‘’If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me. Threatening the life it belongs to.’’– Lyric by Anna Nalick.
The lyric above makes perfect sense because it is the perfect definition of ruminating, which is what I’m slowly trying to conquer. By writing everything down I’m actively focusing on the positive and my goals. My mind is forced to tag along because of the constant reminders of what to focus on. In order to reinforce this process even more I’ve started keeping three little books to stop ruminating.
1. Quote of the Day
The first book to stop ruminating is called ”quote of the day”, in which I write a line that sums up my day. The catch is that it always has to be a positive one, no matter how horrible my day was. This forces me to find the positive in each day and to end the day on a good note. Below this line I write, in a few short sentences, what I would like to improve about myself the next day. The improvement always has to have something to do with me personally, my character, my thoughts or my actions of that day. Now we have stumbled upon another important fact. Every written word in the quote of the day book has to be about that specific day. No looking back, only forward.
2. To-Do book
The second of the 3 books I keep is, as I call it, a handy-dandy ‘’to-do’’ book. I do use it a little differently than what would be expected. On the first Sunday of the month I make a list of the tasks and/or activities that I want to get done that month. Every Sunday of the week I make the same list but then for that specific week. I basically break down the monthly list to fit the week. Last but not least, every morning I write what I have to do and what I want to do that day. Per day I try to find a good balance between the two. Keyword is try, just so you know. Writing down my tasks for the day makes it easier to really focus on them because I am not constantly trying to remember them which at the end of the day would trigger my ruminating and that would be counterproductive as I am actively trying to stop ruminating.
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Now you can use the same one I am using! It is optimized to follow the exact steps outlined above with the extra of your year plan in it as well!
The third one technically isn’t a book. It’s a ”post-it”. I call it a book now because I have accumulated so many post-its it’s about as thick as the other two books. On rough days I write positive reinforcements on a post-it and place it somewhere where I can constantly see it. The reinforcement mostly has something to do with a specific distractive thought that got stuck in my head. It is a quick fix, a way to continue my day without any disturbances from my own mind.
Another way to stop overthinking is through Dear Diary Journaling. You can find our more about that here.
The more there is on paper the more space there is in my head for positive things.