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Signs You Are an Overthinker

Signs You're an Overthinker #anxiety #overthinking #perfectionism

Overthinking is common among anxious, perfectionists. It is obsessive thinking or ruminating. I recently wrote an article about dealing with my own overthinking tendencies while remodeling my kitchen.

People who overthink feel like they can’t turn off their brains. They are constantly questioning, second guessing, evaluating. So much so that they create “analysis paralysis”, or the inability to make decisions.

Signs of Overthinking #anxiety #overthinking #perfectionist

Here are the most common signs you are an overthinker:


  • You second guess everything.
  • You analyze and analyze and analyze.
  • You catastrophize or expect the worst.
  • You have insomnia.
  • You hate making decisions.
  • You’d rather someone else decides for you.
  • Have many regrets.
  • Can’t let things go.
  • You take things personally.
  • You’re a perfectionist.
  • You criticize yourself a lot.
  • You feel tense.
  • You can’t turn your brain off.


Overthinkers will spend extraordinary amounts of time trying to make decisions. In the end, they often second guess and regret the decisions they do make.

In order to avoid all this, overthinkers often defer to someone else to make decisions. Overthinkers will often have no opinion and say “I don’t care” when asked. This is just easier than getting caught up in their heads about simple matters like what to eat for lunch. It’s easier (and faster) for over-thinkers to let someone else decide.

If you have insomnia, overthinking is often the culprit. It’s hard to calm your body and mind when brain is in hyper-drive.

Perfectionists tend to be overthinkers. It makes sense as they are concerned about being, doing, and choosing perfectly. This leads to replaying and criticizing their mistakes and feeling inadequate.

If this sounds exhausting, it is. Perfectionists and overthinkers have a hard time relaxing and just enjoying the present moment.


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Image:”Brain Thinking Processor” by bandrat courtesy of

Signs You Are an Overthinker

Sharon Martin, LCSW

Sharon Martin is an emotional wellness speaker, writer, and licensed psychotherapist. Her San Jose based practice specializes in helping over-stressed, high achieving adults and teens learn to embrace their imperfections and grow happiness. Her personal journey of overcoming perfectionism and people-pleasing traits, inspired her passion for this work. Sharon is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance and several ebooks including Setting Boundaries Without Guilt: A Workbook to Move You From Doormat to Empowerment. Sharon also enjoys teaching blogging and writing classes for therapists. You can find her on Twitter, instagram, and her website.

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APA Reference
Martin, S. (2018). Signs You Are an Overthinker. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2018, from


Last updated: 1 Jan 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jan 2018
Published on All rights reserved.