Don’t Overthink it, They Say

I’m part of a book club, which helps me to keep up with my reading. Whilst looking for a new book, I came across “Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life” by Anne Bogel. The name was perfect, it reminded me of my “Let’s Overthink About it” coffee mug, do you see where this is going? I do believe that I AM AN OVERTHINKER! So this book was just the resource I needed to get my hands and mind on, whilst fulfilling my need to keep up with reading. Hallelujah!

The real purpose of this bit of writing though, is to share with you some of my key takeaways from this very useful and interesting book. We have all at one time or another found yourselves thinking too much about something we really shouldn’t be exerting so much time and energy – and headspace – on. But it happens, however we can work to control it so that it doesn’t happen as much or at all. This book taught me quite a few functional gems. I’ll share six of those with you:

Compete the Cycle

Anne describes this as a fancy way of saying “finish what your start”. This is as simple as tidying up after you’re finished with something, putting something exactly where you got it from after using it, following through with a task, e.g. packing the clothes when you pick them up from the line. A current example for me of not completing the task is – not filing the GRA tax refund form. I’ll do it tomorrow turns into weeks then the deadline approaches and I’m hustling to get it completed. I had weeks! More action, less procrastination. We begin tasks and chores, every day, some we complete and others we leave hanging. Anne notes that (and I agree) “we’re happier – and a lot tidier – when we complete the cycle.” When we action things right away, we avoid last minute distractions and confusions.

Take Time to Make Time

You’re never too busy to do the things that are healthy and pleasing for you. Take care of yourself, take mental breaks, take the time to complete tasks, take time to breathe, take time to relish in the small and simple things. You are in control of your life and your time, use if wisely. We create our own problems by rushing and neglecting to complete stuff and by simply putting ourselves last.

“When we establish the right habits – in our physical spaces, with our own physical bodies – we can stop much overthinking before it starts.”

Tend your Garden 

Like a garden, what we sow, we will reap. Our bodies are our gardens, we need to sow good thoughts and healthy habits. Anne shares a Winifred Gallagher quote that says “your life is the creation of what you focus on – and what you don’t.” Fun fact: we get to choose what we think about! Think positive and healthy thoughts. Find ways to erase negative thoughts and focus on all that is good. The more we do this, the less time we have to (over)think about negative things.

Turning Routines into Rituals

When we convert our daily routines into rituals, we are inviting yourselves to remember who we are, what we value and what me want to accomplish. Rituals help us to practice mindfulness and to reset. When we’re grounded and healthy, we overthink less.

“Rituals can be done regularly, built around small things. That morning coffee is habitual (routine), but it can be also be made meaningful (ritual). When we routine works for us, we don’t have to pay attention to it, but a ritual callus us to fully participate in what we’re doing – even if it’s as simple as savouring a cup of coffee.

Decide What Matters

The book talks about how our values can drive our decisions. When you know what you want and what you stand for it’s easy to make decisions, it also contributes to less time thinking, because you already know what you want. Decide what matters most to know, and let that be your guide in decision-making. When there is less to think about, life is so much better.

“When a decision touches on our values, we have little to think about.” When we have a broader vision for our lives, many of the decisions we face become simple.”

Schedule Time to Overthink

Wow, what! What Anne says is that the brain likes to have a system it can trust.

“If you schedule time every day to worry or overthink, your brain is less likely to nag you with those thoughts throughout the day.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here because I really want you to read the book. It is refreshing and a sure help if, like me, you find yourself overthinking everything. If not, I hope these points help you in some way.

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MAGLYFEE, a Guyanese lifestyle blog, is the brainchild of Shemmypatty. Shemmy is a bad feminist, mother, creative, writer and lover of life.

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