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Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life Paperback

4.3 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055X5J4Y
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,807,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Janet Boyer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Women Who Think Too Much came out earlier this year, and I gobbled it up in two sittings. Several people have borrowed this book from me, and have found it incredibly insightful. (And not all have been women, either!) This book features a breakthrough new method that teaches you how to free yourself from the negative cycles of overthinking.

What is overthinking? Nolen-Hoeksma, a professor of Psychology, contends that our society is both fast-paced and overly-self-analytical. The self-help section in bookstores bulge with upteen ways to analyze yourself and gaze at your bellybutton. With this self-analysis comes over-thinking--and Nolen-Hoeksema has discovered that women are more prone to overthink than men. Women spend countless hours fruitlessly thinking about negative ideas, feelings, experiences, and relationships. The result of this over-thinking? A huge number of women are feeling sad, anxious, or seriously depressed.

The author provides case studies, but they aren't presented in a dry, intellectual tone. She connects the dots between the research and how it impacts women in their day-to-day lives. Chapter titles include What's Wrong With OverThinking?, Married to My Worries: Overthinking Intimate Relationships, Always On The Job: Overthinking Work and Careers, and ten other chapters. The great thing about this book is that it doesn't just talk about why overthinking is bad for mental, emotional, and even physical health, but also provides several chapters on how to break free from overthinking and move to higher ground.

In the Chapter If It Hurts So Much, Why Do We Do It?, the author explains fascinating discoveries in brain science, and how when we think of one bad thing, it usually cascades into a torrent of negative thoughts and emotions.
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Format: Hardcover
The author explains how "overthinking" is more than ordinary worrying, different than OCD, and distinct from self-reflective 'deep' thinking. She describes overthinking as ruminating mostly about the past, whereas most worrying is thinking about what might happen in the future (which can be a constructive form of negative thinking). Overthinking easily gets out of control, becoming rant-and-rave or chaotic. The distinctions and definitions in the book make good sense and are based on years of credible research. I like the way the author is particularly sensitive to the pressures in contemporary society that increase overthinking -- she is especially perceptive to the situation of women in America today. The most helpful parts of the book are summarized in several 2-page sections called "A Quick Reference Guide" and these are very useful strategies for daily life. Overall, this is an excellent and well written self-help book for general readers. I think of it as the long, serious version of the both humorous and helpful semi-Zen, not-thinking 'Do Nothing Exercises' in Karen Salmansohn's book "How To Change Your Entire Life By Doing Absolutely Nothing." Working on strategies for healthier thinking is definitely a worthwhile personal project.
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Format: Paperback
If you are prone to ruminate and worry, you probably think this book sounds like some kind of Godsend. I mean, the title hit it on the head, right? Sounds like it describes you to a t? Unfortunately, the book doesn't deliver. It's just one lengthy anecdote after another of various women who think too much, with overly simplistic solutions on how they can/should stop. I rarely give a book one star, but this book is especially noxious because it sometimes takes on a lecturing, unsympathetic tone, which should alienate most readers. I wish I could describe it better, but frankly, there's just not that much to this book...The BEST book I have ever read on worrying? Edmund Hallowell's "Worry." That guy is a genius, and it's beautifully written. Other good books if you are a worrier? The cognitive therapy books by David Burns; the big bestseller was "Feeling Good" but I think he has many...The book isn't as fun to read as Hallowell's but if you can actually learn to really do the written cognitive therapy exercises, that will get a major handle on your worries. BTW, neither one of those books is sexist; human beings as a group are examined.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely agree that Susan Nolen-Hoeksema's new book "Women Who Think Too Much" is the best book available on Overthinking (she is the genuine expert) and an essential addition to any library on improving thinking styles. Of course, which book is most helpful and insightful for a particular individual depends heavily on that individual's temperament, cognitive style, and philosphy of life. "Optimal Thinking" by R. Glickman is an excellent book for realists. Optimists likely would prefer "Positive Thinking" by Vera Peiffer, and pessimists tend to like "The Positive Power of Negative Thinking" by J. Norem. And so on. Effective thinking is a big, complex, and significant issue in human life and relationships. "Women Who Think Too Much" is a very nice and very helpful contribution to the pool of available books, and Susan Nolen-Hoeksema is a thoughtful and clear writer. Her focus on 'overthinking' is an important warning on the well researched dangers of rumination and hopeless pessimism. Yet it is also important to note that there is a type of pessimistic thinking that is very constructive (for some people) because it is anticipatory reflection about what might go wrong in the near future, playing through worst case scenarios to manage anxiety about upcoming events and challenges adaptively. This is very different from pessimistic rumination about the past (which is hopeless). Equally important to note is that unrealistic optimists tend to be 'underthinkers' in unhealthy ways. So appreciate this excellent book "Women Who Think Too Much" but don't forget that No One Size (or model of psychological health) fits all of us.
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