How Overthinking Affects Your Life (and 6 Ways To Stop)

Ways Overthinking Affects Your Life

Overthinking never feels good, nor does it actually help you in any way. Here’s how overthinking affects your life.
“A mind too active is no mind at all.” -Theodore Roethke

Although overthinking is something many of us (hello! me) do, it’s important to be aware of the negative impact it can have on our lives that can get swept under the rug and normalized. Overthinking can feel like torture and, if chronic, can greatly chip away at the quality of our lives. It can numb out joy and make us feel incredibly alone. It can create strain in our relationships or even cause them to destruct depending on the degree of our overthinking and assuming ways.

What I’m going to do in this post is offer some insight and perspectives to help you become more aware of your over-analyzing ways so you can ditch these destructive thinking habits and work toward becoming more present. 

I specifically use the word “present” because “being present’ is on the opposite spectrum of overthinking. When we’re “in our heads” (overthinking) we’re absolutely not present. One main tool to combat overthinking is to find ways that help us to BE in the moment. This post is for you to discover and create ways to do just that.

Related: Cultivate Presence: How To Practice Being Present In Your Life

4 Symptoms Of Overthinking: How overthinking affects you

1. You Feel Less Joy

When you’re overthinking you’re not in the present moment. This is based on the mere fact that you can’t be in two places at once. If you find yourself consistently forgetful about details of your environment and the people in it, chances are that you’re preoccupied with the world going on in your mind.

If your goal is to be happy what I can tell you with 100% confidence is that you will not find happiness by overthinking. On the contrary, a racing mind repels happiness.

Here’s what else is important for you to know. Overthinking is a bad habit and habits can be changed. I know several people who I’ve worked with that believed that there was nothing that they could do about their overthinking because it “is just the way they are” 

Not true, my friend. 

You are not your overthinking. It’s not in control of you. (Unless you allow it to be.) It’s actually the opposite: Overthinking is a habit that you can get a handle on and as you do your life will change for the better.

How Overthinking Affects Your Life (and 6 Ways To Stop)

2. Your Relationships Are Feeling Disconnected

Have you ever spent time with someone who was clearly not present? Fun, right? Kidding. 

It can be incredibly frustrating to be with someone who is truly not with you because they’re caught in the intricacies of their mind. 

When you’re out and about in life and spending time within your relationships, but not really “there,” the level of connection, presence, bonding, authenticity, and overall joy is compromised. 

A healthy relationship requires two people to show up fully in order to play and engage with each other. This is merely impossible when one party (or both) is not present. 

I understand that we’re not perfect beings and sometimes we might have a day when our mind is in LA LA land (normal.) However, if “checked out” becomes a consistent state, there’s more to look at here. Your relationships will be at stake if just fragments of you continue to show up within your connections.

Related: Discover Your True Authentic Self

3. You Chronically Feel Exhausted

It takes a lot of mental energy to overthink. Over time one of the main side effects of chronic overthinking is physical exhaustion. If you feel constantly exhausted without any sort of explanation as to why, it could be your racing mind that’s leading you to feel so drained.

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Kim Egel

Kim has been a licensed Marriage Family Therapist for over 10 years (in the field for almost 20). Her private practice is based on the principles of authentic truth and overall wellness. She received her BA degree in Human Development from UC San Diego and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. As a former semi-professional track and field athlete, Kim recognizes and brings the concepts of the mind, body, and spirit connection into her client sessions. She continues to train and explore many different physical activities that keep her own mind/body connection strong. Kim’s involvement within her own creative endeavors adds to her offerings as a therapist and educator to personal wellness. Through her education, clinical experience, and personal endeavors Kim has created her unique and intuitive approach to therapy, which benefits and guides her clients' personal growth.View Author posts