The upsides of overthinking

Seeing the upside of overthinking is not meant to make light of the everyday stress of being an overthinker. It can feel as though your life is controlled by the thoughts in your head, and making even the small task feel like a burden. But there are aspects of overthinking that are beneficial, the goal is to get them to work with your life and not not against it.

Overthinkers possess many positive and useful traits, but when they overtake everything else they can end up running your life and become detrimental. The goal of this list is to help you see that the traits you have are not bad or negative, but the extent that they take over your life is.

Below are some positive aspects of overthinking.


As overthinkers we can tend to look deep into things as we work to understand them. We pick things apart and look at them from multiple angles. Whether it be analyzing a situation, information, or a person, we work on trying to figure them out. When we understand the word around us it can make us feel more comfortable. The unknown can be daunting and scary and we are constantly trying to bring order to everything we can taking in.

Overthinking gives us to the drive to continuing looking until we can make sense of what we are seeing. We get beyond the surface and try to understand the root cause of a problem or the essence of a person. Where others may get bored or give up, we analyze until we understand.

Effect on personal life
We can analyze how situations are unfolding around us and get a sense of how it will affect both others and ourselves. We want to know more about people than just the first impression, we want deep conversations and to always be learning. This allows us to form strong bonds with others based on our true selves.

Effect on work life
Because our brain is always working and processing the world around us, we are constantly working to figure things out. This can make us adept at analyzing situations to find a solution or looking deep into data and information to understand what it means and how it can be used.


To try and not be caught off guard by the unknown, we often want to plan out as much as possible. We want to think through different possible situations and be prepared for whatever may arise. We want there to be a clear path ahead so we know what to do and what we expect to happen. This means that we are doing research, asking questions, and putting a plan together.

Effect on personal life
We can be seen as reliable as we make plans and stick to them. We can also be good at communicating with others about what the plans are.

Effect on work life
Similar to our personal lives, we are seen as a reliable co-worker who plans out their work and can communicate with others what they are working on. This can mean we are good at organizing and arranging projects and meetings.

Taking in details

What can make us so good at planning and analyzing is that we are constantly taking in information from the world around us. Overthinkers can be hyperaware of their surroundings and the people they are with. This means we can take in a lot of details visually and audibly. We may remember details that others forget or don’t even see. As our brains work to make sense of the world around us we take in everything that is happening.

Effect on personal life
When someone mentions their birthday, a food they like, or a book they are interested in reading that can stick in our brain. Remembering details shows others that we care and are listening to them. Being aware of details means we pick up on social cues and are good at understanding how people are feeling and their comfort level.

Effect on work life
When we take in details at work it can mean we remember when people bring up ideas or mention projects they want to see happen. We can take in bits of information and we can see how it would come into play at a later date or how it could be incorporated into future plans.


As our brains take in details and we see things from many different angles, our creativity is fueled. We are always trying to think through situations and figure out how to solve problems, so we force ourselves to find new and unique solutions.

We may not even be aware of our creativity, because in our mind we are simply finding multiple ways to address or plan for the future. Whether we are planning a road trip, putting together a presentation, or organizing our home, we often think of numerous ways to do it before going through with it.

Effect on personal life
We can be very helpful to our friends when they are looking for solutions to problems or how to address issues that arise. We help them view different angles and side and even use the things they already have in new ways. We are use to being resourceful which means we can help others be resourceful as well.

Effect on work life
Because our brain is always working and processing we can come up with new ways to use or share information, we ask questions that others may not have thought of, and work hard to find a solution even if it isn’t immediately apparent. We like to solve problems which can mean we keep looking into things until we understand them and have a possible solution. When there isn’t an obvious path from one place to another we use our creative brain to make a path.


We are constantly thinking not just about the people and the world around us, but also ourselves and our place in the world. We tend to be more cognizant of our perceived short-comings and not so much of our strengths. But, being open to looking inward is an incredibly important and useful trait. We are only able to grow and learn when we allow ourselves to get at the heart of who we really are and what we truly want.

Many people are closed off to their innermost thoughts as it can be tough to see ourselves as we truly are. Overthinking can mean we are comfortable with being vulnerable as we are often looking inward and processing what is happening.

Effect on personal life
Being aware of ourselves means we are aware of how we can affect others. This can make us compassionate people and good listeners. We are used to taking deep dives into our thoughts and feelings and can be there for others when they need to do the same.

Effect on work life
Being self-aware can mean we can clearly see how our work intersects with others and the affect it has. We look closely at the work we do and may also look closely at the work others do so we understand how everything fits together. This mean we are able to help others see how what they are doing impacts the larger goals of the work everyone is doing.

Final thoughts

Overthinking can take over our lives, but it does not mean that the traits are not valuable or beneficial. The struggle comes with not letting them overtake our lives. We don’t want to aim to get rid of our traits, but learn to rein them in.

As important as it is to work to be self-aware and see the role that overthinking plays in your life, don’t feel you have to do it alone. The best thing you can do is talk to a therapist who can help you better understand your mind and get you where you want to go.

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