Women experience twice the rate of depression as men. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, author of Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life, believes one reason for this could be women’s tendency to ruminate.
To ruminate simply means to think deeply. But in the world of psychology, it’s linked to worrying, except that rumination focuses on bad feelings and experiences from the past, whereas worry is concerned with potential bad events in the future.
Whether the focus is on the past or the future, the outcome is the same…we’re stuck in our heads! And being stuck in our heads is leading us to sadness, depression, and anxiety.
Here are some alternatives to overthinking:
- Engage in activities that shift you towards positivity, whether it be meditation, hiking or reading—more self-fulfilling and rewarding activities
- Slow down, learn the simple pleasure of tackling things one at a time
- Problem-solve. When you notice you’re focusing on unproductive why questioning like “why me?” or “why can’t I get over this?”—identify at least one concrete action you can take instead.