Don’t over-think things!

stress“Don’t over-think things.”

I can say that, and intellectually, I understand what it means. But it’s not so easy for me to put it into practice. Never has been. I have been a worrier and a chronic over-thinker for my much of life.

But a new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology says that perceived stress, or how much you think you’re stressed, is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.

An article on Today.com about the study’s findings says this:

Researchers analyzed six studies to see how perceived stress affects your ticker. Each of the studies asked participants to self-report intense or frequent feelings of stress and then followed each participant for about 14 years to see if they were diagnosed with, hospitalized, or died from coronary heart disease. What they found: Participants who reported high levels of stress had a 27 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Do you know what the No. 1 killer of women is? Heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease kills one in three women each year – that’s approximately one woman every minute.

Those are very powerful reasons to learn better techniques for reducing stress in our lives. If we are letting stress kill us, then we are cutting short our lives and depriving those who love us of precious time with us, as well as reducing the quality of the time they do have with us.

I like what this Lifehack article says about how to stop being an over-thinker:

Some people think themselves into stagnation, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety and even illness. They have an aptitude for making the simple, complex, the easy, hard, the minor issue, a major drama and the pain-less, pain-full. They are adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and also at wasting their time and talent through age-old art of over-analysing everything and everyone; analysis paralysis.

It goes on to list 10 great tips for changing your behavior and getting out of that mode.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in the past few years that has helped me in my own efforts to stop over-thinking some things is this: We can’t control everything that happens to us in life. But we have total control over how we choose to react to things. That simple understanding gives us immense power in letting go of the things we cannot change and taking responsibility for the things we can impact.

Decide what you have power over, take action and move forward. Don’t wallow in stress, over-thinking things. If you can’t make that change, you just might be killing yourself. It’s simpler than you think.

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