From time to time all of us get troubled by unhealthy messages in our mind that don’t seem to go away or can’t be defused. This type of thinking is called ruminating. Ruminating thoughts can be very pervasive and troubling for many of us. We get caught up in ruminating thoughts due to our fast pace and demanding lives. Ruminating thoughts can result from anxiety, doubts, and fears as well as predict thoughts of what might happen in the future, negative thoughts, stress, and worry.
What is a ruminating thought?
Ruminating thinking is defined as the compulsive focusing of your attention on distress, and on its possible causes, outcomes, and consequences, as opposed to its solutions. When you ruminate, you overthink or obsess about situations or life events, such as work or relationships. This type of thinking can result in a mental thought loop which over time can manifest into a thought addiction. More you attempt to fight them the more intense and embedded the thoughts become. This thinking process can cause you to feel helpless and increase your distress. Many thoughts that you ruminate on tend to be are false, distorted, misleading, unsupported predictions and/or unrealistic.
Research has shown that rumination is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including an increase of anxiety, depressive thoughts, panic attacks, and increased symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as addictions, emotional acting out episodes and eating disorders.
Once caught in ruminating it is very difficult to stop and you can go to great lengths to alter your thinking. Excessive ruminating can be very devastating and demoralizing to your ability to function appropriately and your life.
What can be done?
9 tips on how to stop ruminating thoughts
1. Be in the moment. You can accomplish this by grounding yourself. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and sitting with your back straight. Once you’re grounded, focus on your breathing or heartbeat which it will bring you into the moment.
2. Consciously connect with your thought stream.
3. Recognize and write down all the thoughts that you
are ruminating on and troubling you.
4. Connect with, assess and tune into the thoughts you have identified. Determine whether your thoughts are good (appropriate, factual, real, truthful) or bad (false, diluted, distorted, misleading and/or unrealistic).
5. Slow down your thought stream by deepening your breathing and heart rate. Pick out the one most troubling thought that is the most false, diluted, distorted, misleading and/or unrealistic which can be canceled and removed.
6. Stop your thought stream. Using your imagination, pull out that thought from its position in your conscious thought stream. Visualize the thought you have targeted and highlight it, so it is brighter than all of the other thoughts. Then clear (remove or cancel) by imagining you are erasing that thought. Once the thought is erased there will be an empty space in your thought stream.
7. Insert a new, inspiring, motivating or positive thought into the empty space in your thought stream where the ruminating thought resided in your thought stream.
8. Repeat the new thought 4 times out loud with strong feeling.
9. Lastly, give your new thought permission to grow and start up your thought stream once completed.
Continue to Empower Yourself
Once you have completed clearing the first targeted thought, then move to the next thought you want to stop in your thought stream. At that point repeat all the steps again steps - 4 through 9.
The more you practice these tips the more skillful you will become and your confidence, confidence and personal power will increase.
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