Overthinking is excessive thinking about past events, while worrying is excessive thinking about future events.
Overthinking exhausts your brain by replaying scenes from your past, and searching for subtexts in your mistakes. As a result, it builds stress, hopelessness, and helplessness.
These overthinking quotes will help you in breaking your toxic habit of keeping your brain busy doing nothing useful.
80 Spectacular Overthinking Quotes (To Help You Stop It)
We compiled these quotes after reading through 300+ posts on overthinking. Take home some of these mantras to help you stop overthinking.
- “To think too much is a disease.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
- “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill
- “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” — Napoleon Bonaparte
- “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.” — Anthony Hopkins
- “Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.” — Robert Eliot
- “Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.” — Brian Tracy
- “Your overthinking voice out of your head sounds like a strict adult who always counts your problems and points out your mistakes, but doesn’t ever help you with solutions.” — Anon
- “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.” — Dean Smith
- “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.” — L.J. Vanier
- “My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.” — Sylvia Plath
- “The more you overthink, the more your comfort zone becomes a forest of negative thoughts.” — Unknown
- “Overthinking, also, best known for creating problems that are never there.” — David Sikhosana
- “Don’t get too deep, it leads to overthinking, and overthinking leads to problems that don’t even exist in the first place.” — Jayson Engay
- “Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.” — Leo Buscaglia
- “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.” — George Bernard Shaw
- “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” — Winston Churchill
- “Because remember, talking about the thing isn’t the thing. Doing the thing is the thing.” — Amy Poehler
- “An overthinking mind drags you on and around the same jagged patch of your negative past.” — HIP
- “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” — Steve Jobs
- “When the cycle of your thoughts pedal up and down the same stretch of highway without stopping or exiting, then you’re overthinking.” — Sandip Roy
- “We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.” — John Newton
- “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” — Albert Einstein
- “If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don’t do it, and it won’t happen.” — Desiderius Erasmus
- “Overthinking is the biggest cause of unhappiness. We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” — Buddha (probably)
Do you know who has authored the maximum quotes in human history? Most likely, you don’t. No one does. The credit for writing the most number of quotes goes to Anonymous or Anon or Unknown.
- “Overthinking saps your energy. It’s like a hamster on a wheel — running fiercely but reaching nowhere.” — Anon
- “Thinking is good. Overthinking is not. Stop overthinking; life is too short to waste on that.” — Anon
- “Don’t ruin a new day thinking about yesterday. Yesterday has gone; why drag it back by overthinking?” — Anon
- “Overthinking is one of the biggest causes of unhappiness. It mostly creates problems that do not exist.” — Anon
- “When you overthink, you recycle sad scenes from your past and re-live the sadness of those moments again and again.” — Anon
“The research is pretty clear — overthinking is bad for you and it does nothing to prevent or solve problems.” — Amy Morin
- “Awareness is the beginning of change. Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it’s happening.” — Lolly Daskal
“It (Overthinking) steals time and energy, and rarely produces anything worthwhile. And by exhausting you in the process, it makes you more susceptible to its close relatives, anxiety, and depression.” — Ryan Howes
“Your brain is a complicated mechanism, and overthinking is a natural product of this. There is nothing wrong with overthinking a little, but a continual fixation on any one thought is unhealthy. Take a deep breath and follow the steps above to help disrupt repetitive thoughts and stop overthinking.” — Jim Kwik
“Overthinking is like a vacuum of some kind—it sucks you in.” — Dinsa Sachan
- “Too much information, too many times of just taking a few minutes to check your inbox, Facebook, or Twitter account, or how your blog or website is doing leads to more input and clutter in your mind as your day progresses.” — Henrik Edberg
“It’s like tying yourself to a rope that is connected to a pole and going in circles again and again.” — Remez Sasson
- “Although people believe they are problem-solving through rumination, it does not result in any real or actionable solution. In reality, problems sometimes intensify when you dwell on them.” — Jessica DuBois-Maahs
“If you consistently focus on ruminating and make it a habit, it becomes a loop, And the more you do it, the harder it is to stop.” — Thomas Oppong
- “Many overthinkers believe they’re actually doing themselves a favor by cycling through their thoughts. But the truth of the matter is that overthinking is a dangerous game that can have a lot of negative consequences on our well-being.” — Julia Ries
“Rumination … can halt someone from progressing and moving forward. By keeping your thoughts on what is happening in your life right now, you can quickly overcome rumination and regret. Thinking of the present will help you build relationships and create positive memories to replace the negative ones.” — Sarah Barkley, Power of Positivity
- “Excessive rumination or feelings of regret may have lasting negative consequences, but these reactions may also facilitate learning for future decision-making.” — Boyle & Allen, The British Journal of Surgery, 2020
- “The thing is, overthinking won’t actually fulfil the needs you’re coping with. When you repeat a certain topic over and over again in your mind, chances are you’re not getting anywhere. If you’re not finding a solution or gaining understanding, then your repetitive thoughts will either create frustration or will disempower you.” — Melissa Raise
“You spend too much time in the negative zone of thinking, that it becomes like your comfort zone.” — Saloni Singh
- “Overthinking clouds our minds with so much negativity that we forget the possibility that the other people involved in the dispute are basically good people who had good reasons for acting the way they did.” — Happier Human
“Overthinkers have the ability to instantly find alternative possibilities to reality.” — Kristine Fellizar and Carolyn Steber
- “Introverts process more information per second than extroverts. And this helps explain why introverts… are prone to overthinking.” — Tina Roumeliotis
- “We will learn many things throughout our lives, but the key to managing all of our knowledge is — so it seems – to trust our gut.” — Alexia Lafatia
- “You can be indifferent to each thought that you become aware of, it helps to give the thoughts less energy to sprout.” — Lachlan Brown
“If things seem fine but you still feel anxious, consider rechanneling the energy you spend overthinking in yourself. Go out with friends, get a pet, pursue a hobby, or take a class to find ways to achieve your personal fulfillment. When you start to feel at ease with yourself, you will be less affected by the ups and downs in your life and your relationships.” — Inspired by an Emmy Brunner
“Don’t believe the lies your own mind tells you. The truth is, you have the power to take control of your thoughts.” — Dan Matthews
- “This is the most important dilemma an overthinker must face: is overthinking helpful right now, or just procrastination and fear and resistance.” — Sam Killerman
“The truth is, you can’t stop all bad things from happening and you can’t stop yourself from every bad decision. What you can do is get help.” — BetterHelp Editorial
- “Overthinking can be a hard habit to break because it feels like doing something. But on some level you know it’s just wasting your time and effort.” — Seth J. Gillihan
“When you overthink, it doesn’t let you make a decision or take an action.” — Sandip Roy, Happiness India Project
- “Whether the start and finish lines seem miles apart, or you’re in the middle and struggling to continue, it’s easy to stall in thinking mode.” — Aytekin Tank
“Understand that strong feelings shape thoughts. Relaxing and lifting one’s feelings and emotional reactions can help control one’s thoughts.” — Jeffrey Huttman
- “Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.” – Tony Robbins
“How you see the world is shaped by your life experiences, values, and assumptions. Imagining things from a different point of view can help you work through some of the noise.” — Cindy Lamothe
- “Helping others puts your issues in order by reminding you that we all go through tough times, some much more than you ever will.” — Kulraj Singh
“Stop waiting for the perfect moment. There is never a perfect time to start a business, get married, have kids, start writing a book, or do anything else. If you start overthinking, you will never get anything done.” — Anastasia Belyh
- “You can’t use your mind to control your emotions. Instead, you need to find a way to fully connect with your emotions beyond whatever your mind is telling you about them.” — Justin Brown
“Acting is always better than doing nothing. Once you begin to act, the overwhelming feelings that are driving your overthinking into the gutter will no longer feel insurmountable.” — William Malsam
- “Stop, slow down, and be grateful for the memories you are making right now. Explore the different parts of your life that bring you joy. This can… lead to less rumination.” — Morgan Cutolo
“Don’t linger on “what if I did this differently”. Take note of what you can do better next time, put that list somewhere you can access it for future meetings, and move on.” — Isla Honey
- “Sometimes your internal weather is going to feel grey and overcast, especially if you are caught up in ruminative thoughts. Rainy weather can only last as long as the pattern of weather sustains it. Once the pattern disappears so will the rain.” — Jason W. B. Liem
“The best way to stop overthinking is to see it before it happens.” — Emma Kopplin
- “There’s probably one big thing you need to decide in order to move ahead on any project—and, more often than not, once you make that call, the little ones become much easier.” — Nell Wulfhart
- “Turning to wine or ice cream may briefly quiet these thoughts. But in the end, they’re only temporary fixes. The overthinking returns, and now you may have added the complications that accompany an eating disorder.” — Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
“And then pull the trigger. Step off the plank. You cut through all the doubts and fears and hand-wringing that are holding you back and just dive in.” — Leo Babauta
- “You’re bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified. But let me assure you of this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan, delay, and revise all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start.” — James Clear
- “Of course, if you could simply will yourself to stop thinking certain thoughts, shout “STOP”, snap a rubber band, trigger a shock, then you wouldn’t be here. There’s no easy “off” switch for obsessive thinking. Saying “stop” is the most intuitive response to obsessive thinking. But psychologists have discovered that the attempt to block some thoughts from awareness leads to an equal and opposite reaction in which the very thoughts you’re trying to suppress come swinging back with a vengeance. Telling yourself to stop thinking obsessively is like pushing a beach ball under the water. The harder you press, the higher it pops, when you can no longer hold onto it.” — Bruce Hubbard
“So rumination clearly sucks. It is associated with depression, worry, anxiety, neuroticism, and other personal issues. It may also lead to biases in memory and problem-solving.” — Matthew Coxon
- “Expressive writing, also known as written emotional disclosure, is the act of expressing ourselves through writing. This can be a very effective way of processing your thoughts, and can help us in finding ways to overcome those thoughts.” — Dennis Relojo-Howell
“Overthinking isn’t a switch you turn on and off. As with any skill, managing your overthinking is a lifelong practice, a muscle that… you develop and flex over time.” — Rachel Simmons
- “Overthinking… sustains or worsens sadness, fosters negatively biased thinking, impairs a person’s ability to solve problems, saps motivation, and interferes with concentration and initiative. Moreover, although people have a strong sense that they are gaining insight into themselves and their problems during their ruminations, this is rarely the case. What they do gain is a distorted, pessimistic perspective on their lives.” — Sonja Lyubomirsky (The How of Happiness)
“One tip that I’ve learned that did more than detox my mind from overthinking is to turn my often worrisome thoughts about the future into effort and work.” — Bob Miglani
- “Give yourself a break. Distract yourself with something fun that can lift your mood. It may seem like sticking a band-aid on a broken arm, but finding some distance between yourself and your stressors, and then filling this space with activities you already know will make you feel better, has been shown to create greater levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.” — Elizabeth Scott
“Despite all the problems overthinkers encounter, they have some of the best qualities in the world. They are talented, original, and unique.” — Maria Hakki
- “When you’re completely immersed in your own problems…, pretend you’re listening to a friend’s troubles and then giving her advice on what to do. When you act as an observer of yourself, you’re less emotional about your problems.” — Rachael Moeller Gorman
5 Funny Overthinking Quotes
- “My mind is like a bad neighborhood. I try not to go there alone.” – Anne Lamott
- “You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.” – Pat Schroeder
- “I’m an overthinker. I wait for the green light even when I’m crossing a one-way street.” – Nitya Prakash
- “Overthinking, the art of creating problems that weren’t even there.” – David Foster Wallace
- “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” – Mark Twain
5 Sad Overthinking Quotes
These quotes emphasize the sadness and hardships that often come with overthinking:
- “We think too much and feel too little.” – Charlie Chaplin
- “Overthinking, also, best known as creating problems that are never there.” – David Foster Wallace
- “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom
- “Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran
- “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard
5 Overthinking Kills Quotes
Here are five quotes emphasizing the negative impact of overthinking:
- “Overthinking kills your hopes and happiness.” – Anonymous
- “Don’t spoil a fresh day by overthinking a decayed yesterday.” – Anonymous
- “Overthinking blackens your future. Move on towards the light.” – Anonymous
- “Overthinking and trying to control everything is self-destructive.” – Anonymous
- “Overthinking is the art of reviving problems that were already dead.” – Anonymous
5 Overthinking Relationships Quotes
Here are five quotes about overthinking in a relationship:
- “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler
- “The more you overthink the less you will understand.” – Habeeb Akande
- “In a relationship, overthinking does more harm than good. Trust and communication are the foundations of a healthy partnership.” – Karen Salmansohn
- “Overthinking ruins friendships and relationships. Overthinking creates problems you never had. So, just calm down and breathe.” – Unknown
- “In relationships, it’s important to remember that sometimes the biggest problem is the one you create by overthinking things. Just let love be what it is, and don’t try to dissect it.” – Taylor Swift
5 Famous Quotes About Overthinking
These famous overthinking quotes emphasize the negative impact of excessive thinking and why to focus on staying optimistic:
- “Stop overthinking. You can’t control everything, just let it be.” – Will Smith
- “There is nothing in this world that can trouble you as much as your own thoughts.” – Lao Tzu
- “Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.” – Bruce Lee
- “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “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.” – Anthony Hopkins
Science of Overthinking
Research suggests that overthinking or rumination has a negative relationship with mental health.
An overthinker is likely to have poor mental health and high stress, are generally fatigued and sleep poorly, and suffer from headaches for unknown causes.
Check out these science-backed tips on How To Stop Overthinking?
Is overthinking a stress source?
Yes, overthinking can be a source of stress for many individuals. When you overthink, your mind tends to dwell on negative possibilities, past mistakes, or future uncertainties, which can lead to feelings of anxiety, worry, or stress. Overthinking can make it difficult to relax, sleep, or focus on the task at hand. In some cases, excessive overthinking can even contribute to the development of mental health issues such as anxiety disorders or depression.
How to love an overthinker?
To love an overthinker, you need patience and mindfulness. Look closely at their facial expressions and divert their attention away from overthinking to interesting ideas and incidences. Suggest calming activities when needed, and be the voice of reason during their “what-if” spirals. Since overthinking keeps them moored in the past, gently guide them back to the present moment with a reassuring smile, letting them know you’re there for them.
What are the 5 facts about overthinking?
1. Overthinking mostly involves negative thinking and past events.
2. Overthinking keeps you stressed, reducing your capacity to feel happy.
3. An overthinking brain is highly active but inefficient, unorganized, and unimaginative.
4. Overthinking undermines your decision-making, problem-solving, and self-confidence.
5. Overthinking does not let you redo the past but makes it hard to handle the present challenges.
Compiling this collection of Stop Overthinking quotes was an arduous task, albeit a joyful one. We enjoyed every bit of working on it.
Finally, we are grateful to all the authors for crafting these quotes on overthinking.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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