What Does it Mean to Have an Overactive Mind?

Hi brain, can you please shut up now

Kate Warrington
5 min readMar 10, 2022


woman thinking
Photo by Eunice Lituañas on Unsplash

This article is part of the column Overthinking Everything at She Explores Life.

Have you ever stepped out of the shower and not been able to remember if you washed your hair? Or walked into a room and questioned why you went there at all? Odds are you answered yes to one or both of those questions. They say this happens when our brain kicks into cruise control. During our more monotonous routines, our consciousness zones out and our mind wanders. For me, however, I tend to think the cause is a bit more complicated. It’s not so much a lack of thought that numbs my present sense. Really, it’s the opposite — the result of too many thoughts taking place all at once in my overactive mind.

At times it feels like my brain is speeding down a highway, shifting gears every few seconds. Thoughts race in and out so quickly that I find myself multitasking against my will. I start doing one thing, then become distracted by something else entirely to the point that I forget what I was doing in the first place. Some days I’m energized, other days I’m preoccupied. And then there are days when the news headlines and images from social media cast a heavy cloud over my mind, bringing with them a sense of despondence that at times feels inescapable.

At night, I’ll lie awake in bed. Eyes up at the ceiling as my thoughts do jumping jacks in my brain. My mind resists slowing down. It prefers to keep moving. Even when I’m so tired that my body aches with exhaustion. I feel my heart rate accelerate under my chest. I place my hand over it, an attempt to quiet the beating drum, all the while thinking to myself, “Brain, could you please shut up.”

The Overactive Mind — What Is It?

I wonder from time to time why my brain thinks and responds to situations as it does. Do other people feel this way or is this a product of my own neuroticism? The answer to this very well may be both. If you type “overactive mind” into Google, you’ll find numerous articles about how to calm your mind and cope with racing thoughts. It seems more of us than not are seeking solutions to this kind of psychological distress. But what does an overactive mind really mean?



Kate Warrington

Writing about mental health, sexual wellness, OCD and other musings. Columnist of Overthinking Everything at She Explores Life. Follow @warrington_kate