It’s time to quit replaying your failures!
Do you dwell on your problems? Replay past mistakes over and over again? Can’t shake the feeling you’re a failure? Do you have painful memories you just can’t forget? Are you playing the same scene over and over again?
Self-reflection can be helpful, but sometimes it goes too far and leads to excessive rumination (the constant tossing and turning of things over in your mind) and overthinking. You are definitely not alone.
Why should you stop? Research shows the more you think about mistakes and problems the more likely you are to experience depression and anxiety and there is a danger negative thinking can become a habit.
So how can you stop ruminating?
Make a commitment to change the way you think. Breaking a habit and a pattern of thinking takes time and practice.
Become aware. Notice the times of day and events when you do it most. Focus your attention on the way you think t become aware of your thought patterns. The quicker you notice the negative thoughts the easier it will be to break the habit.
Search for solutions. Work out if what you are thinking about is actually helpful. Are you searching for a solution? Is there actually anything you can do?
Think about it later. Choose a ‘worry time’. Confine your time spent worrying/processing the day to a specific time of each day (set aside about 20 minutes). This will allow you to put off worries and reduce the amount of the day spent ruminating versus focusing on more productive concerns.
Learn mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about focusing your attention on what is helpful and needed in that moment. It takes practice, but over time, it can greatly decrease rumination. For more information see our other blog posts on mindfulness.
Want some more information on mindfulness? Check out the free smilingmind app or contact us.