Overthinking things can be very hard on a person, keeping you from taking action. This can lead to poor work performance. You probably already know how much overthinking can stall you out and keep you from a happier and more productive life. What you might not realize is just how damaging overthinking is to your mental health.

Don’t believe it? Check out these symptoms of overthinking gone wrong that may lead to poor mental health:

You’re Believing the Lies

When you overthink, it’s relatively typical to put a particular ‘spin’ on every conversation or interaction pertaining to what you’re obsessing about. For example, if you’ve been thinking your significant other is mad at you because of how they sounded on the phone when you talked to them last, you start seeing so-called anger in every interaction you track back in your mind. Eventually, you start convincing yourself the lies are true, and nothing can tell you otherwise.

You’re Worrying More

Nothing shoves you hard into the world of anxiety and even panic attacks like overthinking something you feel is threatening somehow, either to your peace of mind or even physical safety. These kinds of stresses become damaging when you become convinced the world really is a dangerous and scary place without allowing room for opposing thoughts.

You have Trouble Concentrating

Overthinking doesn’t leave a lot of room in your brain for anything else. In fact, studies have shown that people who spend time overthinking perform poorly on other tasks requiring thought. This can even be seen on MRIs, indicating actual brain slow-down in all areas except the one you’re obsessing in. The solution? Deal with the problem you’re thinking about and move on quickly to the next thing.

You Lack Mental Energy

When overthinking has run rampant for a while, it uses up your energy resources. You find you can’t make another decision or have the energy to think about another thing.

Everything Seems Like It’s Moving Too Fast

Have you ever felt jittery, like you can’t keep up with your thoughts? This feeling can create physical symptoms such as increased brain waves, palpitations, and rapid breathing. Overthinking gets you so spun up you feel like you’re coming out of your skin.

Remember: If you’re wondering if you’re on a dangerous path with your thoughts, you might want to ask someone you trust if you’re exhibiting any of these symptoms. We don’t always see ourselves clearly, especially when our thoughts are already running in circles.

It’s not easy to deal with overthinking. You’re going to have to take time to learn how to redirect your thoughts. The key is to embrace the positive things in your life and not get caught in the negative. Only when you do, will you be able to break the trap of overthinking.