on being great at what you do, striving to do your best. When you don’t get everything right and come up short, you can become your worst critic. By recognizing this can be a strength as well as a weakness, it can help you understand that no one gets EVERYTHING right.
9. You Are Always Seeking Out New Information
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Whether it’s a friend sending you an email about a topic that may interest you or a text asking you for advice on a particular problem, you may feel you have to go the extra mile to gather as much information as possible on both topics and you can’t rest until you have done so.
10. You Dread A One Word Reply
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When you ask someone how they are and they give you a one word answer, you don’t feel satisfied with their response. Them saying ‘good’ can mean a whole host of things. Are they covering something up or hiding the truth from you. An over-thinker will have all this stuff going round their head.
11. You Assume Others Know What You’re Thinking
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You might assume someone else will know exactly what is going on in your head but if you don’t communicate what you’re thinking, other people won’t have a clue. You may prefer quiet environments to do your thinking so you have less distractions and you might feel your over-thinking is getting louder during this time.
12. You Analyse People
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This includes yourself! You may wonder why people do certain things. You enjoy people watching because you want to try and work them out. Public places can be both overwhelming and fascinating. This kind of behaviour rings true for many over-thinkers.
13. You Love A List
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The pure joy of making a large list and crossing out those items as you complete them is highly motivating. When you mention your love of lists to others, they may not revel in that same joy. You feel that the satisfaction of planning out something and then visually seeing all that planning getting crossed off gives you a feeling of pleasure and accomplishment.
14. You Look Forward To Calming The Mind
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Long walks, writing, exercise and meditation – you do these pastimes to stop yourself from over-thinking. When your mind is active, you feel the urge to do more. It’s helpful to remind yourself that you are human and your mind deserves a break from over-use.
15. You Think Critically
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Sometimes you see alternative solutions to complex problems. An over-thinker might come up with an idea that nobody has thought of before. You can sit and stare in awe at the complexity of life because easy answers aren’t good enough for you as you want to go further. You weigh all of your options, investigating deeper and deeper and your ability to think critically is a strength that makes you feel proud.
16. Having Negative Thoughts
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Negative thinking can contribute to problems such as depression, social anxiety and stress. An over-thinker might want to be positive but going through past conversations in their mind and deciphering behaviours, can lead them down a less than positive path.
17. Feeling Mentally Exhausted
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When someone says they feel burned out, this is something that occurs after a build of from months or even years and it gets to the stage where you can’t think straight. For an over-thinker this is bad news because they can spend a large part of their day thinking things through.
18. Thinking Of Worst Case Scenarios
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Over-thinkers can sometimes be associated with those who have their glass half empty. You try and be more straightforward and positive but your mind just won’t let you. Your thoughts start running away with you and you might think about everything that could go wrong.
19. Unable To Relax
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Everyone gets anxious at times as they tackle events which happen over the years. An over-thinker can find it difficult to relax as their mind keeps ticking over. In severe cases, it can make you nervous and affect your ability to function. You can even worry that you worry too much.
20. Feeling Anxious
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When you are feeling stressed or anxious, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. An over-thinker may well recognise these symptoms as a result of this. They might experience an increased heart rate and even affect your body heat, resulting in sweating.
21. Unable To Think About Anything Else
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Once you have thought about a particular issue for ages, whether it’s been a conversation you had with someone, a text you sent or you’re concerned you might have overstepped the mark in some way, you tell yourself it’s done now and to move on but you can’t. It keeps coming back to the forefront of your mind.
22. Fixating On Things Out Of Your Control
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When a situation is happening or has happened and it has been you feel helpless, you want to find a solution. You cannot accept there may be no answer as it’s something out of your control but that doesn’t stop you mulling it over and over again, on the off-chance you can sort it.
23. Experiencing Repetitive Thoughts
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If you have been thinking, for example, that you need to be upfront with someone who has annoyed you, you may keep putting it off as you’re worried what they will think about you. However, you can’t stop playing out the same conversation in your head of how you were going to address this person and you keep doing it over and over again, until it becomes maybe a much bigger situation for you than it actually is.
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This form of overthinking happens when you base an expectation for the future on a single event that happened in the past. Instead of accepting different outcomes are possible, you might assume that certain things will ‘always’ or ‘never’ happen. You over-generalize everything.
25. Not Allowing Your Brain To Shut Off
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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. It’s replaying scenarios in your head and causing you to imagine bad things might happen. As much as you want to relax, you can’t.
26. You Struggle To Make Decisions
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You might try to convince yourself that thinking longer and harder is beneficial and will help you. You try to look at a problem from every angle. What you are actually doing is creating a barrier as it’ stopping you making that final decision. You could spend ages on making a final decision.
27. Meal Times Can Be Stressful
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Relaxing at the end of a day and sitting down to dinner, whether a home cooked meal or a microwave dish that you can stick in the microwave, is something to look forward to. For an over-thinker, though, deciding on what to eat can take away the enjoyment. Even when you are eating it, you might be thinking you should have chosen something different.
28. You Convince Yourself It’s For The Best
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When you finally get round to making a decision, whether its a life changing one or something else much less relevant, you may then start to wonder if it was the right one. You might spend so much time convincing yourself that it was that your train of thought makes a new issue out of it.
29. Multi-Tasking Is A No-No
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Research studies have indicated that, on the whole, women are better at multi-tasking than men. This may be so with many females but for an over-thinker, this can almost tip them over the edge. Because they can take a while to concentrate on one task, they may feel that doing several at once becomes too much for them.
30. Learning To Switch Off
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It’s not all doom and gloom for over-thinkers. There are many techniques tIm help you. Step back and take a look how you handle stuff, find a distraction, take deep breaths to calm yourself and try meditating. Do something nice for someone and their appreciation at your thoughtfulness will make you feel good about yourself.