How to Stop Ruminating…

It’s totally normal to ruminate on stressful situations, whether it’s a nagging problem at work or a personal conflict that’s making you anxious. The good news? Improving your ability to stay present can help you set aside stressors that you can’t immediately resolve. Here are some strategies to break the cycle of rumination.
 
First, anchor yourself. Take a moment to feel the weight of your feet on the floor, then consider: “What am I thinking? What am I feeling in my body right now? What am I doing right now?” Then ask yourself: “Are my thoughts helping me in this moment?”
 
Then try to take your thoughts less seriously. Rather than allowing negative ideas to feel like dictators in your life, gain some perspective by observing them from a distance and reminding yourself that they’re just thoughts.
 
Next, don’t fight uncertainty. While accepting uncertainty might mean sitting with some amount of fear, the alternative is to try to micromanage reality, which simply isn’t possible. 
 
Finally, validate yourself and what you’re feeling. Simply legitimizing your negative emotions can help diffuse stress and rumination. For example, you might think something like: “I have the right to feel nervous.” Naming an emotion—and giving yourself permission to feel it—can help you move past its initial intensity.

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