80 Practical Overthinking Quotes (To Help You Stop It)

Overthinking is excessive thinking about past events. Worrying, on the other hand, is excessive thinking about future events.

Overthinking creates feelings of stress, anxiety, hopelessness, and helplessness.

Overthinking exhausts your brain by replaying scenes from your past, searching for subtexts and mistakes.

So, if you overthink things people say or do, these 80+ quotes will help you see what’s happening underneath and how to break this toxic habit.

We compiled these quotes after reading 300+ posts on overthinking. Take some of these mantras with you to help you stop overthinking.

5 Facts on Overthinking

  1. Overthinking mostly involves negative thinking.
  2. Overthinking holds you back from living a happy and fulfilling life.
  3. It can wreck your decision-making, problem-solving, and self-confidence.
  4. A brain that overthinks is highly active but does not reach a solution or take positive action.
  5. By overthinking, you cannot control the past but make it hard to handle the present challenges.
best overthinking quotes

80 Spectacular Overthinking Quotes (To Help You Stop It)

  • “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
overthinking makes you unhappy
  • “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
4 Dangerous Effects Of Overthinking (animated)
  • “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
Buddha Quote To Stop Overthinking
  • “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

Do you know who has authored the maximum quotes in human history? Most likely, you don’t. No one does. Actually, the credit for writing the most number of quotes goes to Anonymous or Anon.

  • “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
Overthinking quote by Amy Morin

“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
Overthinking quote by Ryan Howes

“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 quote by Dinsa Sachan

“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
Overthinking quote by Remez Sasson

“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
Overthinking quote by Oppong

“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
Overthinking quote by by Positivity

“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

  • “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
Overthinking quote by Saloni Singh

“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
Overthinking quote by Fellizar

“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
Overthinking quote by Lafatia
  • “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
Tackling Anxiety & Worry
Tackling Anxiety – Emmy Brunner

“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

Overthinking quote by Dan Matthews

“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
Overthinking quote by Sarah Fader

“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
Overthinking quote by Sandip Roy

“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
Overthinking quote by Jeffrey Huttman

“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
Overthinking quote by Lamothe

“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
Overthinking quote by Anastasia

“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
Overthinking quote by William Malsam

“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

Overthinking quote by Isla Honey

“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
Overthinking quote by Emma Kapplin

“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
Overthinking quote by Dalai Lama

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.” — Dalai Lama

  • “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
Overthinking quote by Leo Babauta

“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
Overthinking quote by Matthew Coxon

“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 quote by Rachel Simmons

“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)
Overthinking quote by Bob Miglani

“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
Overthinking quote by Maria Hakki

“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

Video: Best Quotes On Overthinking

Overthinking Quotes
Video: Overthinking Quotes

Science of Overthinking

Research suggests that overthinking or rumination has a negative relationship with mental health and is a predictor of poor mental health.

It increases stress, reduces problem-solving abilities, disrupts sleep, and causes fatigue and headaches.h

Practicing mindfulness, challenging negative thoughts, and distracting oneself are some helpful ways to control it.

Check out these science-backed tips on How To Stop Overthinking?

Overthinking is one of the biggest causes of unhappiness.

Final Words

Compiling this collection of 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 famous quotes about 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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