This habit is sabotaging your mental health

This habit is sabotaging your mental health

This habit is sabotaging your mental health

When you are lying in bed at night replaying your day, are you thinking about the things that went right or the things that didn’t?

Thanks to our negativity bias, the chances are pretty high that you naturally default to the negative. When those negative thoughts become obsessive, you are stuck in rumination.

We’ve all been there – we make a mistake and replay it over, and over, and over. But is that useful – No

How do you get out of the rumination cycle?

 Rumination is the habit of obsessive thinking, it is a coping mechanism for stress, and it is a common psychological experience. When not managed properly, rumination can be dangerous to your mental health.

Replaying an event to try to figure out what you might be able to do differently next time is helpful. When you are stuck in rumination, not only is it not productive, it reinforces the negative material and our negativity bias, and it does nothing to help solve the problem.

Want to break the habit of rumination?

1. Distraction (do something useful and productive). Do not try not to think about it. When you try not to think about something, you magnify it in your mind. Think about or do something else.Your brain will stay in a negative loop unless you shift your attention.

2. Shift your attention to something positive – If you messed up, think about times you got it right. Turn your attention to your strengths. Remind yourself that you are human .If you are still stuck in a negative cycle, remember this simple question: What’s right, right now?

3. Practice mindfulness. Notice when you get sucked into rumination. How does your body feel? Is it contracting or expanding? You can choose to disengage. Rumination is about the past. Bring yourself back to the present. Say to yourself, “Oh, I’m ruminating again”; this calms your brain and takes you out of a threat state, allowing you to think more clearly. Anytime you go back to rumination, gently bring yourself back to this moment and take 3 deep breaths. This will interrupt the rumination cycle.

Wherever we direct our attention becomes our reality because we find what we look for. The more you ruminate, the more likely it inclines your mind in that direction.

Breaking the habit of rumination is a skill and one that will dramatically improve your mental health. You can rewire your brain by spending more time magnifying the positive in your life and less time worrying about things you can’t control.

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Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.

Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph.

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