Overthinking is repeatedly thinking about the events from your past, not the future. When you think excessively about future events, it is worrying.
If you are always running the same thoughts about your past mistakes and conversations, trying to find hidden meanings in each sentence you ever heard, it exhausts your brain. A brain that overthinks is highly active but does not reach a solution or take positive action.
Overthinking creates feelings of stress, anxiety, hopelessness, and helplessness. It can wreck your decision-making, problem-solving, and self-confidence. By overthinking, you cannot control the past but make it hard to handle the present challenges. And then it can hold you back from living a happy and fulfilling life.
So, if you dwell too much on your past, over-analyzing things people said or did, these 80 quotes here will give you a fair idea about what happens when you become a victim of overthinking and how to get over this toxic habit.
This hand-picked collection of overthinking quotes comes from all over the internet. We selected each based on its merit after going through hundreds of posts on the subject. We hope you carry with you some of these mantras on overthinking.
80 Spectacular Quotes 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 in 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.” — HIP
“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
“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
Do you know the person who has written the maximum number of quotes in human history? You probably do not. Because no one does! Actually, the credit for writing the most quotes goes to the persons collectively known as 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
“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
“Our brains are complicated mechanisms, and overthinking is a natural outcome of it. There is nothing wrong with overthinking a bit, but continued fixating on any kind of thought is unhealthy.” — 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
“Ruminating… can halt someone from progressing and moving forward.” — Power of Positivity
“The brain is tricky. To stop thinking about something, you have to think about not thinking about it in an attempt to think about something else. It is despairing.” — Regina-Lee Dowden
“You spend too much time in the negative zone of thinking, that it becomes like your comfort zone.” — Saloni SinghWhen you overthink, you spend so much time thinking negatively that your negative zone turns into your comfort zone. Click To Tweet
“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
“You can be indifferent to each thought that you become aware of, it helps to give the thoughts less energy to sprout.” — Lachlan Brown
“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
“We live in an era of hyper-connectivity, full of information, communication, notifications, stimulation. You can’t just decide when you want to turn your brain off and go to sleep.” — Unknown
“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.” — Sarah Fader
“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 reach any decision or take any action.” — HIP
“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, to get married, to have kids, to start writing a book, or to do anything else. If you start overthinking, you will never get anything done.” — Anastasia
“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
“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 that 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
“There’s no off switch for rumination. Simply telling yourself to stop is like pushing a beach ball under the water. The harder you push, the farther it will pop up.” — 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
Video: Best Quotes On Overthinking
Compiling this collection of overthinking maxims was an arduous task, albeit a joyful one. We enjoyed every bit of working on it. Finally, we are grateful to all the quote authors for crafting such brilliant, insightful phrases on overthinking.
[For some surprisingly helpful science-backed tips on overthinking, catch this post: How To Stop Overthinking?]
Thank you, dear reader, for dropping by. If you liked this, we are sure you may also like our viral post on positive psychology quotes (click/tap the pic below):
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — a medical doctor, psychology writer, happiness researcher. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related medical topics.
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