Understanding patterns of thought, Takoda Cross
The Book of Overthinking
Written by Gwendoline Smith and
illustrated by Georgia Arnold, Gabrielle Maffey and Megan Van Staden
Allen & Unwin
February 23, 2021
When I was looking through the list of books to review, I came across The Book Of Overthinking by Gwendoline Smith because it was the book that caught my eye the most. I sometimes have a problem with overthinking, so that is why I chose this book. It has taught me a lot about how the brain works and what happens when you overthink. It has also taught me how to retrain my brain to stop overthinking as much as I used to. Yes, this might seem crazy to some people, but it works. Since reading this book, I have not been overthinking or worrying as much as I used to. Enough about me; let us get onto reviewing this extraordinary book of knowledge.
Gwendoline Smith has written The Book of Overthinking to help people. She has written books for 24 years now and most of the books that she has written revolve around one thing: psychology.
Even though she aims to write in clear simple language, when I first started reading this book, I was like, ‘’holy moly- there are a lot of scientific words!’’
There were some that I could not understand, but that did not stop me from keeping on reading. Some sentences you may also not understand, so as I did you will need to re-read them just to make sure you completely comprehend the information. Even after re-reading some sentences, I still did not understand some words, so I had to look these more difficult words up and I suggest you do the same if you get stuck. I also found it very helpful to read the book in small amounts, allowing the knowledge to soak into my brain before continuing with the next bit.
I did not realise until I read this book that there are different types of overthinking and that not all overthinking is bad. For example, it is okay to overthink when you are having positive thoughts. Positive overthinking is when your brain spends a lot of time planning due to excitement. However, even with positive overthinking it is not good if it leads to lack of sleep, stress, or any other negative symptoms.
If you are constantly overthinking, guess what? Your brain will not get a break. This negative pattern also ends up preventing you from doing the things you love most, because overthinking at its extreme can cause biological changes and at worst illness.
Just as there is positive overthinking there is also negative overthinking. These are thought viruses, and some are worse than others. The most relevant to me is ruminating when I think of the past, for example, ‘’I should not have …… last week.’’
Also worrying about the future, such as ‘’what will happen if this happens next week?’’ and mind reading; thinking about what others think of me, when in reality there is no possible way I can guess.
I was fascinated to learn that your mind, mood, physical reactions (biology), behaviour and environment are all linked. Often your feelings are a mirror to your thoughts.
The further you make your way through the book the more you understand overthinking and the more you can drive yourself away from the draining power of it by understanding the triggers and putting into place the actions needed to stop the cycle.
I highly recommend this book for any overthinker but with the language in it, I strongly recommend this book for those aged 13 and above.
This book was very influential and beneficial to the point where I have now got The Book of Knowing to Read next.
- Takoda Cross is 11 years old and lives in Nelson