Are You An Overthinker? Tactics To Make Decisions Less Stressful

Let me be transparent and just say I love to read romantic comedies. Go ahead and judge me! Unexpectedly, I read something in my latest rom-com that was meaningful, and I just had to share it with a few clients. Now, I want to share this with our readers. The authors’ names are Vi Keeland and Jessice Royer-Ocken, so all credit goes to them for this beautiful deliberation process.

The lead character in the book struggles with making decisions because she is a colossal overthinker. You know those of us who analyze and then overanalyze and sometimes get paralyzed? 

We make the lists and deliberate the decision over and over. We second guess and weigh the pros and cons. This obsessive overanalyzing doesn’t stop even after we conclude because then we shift into wondering if we have made the wrong decision. So, we start analyzing and deliberating the choice again. 

In retrospect, the amount of time deliberating a decision can turn out not to be worth the level of anxiety and time experienced in the process. This second-guessing can be exhausting. 

Are You An Overthinker? Tactics To Make Decisions Less Stressful

The lead character’s faithful sidekick suggested implementing the rules called the Serenity Six, taught at a meditation retreat. 

STEP UP is a helpful acronym to remember the Serenity Six of Decision Making

S is for Spontaneity – to work on being more spontaneous or instinctive around choices. 

T is for Timeline – set a timeline to make decisions and then move on; the smaller the decision, the shorter the timeline. 

E is for Exercise – using the thinking part of our brain is difficult while dealing with stress or anxiety; exercise is the key to downsizing that anxiety level.

P is for Present – spend more time in the present and less time looking at all past issues in the rearview mirror. 

U is for Ubhaya Padangusthasana – a yoga balancing pose that helps center your core to relieve stress; what’s important is not to necessarily remember this exact name for this pose, but to have something that works for you to reduce your anxiety and use it when needed.

P is for People – associate with people who aren’t overthinkers and will talk you down when you are struggling.

Indeed, on the big, important decisions, we are wise to think choices over before rushing in. However, Overthinkers can apply the above rules to all big, medium, and small decisions. Your timeline for big decisions could be by the end of the day, while smaller ones might have a 30-minute deadline. 

But if you are still stuck and need a push, call in that no-nonsense friend who is good at loosening you up and cutting to the chase. That’s what finally worked for the heroine in my rom-com. I just love happy endings!

Katherine Jahnke

Katherine Jahnke

ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach, Owner/Founder

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