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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 a licensed psychotherapist and codependency expert practicing in San Jose, CA. She 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 Navigating the Codependency Maze.  

To learn more, visit Sharon's website. And please sign-up for free access to her resource library HERE (worksheets, tips, meditations, and resources for healing codependency, perfectionism, anxiety and more).

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APA Reference
Martin, S. (2018). Signs You Are an Overthinker. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Jan 2018
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