Score: 93/100 (9.3 out of 10)
The Overthinking Orbit is an excellent self-help book by Erin George that champions such anxiety-relieving techniques as mindfulness, journaling, and meditation. It also encourages the reader to tackle anxiety via more down-to-earth/common-sense methods like improving one's sleep and eating better.
This book takes on the all-important topic of stress, something that often rears its ugly head in the form of anxiety, worry, and overthinking. These are the types of stresses that can cripple us psychologically (and, to an extent, physically/physiologically). The book tells us that worry causes a “ripple effect” which disrupts other aspects of our lives, our health, and our relationships. It can affect us at work and school. It can keep us up at night, cause us to under eat or overeat, compounding the problem.
The author points out that anxiety has negative physiological effects. It causes our stomachs to produce more acid, causing ulcers. It can cause diarrhea or constipation. Worst of all, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of the death in the United States. It's no secret that anxiety that raise your blood pressure, placing pressure on our heart and arteries.
The author talks about how the brain has a very special ability to change and reorganize itself, possibly becoming less anxious and more positive. This is made possible by such means as neuroplasticity. We can learn or relearn good/positive habits while deleting or unlearning bad/negative ones.
Mindfulness is one of the key techniques promoted in this book. Mindfulness might best be described as being aware of your thoughts/thinking. If you find yourself thinking negative things, become aware of it. You can't address a problem if you don't first acknowledge and identify it.
Journaling is another key technique. Similar to how keeping a workout journal or food diary, journaling helps you to be accountable for and aware of your thoughts rather than putting them off and letting them linger.
One of the journaling techniques that we loved the most was the brain dumping exercise. The truth of the matter is, so many of us just have too much on our minds. Instead of listing them or scheduling them, we just try to memorize and internalize all of it. That can obviously have negative effects. It can be overwhelming!
This book takes a very holistic approach at the mind and body. This book takes the premise that he who has hope has health, and he who has health has everything. The mind and the body are linked. Mental and psychological health are just as important as physical health. When you starve the body or feed it bad foods, how can you expect the mind to react positively? When you allow negativity to rule your mind, how can you expect your body to be fit and functional?
The author chose a very interesting way of framing different types of overthinking, featuring three characters who suffer from overthinking, worry, and anxiety in one way or another. There's Anxious Andy, whose anxiety is so bad that it gives him GI problems. There's Owen, the over-analyzer who tries to plan and be aware of everything that's coming up in the future (despite the fact that we can't control or accurately predict the future). And, lastly, there's Whitney, the “Queen of Overthinking.”
Owen was probably the most memorable. Owen is someone who checks the weather on a daily basis and schedules on his calendar obsessively. However, whenever something unexpected comes up, he crumbles. This is a very important thing to learn from, making the case that we can only control the controllables (ourselves), we can't predict the future or try to control it.
All in all, this is a solid self-help book.
Check it out on Amazon!