Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your
by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema (Author)
From Publishers Weekly
Practically everyone agonizes over decisions or situations from time to time,
but overthinkers carry analysis and introspection to unhealthy extremes,
"getting caught in torrents of negative thoughts and emotions,"according to
this book. Even minor events can trigger a chain of second-guessing in which
negative emotions are "amplified instead of managed." Kneading damaging
thoughts like dough, overthinkers fall victim to a "yeast effect" that causes
negativity to grow and take control of their lives, distort their perspectives
and damage relationships, careers and emotional (and perhaps physical) health.
Nolen-Hoeksema, a University of Michigan psychology professor and author of
five professional books, explores why people overthink, contends and explains
why too much thinking is predominantly a woman's disease and prescribes a
three-step program to overcome overthinking. Citing many studies (including her
own) and occasionally zooming in on particular cases, she offers no-nonsense,
reasoned and easy-to-understand advice and strategies, as well as a quiz to
help readers recognize their own patterns of overthought.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Contrary to popular opinion, it's not good to spend too much time analyzing
your thoughts and feelings, claims this University of Michigan psychologist.
And women are especially guilty of this sin.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From one of the nation's preeminent experts on women and emotion, a
breakthrough new book about how to stop negative thinking and become more
productive It's no surprise that our fast-paced, overly self-analytical culture
is pushing many people-especially women-to spend countless hours thinking about
negative ideas, feelings, and experiences. Renowned psychologist Dr. Susan
Nolen-Hoeksema calls this overthinking, and her groundbreaking research shows
that an increasing number of women-more than half of those in her extensive
study-are doing it too much and too often, hindering their ability to lead a
satisfying life. Overthinking can be anything from fretting about the big
questions such as "What am I doing with my life?" to losing sleep over a
friend's innocent comment. It is causing many women to end up sad, anxious, or
seriously depressed, and Nolen-Hoeksema challenges the assumption-heralded by
so many pop-psychology pundits of the last several decades-that constantly
expressing and analyzing our emotions is a good thing. In Women Who Think Too
Much, Nolen-Hoeksema shows us what causes so many women to be overthinkers and
provides concrete strategies that can be used to escape these negative
thoughts, move to higher ground, and live more productively. Women Who Think
Too Much will change lives and is destined to become a self-help classic.
About the Author
Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of
Michigan. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from the
University of Pennsylvania. Her award-winning research has been funded by major
grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science
Foundation, and several private foundations. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan,
with her husband and son.
Excerpted from Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema. Copyright ©
2003. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
From Women Who Think Too Much: Over the last four decades, women have
experienced unprecedented growth in independence and opportunity. We are freer
to choose what kinds of relationships to have, whether and when to have
children, what careers to pursue, and what lifestyles to lead. But too often,
many of us are flooded with worries, thoughts, and emotions that swirl out of
control. We are suffering from an epidemic of overthinking-getting caught in
torrents of negative thoughts and emotions that overwhelm us and interfere with
our functioning and well-being. Our concerns are about fundamental issues: Who
am I? What am I doing with my life? Answers do not come easily to such
questions and so we search and ponder and worry even more.
Types of Overthinking:
o Rant-and-Rave This is the most familiar type of overthinking which usually
centers on some wrong we believe has been done to us. Women prone to this kind
of overthinking tend to take on an air of wounded self-righteousness and focus
on designing retribution that will severely sting our victimizers.
o Life-of-Their-Own This type of overthinking begins innocently as we notice
we're feeling upset or when we ponder a recent event. Then we begin to
entertain possible causes for our feelings about the events. Overthinking
causes us to exaggerate problems and make bad decisions.
o Chaotic This type of overthinking occurs when we don't move in a straight
line from one problem to another. Instead, it is as if all kinds of concerns,
many of them unrelated, flood our minds at the same time.