Do you overthink things? Does it take you hours, days, even months sometimes to make a decision?
While I do feel like you need to sit with some decisions, important life changing decisions, I also feel like most of the time if we’d listen to our gut, we’d not only make better decisions, we’d reduce our own stress. All that overthinking leads to anxiety, indecision, and overwhelm.
One of the pillars or “rules” of Primal Living is to reduce stress. Cortisol levels, which are increased during times of stress, impact your body’s ability to function optimally. It interferes with hunger hormones, fat storage, sleep, and organ health. Chronic stress isn’t doing you or me any favors. In addition to meditation, exercise, good sleep habits, and a primal and/or ketogenic approach to eating, there are some simple steps you can take to reconnect with what matters to you and to reduce your daily stress.
My Personal “Overthinking” Experiment
I’m a chronic overthinker about 90% of the time. Sometimes, for reasons I’m not quite clear on, I am prone to jump right in without thinking at all.
To find balance, and to relieve some personal stress, I’m trying a new habit:
When faced with a basic decision like “do I want to eat a salad?” “Do I want to walk or run?” “Do I want to apply for a job” I ask myself a yes/no question.
- Do I want to have a glass of water, yes or no?
- Do I want to go to CrossFit, yes or no?
- Do I want to eat a cookie, yes or no?
I don’t question the answer, I simply follow through on my decision without thinking about why I made the decision or if the answer is really correct or the right answer for me.
What this is teaching me:
- To trust my gut
- To make faster and more instinctive decisions
- To be more in the present moment, rather than looking to the past or future for consequences
- To relax
Now you might think this is too simplistic. I mean, who is going to answer “no” to “Do I want a cookie?”
You might be surprised when you listen to the voice inside of you. It’s smart. I’ve yet to actually want a cookie when I listen to that voice. It wants the best for me. It wants me to thrive and so far it’s taken good care of me. I’ve been experimenting like this for a week and it hasn’t steered me wrong.
What About Big Decisions?
I have to say that in general, most big decisions are made at the gut level as well. We just spend a ridiculous amount of time questioning the decision. So I’m trying to be more aware. Today I applied for a job that would be a huge change to my lifestyle and I trusted my gut and went for it. The only other question I asked myself was, “are there any downsides to applying?” The answer to that was “no.”
Steps for YOU to Consider Taking
If you’re a chronic overthinker, consider trying this experiment for a day or two. Every decision you have to make, and there are literally thousands of decisions we make in a day starting with “Do I want to get out of bed?” to “do I want to yell at my kid?”
Asking the question makes you more aware of how much you are actually in control over your life. It teaches you to trust your instincts. And it teaches you that every decision you make isn’t super serious or life altering, most decisions we make during the day are inconsequential in the big picture and to stress out about them is silly. We don’t need that extra stress. It’s unhealthy and it is removing years from our life.