Here are some synonyms for “over-thinking:”  Ruminating, worrying, evaluating, deliberating, considering, languishing, lamenting, brooding, over analyzing, pondering, inordinately contemplating, over theorize, being pensive, overly plan, introspective, obsessive, etc.  If I thought longer or searched more, I’d come up with even more synonyms.

Here are some quotes:

“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.”  by Anthony Hopkins

“Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.” by Robert Herjavec

“The more I think about it, the more I realize that overthinking isn’t the real problem. The real problem is that we don’t trust.” by L.J Vanier

“Over-thinking ruins you. Ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is.” by author unknown

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” by Albert Einstein

“Things won’t get better unless you think better” by Karen Salmansohn

“Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.” – Plato

I could keep going with quotes on over thinking too.

Honestly, over thinking can be about anything.  It simply means to spend more time thinking about something than is necessary or productive.  Overthinking is often seen in gifted individuals as well as those with anxiety and/or inattentive issues.  In fact, one of the hallmarks of anxiety is over thinking or worrying about everything.  The key word there is “everything.”  There is a difference between daily and periodic or constant and situational or subject and project related.  Some level of overthinking is healthy but when overthinking gets in the way of functioning, it is time to get help.  If overthinking is preventing one from doing anything productive, help is needed. For many overthinkers, they may benefit from the guided practice of a variety of self-help strategies. Of course, if overthinking is interfering with daily functioning than seeking professional help is warranted.    

Here are some self-help ideas for overthinkers:

  • Detective thinking
  • Learning mindfulness
  • Focused breathing
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation Exercises
  • Checking stress levels
  • Going outdoors
  • Talk to a mentor
  • Set time limits for decision-making
  • Writing action plans
  • Use progress monitoring or daily trackers
  • Set a timer
  • Use of a journal
  • Consistent bedtime routine
  • Focus on the present

Here are some children’s books for teaching mindfulness/relaxation and helping them understanding their worry/fears that can contribute to their overthinking:

  • A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee Maclean
  • What Does It Mean To Be Present? by Rana DiOrio
  • Take the Time: Mindfulness for Kids by Maud Roegiers
  • Silence by Lemniscates
  • Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
  • Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver
  • Visiting Feelings by Lauren Rubenstein
  • Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates
  • I Am Yoga by Susan Verde
  • From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears by Daniel B Peters
  • What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Huebner
  • Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears? Dealing with Sensory Overload by Jennifer Veenendall
  • What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake: A Kid’s Guide to Accepting Imperfection by Claire A.B. Freeland
  • Don’t Feed The WorryBug by Andi Green
  • David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety by Anne Marie Guanci
  • What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming OCD by Dawn Huebner
  • Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook

Here are some other articles on overthinking:

This blog article is part of the Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page Blog Hop on “Over Thinking.”  I thank my friends at Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and elsewhere for their inspiration, support, and suggestions.

Please click on the graphic below (created by Pamela S Ryan–thanks!) to see the other Hoagies’ Blog Hop participants, or cut and paste this URL into your browser: