Break Free from Your Mental Merry-Go-Round: Tips to tackle rumination
Is your mind on constant replay?
Not in a fun way like when it’s your favorite Tay-Tay song or when you're dreaming up your next holiday, but the kind when you're replaying worries, doubts & what-ifs on the mental merry-go-round known as RUMINATION.
Whether you call it overthinking, stressing out, or worrying (which is like the future-focused relative of rumination. They're not twins, but they definitely belong to the same unhelpful-thinking family. And guess what? The way to tackle them is pretty much the same), it’s time to get off this ride.
What is the purpose of examining & then re-examining your past actions, decisions & choices over & over again?
It just keeps you stuck in shame & guilt-town when you could be in, "I made a mistake but I’m going to learn from this-ville" or heading toward, "I’m going to find a solution city".
Here are 10 tips to get off that ride, or out of that town (or another metaphor of your choice):
Track your thoughts:
For the next two weeks, research the workings of your mind. Take note when your thoughts are stuck in a loop & look for patterns—it’s the who, what, where, when & how info that can help you break free from unhealthy mind habits.
Set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to worry and ruminate. When worries pop up outside this window, jot them down & save them for later. (Keep reading to find out how Contain Your Brain can help!)
Solve or Accept:
Ask yourself, is this something I can solve? If yes, switch gears from ruminating to problem-solving. If no, try to find ways to accept it & let it go. Cue Elsa!
Switch your focus:
When your mind starts spinning its wheels, try diving into a puzzle, counting backwards from 100 by 7s, or belting out your favorite tune. Short breaks like these can help reset your mind.
Instead of time-traveling in your mind, practice staying in the now. You can start with simple exercises like spending a couple of minutes focusing on your senses.
Observe & Visualize:
Step back from your thoughts instead of getting tangled up in them. Visualise your thoughts as clouds that are floating by in the sky, or leaves down a stream effortlessly moving through your mind.
Stress can be a big rumination trigger. Relax your body, and your mind will follow.
Write it down:
Get your thoughts down on paper. It really can clear your head & open your mind to new perspectives.
Be nice to yourself:
You're human. There’s no getting around that. You will make mistakes & have regrets. Perfectionism is not welcome here! So when you mess up, repair it if you can. And if you can’t, learn from it.
Have a chat:
If overthinking is hijacking your happiness, it might be time to seek professional help. Source a psychologist in your local area who can support you to implement these strategies. It’s never too late to change your mind!
How the Contain Your Brain app can help
Contain Your Brain is your pocket-sized, worry-busting buddy that gives you a simple & secure way to practice “worry time” AND a clear strategy to take on your worries, even the ones that have you dwelling on past mishaps that have no obvious solutions.
How it works:
Choose a Worry Time
Choose the most convenient & productive time in the day for you to focus on your worries.
Choose a Worry Place
Once you’ve organized your worry time, pick the best place for you to worry. Somewhere you have access to everyday, most likely a space in your house, but not your bedroom.
Add your Worries
Whenever a worry pops up, “Contain Your Brain” by adding your worry into the app (text or voice). You can add as little or as much detail as you like. Highlight the ones you want to focus on the most.
Click on the worry you want to focus on & use the “Contain Your Brain” method to find a worry-busting strategy that matches the type of worry you have! Want to see a demo?
Why it works:
Ever try to tell yourself to, “Stop Worrying!” You’ve probably figured out what science can confirm, it doesn’t work. It can even make you obsess even more!
But, good news! Delaying thinking about our worries does work!
Your brain actually believes you when you say that you’ll worry about it later because you have taken note of it & have already set your ‘worry time’—so it can let it go—that means you get to go back to whatever you were doing in no time!
Want to know more?
All you science buffs can head here for the inside scoop: https://www.containyourbrain.com/the-science
Contain Your Brain is a simple app that can help you worry less, so you can achieve more, focus more, relax more, sleep more, & live more ☺ 😀😀😀