Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Women Who Think Too Much (part 2)

The message of Women Who Think Too Much is that we can stop doing this to ourselves, once we understand what we are doing, why we do it and begin to embrace the techniques that will allow us to overcome the habit of ruminant thinking.

Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema offers some practical suggestions for overcoming the root causes of overthinking (seen in my previous post).

Stop seeking role models in those who are too young and immature to be wise. Look instead to elders who have courage and persistence and life experience.

Stop frantically searching for how-to tips that can help us feel more whole. Switch off the popular media, politicians, family, friends, co-workers, who may be giving us destructive messages about who or what we ought to be. Look instead to spend quiet time discovering and refining our own values. Meditation or prayer for 30 minutes a day for example.

Stop peering at your belly-button and get outside yourself. Get involved with people who are committed to the same fundamental things you care about in this world, and give your life a focus above the banal events of the day.

Stop believing that you deserve whatever you want and that other people can't be allowed to get the best of you. Turn off TV shows that feed that entitlement value. Focus instead on how a situation can be resolved to everyone's benefit. Model an anti-entitlement value in your own life.

Stop seeking quick fixes. Learn to recognize when a quick fix is being offered (either in your own mind or in the marketplace) and reject these solutions in favour of ones that may take longer to implement but will endure.

There's a lot more to this book than I have shared here. I highly recommend it, and you can pick up a copy pretty cheap at Amazon or of course at your local library.

Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema has written a second book called Eating, Drinking and Overthinking: The Toxic Triangle of Food, Alcohol and Depression--And How Women Can Break Free. I am thinking about reading it, if I can get it through my local library.

Although this book focuses on women and uses women as examples in the anecdotes, I believe anyone with a problem with overthinking would benefit from this book. It is not a quick fix (!) but if your thinking spirals out of control in bouts of depression or anxiety, you will surely recognize yourself in this book and could find something of use here.

May all beings be at ease.

1 comment:

Derek said...

I think all of this will be good for you to take on -- the practices here look like they are worth pursuing. What points will you focus on first? For instance, would it be a good idea to get back into the meditation to start off?

good luck luv!