Eight Signs That Tell You You're Thinking Too Much

Thinking too much has both physical and mental consequences. Nevertheless, you're often not aware of this habit. Here, you can learn how to identify it.
Eight Signs That Tell You You're Thinking Too Much

Last update: 06 March, 2022

You think all the time, in everything that you do. Furthermore, your thoughts can disturb you with their constant presence. In fact, you may well ask yourself if it’s normal to feel so persecuted by them. They’re an insistent internal voice that can become really disturbing, making you feel extremely uncomfortable.

In this article, you’ll learn about how your thoughts work, along with the signs that suggest they’re excessive or are beginning to take control of your mental life, which could cause you harm.

Woman thinking

How does thinking work?

To begin with, it’s important that you know a little about how your thoughts work. Remember that how you think affects your emotions, feelings, and behaviors.

Thoughts are the contents of your mental processes that occur in your brain. They can be voluntary or involuntary. They’re ideas, beliefs, and memories that interact with each other. Their content can be positive or negative. Sometimes, they generate a great deal of mental activity, with a consumption of energy, and the wear and tear that this implies.

These processes can generate ways of thinking such as rumination, worry, or obsession.

Rumination produces repetitive thoughts about the problems you have, your past, and your failures. Consequently, it often stops you from putting a solution into practice.

Worry refers to a chain of negative thoughts that represent an attempt to provide a mental solution to a problem relating to fear, future events, and possible threats.

Obsessive thoughts arise in an intrusive way and they generate discomfort when you believe that they’re real. This makes you fixate on the same idea.

These three ways of thinking are all different. Nevertheless, they’re all persistent and they generate difficulties on a personal level. They especially affect your ability to concentrate. Therefore, as you can see, thinking too much can cause manifestations of rumination, worry, and obsession.

Signs that indicate you’re thinking too much

Here are eight basic signs that can tell you if your thoughts are getting out of control. Recognizing them will help you prevent emotional problems:

  • Constant negative thoughts about yourself, the world, or others that appear quickly and automatically.
  • Thoughts that don’t stop, even for a while, or worries that you can’t put aside.
  • Imagining that the worst is going to happen.
  • Going over issues and overthinking situations.
  • Frequently replaying conversations in your head.
  • Constantly thinking about past issues or possible failures.
  • Perceiving your thoughts as a heavy load. This makes you feel tired or impatient.
  • Experiencing difficulty in falling asleep, suffering from insomnia, or waking up at night due to your thoughts.
Woman overwhelmed with thoughts

A cycle of discomfort

If you take a close look at these signals, you’ll see that, when you think too much, you fall into a cycle that generates discomfort. Indeed, you constantly review situations, their causes, and even their consequences, frequently directing your attention to what’s going wrong, and what’s preventing you from differentiating between situations that are within and outside your control. When you look at these signs, you’ll notice that many of them are manifestations of rumination, worry, or obsession.

Overthinking can be an indicator of difficulty in solving your problems. In this sense, you’re thinking about them but not dealing with them. By not dealing with them and not taking any action, you won’t solve them. You’re just wasting mental energy. It’s important that you identify these signs in time, as repetitive negative thoughts can be the origin of various psychological problems. For example, anxiety or mood disorders.

However, having these types of thoughts doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re suffering from a mental disorder. Nevertheless, if you feel that they’re severely affecting your emotions or behaviors, you can always seek professional help.

Finally, it’s important to remember that everyone thinks about their problems or the situations they find themselves in. However, a problem occurs when you ruminate or worry in an unlimited or excessive way, even when the situation has already been resolved. Alternatively, when you become obsessed with a topic that’s simply not relevant, and that presents no danger to you whatsoever. A situation that, when you look at it from a realistic point of view, you can find no objective reason for worrying about.

It might interest you...
Is It Bad to Think Too Much?
Exploring your mind
Read it in Exploring your mind
Is It Bad to Think Too Much?

Do I think too much? Have you ever asked yourself this question? If you're nodding, then you're right, you think too much. But don't worry, I do, t...



  • González, M., Ibáñez, I., Barrera, A. (2017) Rumiación, preocupación y orientación negativa al problema: procesos transdiagnósticos de los trastornos de ansiedad, de la conducta alimentaria y del estado de ánimo. Acta colombiana de psicología 20 (2), 30-41
  • Guías de autoayuda. Aprenda a controlar sus pensamientos ansiosos. Servicio Andaluz de salud.
  • Resnik, P. Mi cabeza no para. Qué es el trastorno de ansiedad generalizada. Ediciones B. Penguin random house, grupo editorial.