Imagine your mind being trapped in a cage with the same thoughts buzzing inside for hours on end. That’s how life is for an overthinker. Overthinkers might be creative and they might even have an entrepreneurial personality, but hey, who wants to be at the mercy of his thoughts all the time? It can be excruciating to be unable to stop criticizing yourself and to be unable to control your brain from going in various different directions – all negative.

While thinking is good; too many people have stopped doing that entirely, too much of anything is plain awful. It’s crucial to take steps and learn to think in moderation. Too much of think-tank time can be harmful, not only when one only counts his shortcomings but also when he only sees the good in himself. But in order to combat this evil, one first needs to know whether of not he is an overthinker.

To make things easy for you, here are some signs you are an overthinker. Perhaps knowing it would help you control your demon of a brain.

You overanalyze everything

So do you find yourself taking hints when no one is even giving them? Do you tend to scrutinize each detail in someone’s facial expression or text, or just attitude in general? This is a prominent sign that you are over-pressuring your brain and also setting yourself up for trouble. You might be overanalyzing situations and imagining all the worst outcomes in order to be prepared for each.

You need to stop and give your mind a break. Here’s a simple trick; busy yourself. The busier you are, the less time thoughts will spend in your mind.

You are bad at decision making

If taking decisions is like a mission for you because of all the angles you have to think an aspect from, then you are an overthinker. It’s always a good idea to look at a matter from all ends before coming to a final conclusion but creating angles that don’t even exist and entertaining them; that’s a problem. Overthinkers tend to read too much into things and mess things up.

They either imagine things too perfectly or they think of them too negatively. Consequently, their decision is based on their own made-up concepts rather than on facts. A better idea? Drop the topic and think about it the next day with a fresher, less overworking mind.

You are harsh to yourself

Because overthinkers are generally constantly second-guessing their moves, they are often insensitive to themselves. The think of all the other ways they could have handled a situation and beat themselves up for acting the way they did. They are constantly anxious and when they make a mistake, they are so even more.

They try to approach the matter from a better route, but they are unable to pick out the best one because their mind has already put forward a hundred more ways things can be done. So obviously, it’s difficult to choose. As a remedy, try to be nice to yourself and stop with the self-berating.

You can’t let go of things

You hold on to things, to people, to their reactions, and are unable to maintain a stable mood because of that. For instance, if you have a small argument with someone, you would keep playing it over and over in your mind rather than just letting it go and moving on. Because of this habit of yours, you might also be unable to forget bad moments and allow amendments.

So what can you do to encourage yourself to let go of matters and just be happy? It’s simple. Have a deep conversation with yourself. Immediately distract your mind by doing something you like so that your brain doesn’t have a chance to hold on to that rope.

You have trouble sleeping

Are your unable to sleep and have been facing insomnia more and more regularly? Is it because you took a nap in the afternoon or is it that you can’t sleep despite being sleepy and tired? Are you busy contemplating stuff rather than trying to sleep? Research shows that sleeplessness can have an adverse impact on the health of individuals.

This is why you must ensure that you rest well. You can try drawing or doing other calming activities before heading to bed. Try to turn the brightness of your room’s light down prior to sleeping. Also, keep that phone away, it might give you something to think about.

You don’t live in the present

Another vice of overthinking? It keeps you thinking about the past or the future. Worries of how the past could have been or how everything was can cloud your brain. Similarly, thinking too much about the future to the extent of fearing it, is also equally bad. Overthinkers are hardly ever present in the moment because their brain is preoccupied.

What if’s make one anxious, and they are a part of both; thoughts of the future and memories of the past. This anxiety keeps one from moving on and living. Overall, it can be paralyzing. A better option is to try and enjoy the moment by doing things that you enjoy enough to distract your mind.

Dr. Sanam Hafeez, PsyD explains overthinking calling it a disconnection from one’s inner voice. She says, “Overthinking holds us back when ‘paralysis by analysis’ sets in. This causes people to remain stuck at jobs, in unfulfilling relationships, and in negative loops of sabotaging self-talk.”