Imagine walking into a room with study table. There are few books, pens, and a laptop sitting on the table. As the day goes by, the table keeps filling up with stuff on top of each other. At the end of the day, the whole table is filled with random stuff and it’s hard locate what you actually need. How does seeing a table full of random things make someone feel? Stressed? Anxious? Tired? Overthinking is having negative or sometimes unrelated positive emotions, thoughts, memories and questions that deviate a person away from their main focus making simple things complicated. A brain cannot see hidden things when covered with other stuff on top and this causes anxiety and stress.

Anna describes sanitation process

We visited the dairy and apiculture farm on Wednesday. We learned a lot about food sourcing. Milk and dairy products are daily in our lives, but  never have I  thought about how it is made, where it comes from, and the hard work put into providing us the dairy products. Anna (the dairy farm owner) led us through the farm and also through all the factors apparent in dairy production. I liked learning about Anna’s journey, making the farm and her providing it back to the community by giving her products to the schools. Although, I was having a hard time paying attention to her explaining her work in the farm. The only thing that caught my attention during the trip was when Anna was explaining the chemicals they use for sanitation for the milking process. The instructions on on the solution most other farms use were to allow 10 minutes for sanitation. Anna told us that machine noise is a trigger for brain to release oxytocin which opens up the muscle sphincter. Oxytocin production only lasts for five minutes so it was inconvenient for Anna to use the sanitation chemical because by the time cleaner activates, the milking process has occurred. This made things complicated for Anna since they can’t use the milk. This made Anna to look for cleaner that uses less time and ingredients. The simple product benefited Anna more than the complicated one. Here I heard Anna say “ We are always making things complicated, we need to learn to simplify.” This statement stayed with me throughout the trip.

I was very impressed by Anna taking initiative to make things simple. I struggle keeping things simple, because I can not stop thinking. One thought lead me to different places. I overthink with anything I am working with. As much as I want these blogs to be enjoyable, they have turned into a struggle for me. It takes me double the amount of time my classmates take to write. I come up with one theme and then a bunch of different directions open up in my mind. I get overwhelmed, because I don’t know how to minimize or eliminate the options in my brain. As the time passes by, one thought gets cluttered by all the random things stacked on top of each other like the study table. I keep struggling, my anxiety increases because I can’t find what I need. I procrastinate at the last minute, leading me to less sleep, exhaustion and sometimes undone work. I tend to overthink everything. Anna taught me to listen to my heart. She was a Journalist, but when she found out her passion was in farming, she moved to do what she does. It took me 3 years to make a decision about changing my career. Instead of just following my heart, I thought about how it would affect my future, my family, their expectations, and people who least cared about me. I kept battling with negative thoughts, emotions and unanswered questions instead of listening to my heart. I should have just done what I wanted to do without speculating.

It will be hard to stop cluttering my mind, but I am committed to keep trying everyday. I have learned to evaluate my thoughts by only keeping the necessary ingredients. I will be taking a step back before I move forward. I will be bringing this knowledge back to keep my mind and surrounding less stressed and anxious.