Have you ever replayed an upsetting moment in your head so much that you start testing the mechanics of time travel so that you can do it all over differently because that’s the only way you’ll ever stop thinking about the negative emotional experience that’s literally eating you alive?
When you replay this upsetting moment ad nauseam, you are engaging in a process known as “rumination.” This repetitive, obsessive rehashing, analyzing and mulling over of a problem is ruining your life.
Why? It’s all about problem solving, right? I’ll just play back my humiliation 46 more times and eventually I’ll figure out why these few seconds of my life cause me so much distress all the time. WRONG. You will feel upset for as long as you ruminate. And if you ruminate on the problem for weeks, chances are you’ll be upset the entire time.
Not only that, but people who ruminate are much more likely to develop problems with depression and anxiety, and those are destructive problems for someone whose brain thinks in ruminative patterns. Rumination can spark self-sabotage, ruin relationships and literally eat you alive.
So how can we stop rumination from ruining our lives?
The simple way to overcome rumination is to keep your mind occupied, preventing your thoughts from drifting back to the problem. This is obviously so much easier said than done, because no activity can keep our minds occupied in this attention span-less age, especially when we have something upsetting us that we desperately want to analyze and solve as quickly as possible.
In my own experience with a ruminating mind, I have found that the best distraction is attempting clearing the mind of all thought. When you find yourself ruminating and therefore ruining your life, try this:
- Get comfortable.
- Close your eyes.
- Take a deep breath.
- Whisper “Fuck it” as you exhale.
- Repeat until you feel far away from the negative emotions you want to over-analyze and any responsibilities you have neglected by undergoing this process.
With enough practice, you may be able to conquer your habit of rumination and save your life.
Over time, the “Fuck it” mantra may lose its power. If that’s the case, then try one of The Nicessist’s Guided Meditations.
The Nicessist is a tongue-in-cheek psychological wellness website that only exists thanks to the sick, twisted minds kind enough to volunteer their time to contribute. Please, support the twisted minds volunteering their precious time by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.