Have you ever been accused of over-analyzing or overthinking something? If so, this is for you. Generally, thinking is a great and often neglected activity. Clearly, some people don’t do it enough, while others overdo it. Today we’re going to chat about how men and women alike do it too much.

Picture this: The person you recently started dating sends you a text, looks at you a certain way, touches your hand, or does something else innocuous. What does it mean and what do you do about it? For some people, this means we dissect the entire situation: repeat what they said, their tone, body language, or in text messaging cases, reread the message over and over again to try and pull some sort of meaning out of it. We all do it. We think way too long about signals and read into what they may mean, although most times, there wasn’t to even analyze. Some people think themselves into stagnation, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety and even illness. They have the ability to make the simple, difficult, the easy, complex, the minor issue, a major drama and the pain-less, pain-full. They waste their time and others by getting stuck in analysis paralysis.

If you’re an over-analyzer you may have been accused of nitpicking what others say or just being too much for others to deal with. It may be challenging for you to curb your ideas about situations and effectively identify the “real” meaning behind words when you see so many possibilities. Your best bet is to just go with the flow of things and not put too much emphasis on any one thing someone says.

One of the first natural reactions we have to anything new or different is fear. This is because our human brains are made to keep us safe and away from anything that may put us in danger even if the danger isn’t real, it’s just our perception.

To help you with this we’ve put together a few tips.

1. Stop waiting for perfection (perfect timing, perfect conditions) before you do what you know you should have done long ago. Being ambitious is great but aiming for perfection is unrealistic, impractical and debilitating. Aim for constant improvement and consciously and methodically work towards positive change where you need it most.

2. Give yourself a time limit on how long you will think through something. It will vary depending on the situation, but will give you limits on how long you will procrastinate. Sometimes inaction is action, but if you’ve found yourself facing the same problem over and over again and you see a possible solution, then you must act. Doing nothing will just keep you in the predicament for too long.

3. Identify when something is scaring you and look at it as a challenge. Every day do something that will help you be closer to your goals especially if it scares you. Be proactive! Don’t let fear hijack your potential or run your life (into the ground).

4. Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen. Is it worse than your current situation and where you’d be in a year from now if your situation hasn’t changed? It may be better to act now, then to live regretting not having acted at all. At least you will know you tried your best.

5. Ask someone you trust for help. Find someone who will tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear.

6. Stop trying to continuously justify, explain, and rationalize what you’re doing or not doing. Being honest with yourself and asking yourself questions to get to the core of how your feeling can help you to clarify your thoughts.

7. Keep a list of decisions you made in the past. This will allow you to keep track of things and is a great way to allow you to really learn from your past.

Over-analysis is a method we all use in the search for solutions to tough problems. Shredding a much larger situation into smaller, easier-to-deal-with pieces, analysis allows us to get a better hold on something seemingly too big for just us. With every rip and tear we find more issues to dissect which leads us down a path of stress and indecision. I hope these tips help you too. What other questions do you have that I can answer for you in a video? Leave them in the comments below.