It’s the thing that you do right before an important meeting or after a first date. It’s also what you do in the shower. And it’s what’s stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep. That’s right, it’s overthinking! (Actually, should we write it as Overthinking? Or OVERTHINKING? Because it’s a really big problem, affecting not only yours truly, but millions of people across the globe. Oh, God, it’s going to be our downfall, isn’t it?! [Overthinks about overthinking.])

People on the internet are sharing witty but truthful posts related to overthinking and we’ve collected some of the very best. So scroll down to give your grey matter a bit of exercise and upvote the pics that you can relate to. We’d also love to hear all about your experiences with overthinking and how you keep it under control, so drop us a line or two in the comments below. Bored Panda reached out to Suzanne Degges-White, professor and chair in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University, to talk about overthinking. Scroll down for our full interview with the professor.

If you love thinking about overthinking, then when you’re done enjoying this awesome list, check out Bored Panda’s earlier articles about overthinking right here and here.

#1

Overthink-Jokes-Posts

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ZANDA
Community Member
3 days ago

I never had the courage to admit that in class.

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#2

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Jo Choto
Community Member
3 days ago

I can't bear it when people watch me do stuff.

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#3

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Hans
Community Member
3 days ago

Rinse and repeat every few hours.

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According to professor Degges-White, "Most humans do tend to ruminate on the negative things in life. In fact, one research study indicated that we’d need to hear '5 good things' about ourselves to undo the emotional hold from a single 'negative thing' that happened.

"It’s called the negative bias effect," she added.

"Part of this comes from anxiety related to avoiding making the same mistake in the future, but the more we concentrate on the past error, the more ‘familiar' the error becomes and the more likely we might be to repeat it. Our brain goes where we train it to go."

#4

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Hans
Community Member
3 days ago

I thought everyone would get weird gut feelings when thinking of major mishaps from when you were six years old...

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#5

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Jacqueline Arana
Community Member
3 days ago

Every time especially after working retail and finding out they are always watching you as a thief 😬

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#6

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ZANDA
Community Member
3 days ago

I thought everyone secretly did this.

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Bored Panda wanted to know if overthinking things can lead to passiveness and inactivity, as well as if there's anything that we can do to stop it. Degges-White explained that "if you are too wrapped up in overthinking a situation you may absolutely miss an opportunity."

"When we devote all of our mental energy to going through every possible outcome of a decision, there’s a chance that we’re going to talk ourselves out of doing anything, due to the almost magnetic attraction fearful outcomes have with our brains."

"Some people are absolutely unable to make a decision, though, because they know—at some level, if not consciously—that by making a decision they have eliminated all other possible pathways. However, they might fail to realize that by _not_ making a decision, they have actually made a decision—and shut down all potential possible outcomes," the professor continued.

#7

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ispeak catanese
Community Member
3 days ago

It's Steve Carrell!

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#8

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Jo Choto
Community Member
3 days ago

I always fail those because of the leaking over the edges of the squares.

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#9

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Nerevar
Community Member
3 days ago

This isn't ovethinking... it's natural to introverts.

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"To reduce overthinking, we need to train ourselves to trust our first impressions and instincts—and commit to a decision," professor Degges-White told us. "We need to recognize that the longer we ponder, the more confused we are likely to get. Thus, we should practice making the decision that feels right and learning from the new behavior. Creating new patterns in who we approach life isn’t always easy, but we can train ourselves to do things differently with practice."

Finally, Bored Panda wanted to find out if the younger generations tend to overthink more than people in the past. The professor said that "we have a lot more time to think than other generations—when people were super involved in the physical acts required in 'making a living'—when this meant rising early, physical labor all day, and no time for luxuries such as 'creative thought,' 'rumination,' or video game playing or mindless television watching. Life didn’t give space for a lot of overthinking—life was uncertain and you had to act quickly and instinctively, in many cases."

"Overthinking is probably part product of increased leisure time, advances in cognitive complexity, and the ridiculous array of choices that life now presents us. When you had to worry about protecting crops, livestock, feeding a family, and making do with what you had, you don’t have the time worry about the trivial things that modern man has the luxury of over."

#10

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Michelle Chevalier
Community Member
3 days ago

THRICE!

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#11

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Veronika Kuderová
Community Member
3 days ago

All the time...

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#12

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Pittsburgh rare
Community Member
3 days ago

And it's even better when you just imagine a confrontation that MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT happen. Absolutely thrilling

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Now that we’re all overthinking if we tend to overthink in our daily lives, it’s time to get our hands dirty and figure out what causes it, why it’s not the most helpful of things to do, and what we can do about it.

Licensed psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Huttman told My Domaine that overthinking means “constantly analyzing and anguishing over one’s thoughts” can trap us in a loop of “mentally rehearsing” our past or present decisions and actions. Huttman explained that overthinking can be caused by self-doubt, self-esteem issues, concern, traumatic experiences, or anxiety. Overthinking wastes our time, is unhealthy, and leads to analysis paralysis.

According to the psychologist, there are a few things that we can all do in our day-to-day lives to reduce anxiety and turn overthinking into regular plain old thinking. Huttman suggests practicing mindfulness by meditating. Those of you who are skeptical of mediation should know that it increases attention and reduces depressive symptoms. So it’s always worth giving a try and seeing for yourselves.

However, there are plenty of other ways you can reduce anxiety. Regular exercise, yoga, tai-chi, even breathing exercises can have a massive impact on your mental health and wellbeing. And because we’re all different, something that works for you might not be the best fit for someone else. That’s why it’s so important to try a variety of activities and see which ones give the best results. Just try not to overthink which course of action is the most efficient. Just do it.

#13

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Veronika Kuderová
Community Member
3 days ago

Me!

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#14

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Mary Jaye
Community Member
3 days ago

My cat is not stupid but she never ever over thinks one thing. She has no trouble sleeping and she sleeps most of the day.

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#15

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C
Community Member
3 days ago

LMAO! Catastrophic

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#16

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Deku
Community Member
3 days ago

I have faint good memories but the ones I remember the most are the ones where I felt like I did something horrible but like no one actually remembers how awkward I am

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#17

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Hans
Community Member
3 days ago

It will be akward. Always

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#18

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Falcon
Community Member
3 days ago

I feel like this isn't overthinking, more a random thought. I do similar things a lot where I become curious about the most random scenarios. My co-worker gets so confused every time though.. <_<

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#19

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Sea Urchin
Community Member
3 days ago

bro I know I'm annoying and it's annoying when I apologize for it and I'm sorry for doing so and

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#20

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C
Community Member
3 days ago

God this one!!! Rather suffocate than have to cough again

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#21

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Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
3 days ago

I do this but when I'm asleep. I wake up worrying about random things.

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#22

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Rick
Community Member
3 days ago

And then your brain stops messing with you and lets you finally drift off to sleep... twenty minutes before your alarm goes off to wake you up for work.

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#23

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How Terribly Unfortunate
Community Member
3 days ago

OMG. YES!

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#24

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Rick
Community Member
3 days ago

Do you ever wonder if dogs feel like this? Like “OMG Rex, you dumb son of a bitch, I can’t believe you barked in that way when you saw Smokey at the park yesterday, it sounded so lame and now he probably thinks you suck and omg I hate my life”?

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#25

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Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
3 days ago

Someone is always in front of the cheese. Every time.

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#26

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C
Community Member
3 days ago

hahah!!! I felt that

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#27

Um, Obviously Everyone Else Is Wrong Because Overthinking Is A Darwinian Survival Trait So Yeah, I’ll See You Come The Next Purge, Unconcerned Therapist. Right Now I’m Feeling Poison Ivy. Who Wants To Hmu And Claim Harley Quinn?
.
#overthinking #overthinkindsupwrpowsr #andpoison #poisonivy #greensmycolor #overthinkingmemes

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Lily Mac Dennard
Community Member
3 days ago

uno reverse card

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#28

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ZANDA
Community Member
3 days ago

all while thinking about what the caller would say if I answered the phone

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#29

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Rick
Community Member
3 days ago

That’s just plain common sense. Answer a scam call and your number will be placed on “positive” lists, resulting in more calls from unknown numbers from these scammers.

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#30

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C
Community Member
3 days ago

I hate when people say that. Just ask!!

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#31

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Freya the Wanderer
Community Member
3 days ago

I know the feeling!

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#32

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ZANDA
Community Member
3 days ago

I rather hustle to be the first one so my belate answer doesn't become awkward

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#33

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FABULOUS1
Community Member
3 days ago

I do this not just with friends, surprised I am still happily married sometimes

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#34

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Ben Steinberg
Community Member
3 days ago

Is that woman roasting a watermelon with a propane flame-thrower?? Forget the meme, I want to know the real story behind THIS picture...

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#35

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Jacqueline Arana
Community Member
3 days ago

I speak Spanish and English, took classes in Spanish most of elementary then in 7th grade after 3 years of only English classes when my named was called for roll call I said presente. 😳

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Note: this post originally had 71 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.