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A reading recommendation for overthinkers

Maggie Alsup shares a resource she has found helpful in addressing her anxiety and ministering to college students as they wrestle with their own mental health.

I don’t know about you, but often my stress and anxiety can get the better of me. Sometimes I fixate on one encounter or thought, spiraling into a doom and gloom feeling. It isn’t something I would recommend to others because it is not a fun place to be. It alters my ministry — and not for the better.

Anxiety and stress are things that all of us feel. We all have bad days, and we all have those moments and seasons of stress. But we are more than our anxieties and stressors. I like to remind students of this when they sit in my office, worried about college activities, family relationships, and more. They too, become fixated in moments like these.

I work with them, with the help of counseling services, to help alleviate their anxiety. My office is always looking for ways to address anxiety, to help students thrive, and to work to make mental health an essential part of their lives. With that comes all sorts of reading and research. And while there are some less than helpful self-help books around stress or anxiety, I recently came across a book that was a game changer: Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relive Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, and Focus on the Present by Nick Trenton.

What I find helpful with this book is that Trenton offers ways for you to help break the cycles of overthinking and worry. The book walks you through ways to identify the triggers that cause you to spiral and fixate on moments and offers relaxation and methods for you to overcome the stress before it takes over.

Stop Overthinking is a great resource that offers practical tools to help you break your cycles and improve your mental health. These tools are rooted in scientific approaches and techniques that with time can change the way you approach stress and change the way you think and feel about yourself.

The thing I appreciate about this book is that it offers us methods to use. Not every method will be for you, but one method might just be. This book names the ways we overthink and how that has control over us and then offers ways to overcome that overthinking.

While this isn’t a ministry-specific book, it does add significant value to ministry folks. It can help those of us in ministry who are overthinkers, who do worry, who do spiral into negative thinking, to think about the things that cause this in our lives and in our ministry and work to address those triggers and change our habits. Anyone who is in ministry and a worrier needs to read this and take to heart the methods Trenton offers up because it might just change them and their ministry.

I enjoyed the hope and wisdom offered by Trenton so much that the book has joined the collection of resources I have for students. It sits alongside books on meditation, spiritual practices, prayer books, and liturgy books. It is my hope that it will become a staple for them and offer them new methods to address their habits, much like it did for me.