Psychologist reveals 9 signs you may be an overthinker

Are YOU an overthinker? Psychologist reveals the 9 key signs – from getting anxious when you can’t read someone’s feelings to vividly replaying embarrassing moments

  • Dr. Lalitaa Suglani is a Chartered Psychologist based in Birmingham
  • She creates content about mental health topics for her following on Instagram
  • In a recent post, she discussed how overthinking can impact mental health
  • Revealed 9 signs you may be an overthinker – like fixating on perceived mistakes

A psychologist has revealed nine signs you may be an overthinker – from second guessing your decisions to vividly remembering embarrassing moments and criticising yourself over them.

Dr Lalitaa Suglani, a chartered psychologist based in Birmingham, shared the information in a post on Instagram, where she has some 80,000 followers.

In the post, she discussed why overthinking can have such a negative impact on your mental health.

According to Dr Lalitaa, everyone gets ‘too deep in [their] head about things’, and it is ‘completely normal’ to overthink things sometimes.

Overthinking is ‘completely normal’ according to chartered psychologist Dr Lalitaa Suglani (not pictured) but when it impacts daily life, it is good to try and manage it (stock image)

 ‘We all get too deep in our head about things, and we’ve all found ourselves stuck in the never-ending spiral of “what-ifs” that come and go with life,’ she explained.  

Dr Lalitaa Suglani’s 9 signs you are an overthinker

1. You want to ‘read’ people and feel stressed/anxious when you cannot work out their feelings.

2. You second guess your decisions so will ask several people for advice, direction, or guidance.

3. You want to get to the root cause of why someone said what they did.

4. Blunt replies make you question why someone is upset with you.

5. You vividly remember embarrassing moments and criticise yourself for them for a long time afterwards.

6. You plan out conversations in your head and think about different ways the conversation can go.

7. You fixate on things you can’t control, change, or improve.

8. You imagine the worst case scenario or outcome.

9. You second guess decisions you’ve made and replay your perceived mistakes in your mind.

‘We are all human and there will be times where we overthink things which is completely normal.’ 

But, she noted, when overthinking impacts on your daily life and impacts your mental health, it is ‘useful to understand and develop strategies to manage it’. 

Dr Lalitaa wrote: ‘Overthinking can affect how you experience and engage with the world around you, preventing you from making important decisions, keeping you from enjoying the present moment and draining you of the energy you need to handle daily stressors.’

The psychologist listed some of the questions people may ruminate on when they are overthinking, for example, ‘what if they don’t like me? What if this change makes things worse?’

Explaining how this can affect people, she added: ‘[It] can cause so much distress and anxiety and prevent you from making decisions and choices that aid your growth. It doesn’t have to be that way.’ 

Among her nine signs you may be an overthinker are wanting to read people and being stressed out when you can’t, second guessing your decisions, and asking multiple people for their advice, and wanting to get to the root cause of why someone said what they did.

She also listed questioning why someone is upset with you when they reply to you bluntly, vividly remembering embarrassing moments and criticising yourself for a long time after they happened, and planning out conversations in your head and think about different ways the conversation can go.

Her last three signs were fixating on things you can’t control, change, or improve, imagining the worst case scenario or outcome, and second guessing decisions and replaying your perceived mistakes in your mind

Multiple commentators took to the post to reveal that they recognise these signs in their own behaviour.

A number of Instagram users took to the post 

One Instagram user wrote: ‘Definitely me!! Over thinking is as tiring and stressful as a full time job, without the salary! It gets me down.’

Meanwhile, another revealed: ‘I can relate to at least 8 of these. It’s the worst feeling being like this.’

A further commenter said: ‘[I do]  all of them especially 4. I send elaborate texts and explain my explanations lol.’ 

Dr Lalitaa added that there are strategies people can implement to help when it comes to overthinking, which she will share in further posts.

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