The One Word Analysis

I am a woman (It’s true, I checked). This means a few different things:

  1. I can cry wherever, whenever, and for whatever reason I want, no explanation necessary.
  2. I can and will constantly change my mind on both minor and major life issues. My feelings towards peanut butter, organized religion, rainy days, the color yellow, abortion, and action movies will change based on the kind of day I am having.
  3. I over analyze.

Sometimes analyzing situations can be good, but too much of a good thing can turn bad and quick. In hindsight, this is probably the reason I haven’t eaten frozen yogurt in months. Twice a day froyo trips MAY have been a bit excessive. Sometimes over-thinking situations causes my brain to go into over-drive and I find myself getting anxious and bummed out about life for absolutely no reason.

I know I have a tendency, as many people do, to create and stir up my own fears and anxieties. After a year of counseling, I have learned how to live with and accept my anxiety. Now instead of focusing all of my energy on “why am I feeling this way?” thoughts or “she shouldn’t be acting this way, this isn’t fair” feelings, I have found a quick and effective way to analyze and ultimately deal with situations. I call it the “one word analysis.”

I realized that a good portion of my anxiety stems from feeling conflicted and analyzing a scenario one thousand different ways until I feel so confused and overwhelmed by it, I want to shut down completely. This is neither effective or healthy. Enter the one word analysis. It is a way to realize how you feel about something, and leave it at that.

Here’s an example. I had a really long day at work today and didn’t get home until 8:30pm. I have to be up at 6am so that means I have enough time to eat a quick dinner, shower, pack tomorrow’s lunch, and catch up on my favorite TV shows that’s it. While folding laundry I started throwing myself a little pity party about how work is so exhausting and life-consuming. I realized I needed to use my one word analysis, and leave it at that. I asked myself “how do you feel about work and your job?” When you are forced to give a one word answer to something, you have to give a good answer. Has anyone ever asked you to describe yourself in one word? It’s hard! It forces you to quickly examine yourself (both good traits and bad) and choose the most honest and appropriate answer.

“Fun” is the word that popped into my mind, to answer my question regarding my feelings towards work. Like the word association game, I was surprised by what popped into my brain and came out of my mouth. I giggled to myself and realized that yes, work can be tiring and leave a social life to be desired, but it is fun. That’s it, no more analyzing or contemplating. It’s fun. That’s the rule of the “one word analysis game”, after you have chosen a word it sticks. There is no saying “it’s fun BUT blah blah blah blah.” It’s fun.

Suddenly my mood was lifted and I felt a weight off my chest. One less thing to think about tonight.

I like the idea of labeling things in my life with one word. It can help me decide how important they are, and how much energy I need to put towards them. If my one word analysis is negative, then I need to either stay away from it or do something to change it. If it is positive, then I have automatically shifted my perspective and realized my true feelings towards something. True feelings that may have been blurred by a bad day, but are ultimately the most important feelings to recognize and remember.

We all love labels (especially us women-folk) so why not play the label game in your life? See how much easier it can be.

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