Are you an overthinker? Well, you’re not alone. According to human behavior expert and executive coach Melody Wilding, this is a common trait for high-achieving and highly sensitive people. The phenomenon doesn’t favor only men, women or certain professions but anyone who tends to get stuck in their head. It’s mental health awareness month, so we want to help you spot the signs of overthinking and give you tools to overcome them.
3 signs you’re an overthinker
- Over-editing. Do you ever get an email that takes you 30 seconds to read, but you stare at it for five minutes, ten minutes or even a half-hour before hitting “Send” on a reply? You may be an overthinker! People in this group tend to edit and analyze their responses to everyday emails way past what’s necessary, which can cause even more anxiety than they started with.
- Over-analyzing. When your employer gives you feedback or a co-worker makes an off-hand comment about you, do you think about it for the rest of your day? Overthinkers do! They even stay up at night, sometimes analyzing and reviewing a note from their boss. And we all know a lack of sleep can influence performance the next day.
- Over-considering. Do you take so long to make a decision that you end up not deciding at all? Weighing and considering your options so often that you end up paralyzed by indecision is another indicator that you may be an overthinker.
How to break the habit
Thankfully, Wilding won’t leave you hanging if you do suffer from overthinking and analysis paralysis. She recommends using her quick tool: the 10-10-10 method. Wilding explains that when you notice yourself overthinking, ask yourself: “Is this going to matter 10 weeks, 10 months, or 10 years from now?” Because many times we are making a bigger deal of something that is not going to be consequential or even make a difference in that timeframe. Overthinking can easily lead to burnout, which is bad for your mental, physical and financial health.
For more tips on overcoming anxiety, check this out.