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We’ve been told it’s always a good idea to think about our problems, but what if you can’t stop?
This common problem when people overthink.
Overthinking can feel like a treadmill that you can’t get off, our minds can be like a carnival, fun and full of wonder.
But what if you were trapped in a carnival and couldn’t get out?
This is what overthinking can be like. It can make you live in your head and negatively affect your entire life.
Understanding your own mental habits is the way forward to breaking a loop of overthinking, which will get you out of your head and into the real world. If you’re feeling trapped and powerless by analysis paralysis, or trying to think your way out of a situation and hitting brick walls then these overthinking quotes will help you greatly.
However, before we get started on those, we’ll dive deeply into overthinking, and learn how it keeps us trapped.
What You Will Learn
Overthinking comes in many names, one such common term is called rumination. Rumination comes from the word ruminant, which also means an animal that must repeatedly pass up its own food, chew it some more, and repeat this process over and over.
This is almost exactly similar to what’s going on in your mind, you're repeatedly chewing on the same problem, or perhaps unconsciously forcing yourself to relive painful past mistakes. Overthinking is a complex topic to deal with because human evolution has gifted us with powerful minds.
It’s hard to simply stop or switch off a thinking mind, our memory and imagination are powerful, and as humans, we are often deeply intertwined with our own thoughts. If you’ve ever suffered from overthinking know that you are not alone, we humans have suffered our own minds for millennia, but that means we have collectively generated numerous pages of wisdom.
We can’t simply stop our thoughts or switch off compulsive thought patterns, but awareness alone can be transformative. When you understand what’s going on in your mind, you become more conscious, over time this means you live less in your head and gain freedom from looping overthinking.
These quotes can help you develop that awareness, it’s our mission to help you with whatever physiological obstacles are holding you back. Reading through these quotes will give you some perspective on how humanity struggles with overcoming overthinking and give you the motivation you need to break this cycle of behavior.
Now, onto the quotes.
- “To think too much is a disease.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- “Don't get too deep, it leads to over thinking, and over thinking leads to problems that doesn't even exist in the first place.” – Jayson Engay
- “Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn
- “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” – Mark Twain
- “Stop overthinking everything. Just let it be. Relax and go with the flow more. Worry less. And don’t take life so seriously… live a little!” – Mandy Hale
- “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
- “Overthinking ruins you. It ruins the situation. And it twists things around. It makes you worry. Plus it just makes everything worst than it actually is.” – Karen Salmanso
- “I get anxious about everything. I just can’t stop thinking about things all the time. And here’s the really destructive part — it’s always retrospective. I waste time thinking of what I should have said or done.” – Hugh Laurie
- “We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.” – Anthony Hopkins
- “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein
- “The more you overthink the less you will understand.” – Habeeb Akande
- “I think and think and think, I‘ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.” – Jonathan Safran Foer.
- “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare
- “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- “The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.” – Bethany Brookbank
- “Stop worrying about what tomorrow may bring. Focus on what you can control. Stay positive. Enjoy today. Expect good things to come.” – Karen Salmansohn
- ”Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.” – Brian Tracy
- “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.” – Van Wilder
- “While you were overthinking, you missed everything worth feeling.” – Nitya Prakash
- “Don’t overthink, just do it.” – Shia LaBeouf
- “In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” – Lao Tzu
- “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
- “Overthinking, also best known as creating problems that are never there.” – David Sikhosana
- “If you want to conquer overthinking, bring your mind to the present moment and reconnect it with the immediate world.” – Amit Ray
- “My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.” – Sylvia Plath
- “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.” – Randy Armstrong
- “The more you rationalize, the more you move farther away from your authentic self.” – Shannon L. Alder
- “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.”– Dean Smith
- “My father taught me not to overthink things, that nothing will ever be perfect, so just keep moving and do your best.” – Scott Eastwood
- “Only about two percent of one percent of our thoughts deserve to be taken seriously.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
- “Majority of people who are easily stressed are the ones who think too much about the problems instead of solutions. Always focus on solutions.” – Subodh Gupt
- “Put your thoughts to sleep. Do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.” – Rumi
- “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.” – Buddha
- “Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone
- “Remember, the talking about the thing isn't the thing. Doing the thing is the thing.” – Amy Poehler
- “Worrying about how things might go wrong, doesn’t help things to go right.” – Karen Salmansohn
- “You know, it is a little known fact that thinking is entirely overrated. The world would be a much better place if we all did a lot less of it.” – Laurie Viera Rigler
- When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” – Winston Churchill
- “I have realized sometimes I do better working under a crazy schedule. It gives me less time to overthink things and forces me to be present.” – Torrey DeVitto
- “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
- “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- “The more I think about it, the more I realize that overthinking isn't the real problem. The real problem is that we don't trust.” – L.J. Vanier
- “Overthinking is parasitic. It’s viral. It’s deadly, even.” – Genereux Philip
- “Most of us never stop to consider our blessings; rather, we spend the day only thinking about our problems. But since you have to be alive to have problems, be grateful for the opportunity to have them.” – Bernie Siegel
- “I’m not thinking about anything when I’m climbing, which is part of the appeal. I’m focused on executing what’s in front of me.” – Alex Honnold
- “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill
- “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
- “Overthinking is often a product of underdoing.” – Yehuda Berg
- “You only have control over three things in your life, the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.” – Jack Canfield
- “If my mind is busy thinking about things like how someone hurt or upset me and how I can protect myself or get back at them, I’m too busy in my head to enjoy the present moment.” – Ankush Jain
- “A great many worries can be diminished by realizing the unimportance of the matter which is causing anxiety.” – Bertrand Russell
- “Nothing happens by overthinking; then why stress? Is it too hard to sit down and relax?” – Sukant Ratnakar
- “Trust the still, small voice that says, “this might work and I'll try it.” – Diane Mariechild
- “Life stops when one stops dreaming for better because of overwhelming pressure of fear that arises from his overthinking..” – Srinivas Mishra
- “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “Soon you will be dead and none of it will matter” – Marcus Aurelius
- “If you get stuck, draw with a different pen. Change your tools; it may free your thinking.” – Paul Arden
- “Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we’re thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don’t show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, he does his work, he keeps on truckin’, no matter what.” – Steven Pressfield
Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we’re thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don’t show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, he does his work, he keeps on truckin’, no matter what.” – Steven Pressfield
- “Thinking has, many a time, made me sad, darling; but doing never did in all my life… Do good if you can; but, at any rate, do something.” – Elizabeth Gaskell
- “Stop thinking, and end your problems.” – Lao Tzu
- “Nothing in life is more remarkable than the unnecessary anxiety which we endure, and generally create ourselves.” – Benjamin Disraeli.
- “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
- “Now is definitely the best time to start, though Yesterday would have beaten it easily.” – Kalpesh Jain
- “Overthinking is a dream-killer. Sometimes you can drown yourself in your own thoughts.” – Steve Maraboli
- “Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.” – Epictetus.
- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
- “A mistake in judgment isn't fatal, but too much anxiety about judgment is.” – Pauline Kael
- “Worry is the triumph of fear.” – Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel
- “Thinking too deeply will only drown me.” – Greta Farrel
- “No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.” – Alan Watts.
- “Try not to give the driving seat of your mind to anyone. People are happy to drive you to regrets.” – Vineet Raj Kapoor
- “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.” – William R. Inge
- “To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces. The sea air, sunshine, and patience, Watson—all else will come.” – Arthur Conan Doyle
- “Overthinking uses energy and leads to activity with no action. That is one particular problem many will face. Questology is the answer to cure this cancer.” – Thomas Vato
- “It has been well said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon
- “The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornados in order to blow out a match.” – Shaun Hick
- “Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran
- “Nothing in the world can bother you as much as your own mind, I tell you. In fact, others seem to be bothering you, but it is not other, it is your own mind.” – Sri Ravi Shankar
- “Overthinking will not empower you over things that are beyond your control. So, let it be if it is meant to be and cherish the moment.” – Mahsati A.
- “If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.” – Dalai Lama
- “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
- “What do do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith
- “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James
- “He never complicates a desire by overthinking it, unlike Mirabelle, who spins a cocoon around an idea until it is immobile.” – Steve Martin
- “I have to remind myself, stop thinking about the future. Stop thinking about what happened at work today, or another choice you could have made.” – Anna Gunn
- “The greatest force is derived from the power of thought. The finer the element, the more powerful it is. The silent power of thought influences people even at a distance, because mind is one as well as many. The universe is a cobweb; minds are spiders.” – Swami Vivekananda
- “Don’t keep things bottled up. It’s not good for you.” – Kody Keplinger
- “The closer one comes to truth, the further one gets from mind.” – James Pierce
- “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius.
- “Concentration is a cornerstone of mindfulness practice. Your mindfulness will only be as robust as the capacity of your mind to be calm and stable.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
- “If you want power, control the narrative in other people’s head. If you seek happiness, control the narrative in your own head.” – Johnny Uzan.
- “Step outside for a while – calm your mind. It is better to hug a tree than to bang your head against a wall continually.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
- “Life is God's novel. Let him write it.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
- “Keep your ears open and listen to the whispers of the universe, it will direct you towards the right direction.” – Hina Hashmi
- “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchil
- “Clinging to old ways and fighting change is not the answer.” -Michael Rapino
Chronic, habitual overthinking can sap the joy out of your life, but if you’re struggling with this then now you are not alone. As these overthinking quotes show, even the greatest minds fall prey to worry, and rumination.
In the meantime, reading through these quotes can help you in your own journey. Sometimes certain things resonate with you more than others. Once you understand and are clued into your own thought patterns, breaking them becomes so much easier.
In the meantime, you can use these 60 affirmations to stop overthinking about everything to start getting you centered and on the path to a happier, healthier life.
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.
Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.