Being someone who prefers to get along well with everyone, I found myself ruminating over the situation I described in yesterday’s post. Despite reassurances from friends that the person in question had behaved poorly, this evening, my mind keeps returning to the matter:
Ugh! So, just now, I spoke to my dearly beloved about three strategies I’m going to use for the rest of this evening to avoid rumination:
1. Take a reality check. I asked my partner to review the triggering events with me. Easy, and rewarding! He gave me a phrase: “I don’t care.” Love it. Let’s pare this thing back to basics: a person I don’t know, who has no place in my life, was rude to me. Let it go, woman!
The reality check is like a little bomb, disrupting the cycle:
2. Discipline my thinking. If my mind circles back to that topic again, I’ll consciously acknowledge it, remind myself that I don’t care, and turn my attention to something else. Note that I’m not trying to avoid thinking about it; that’s not helpful, as repression leads to unhelpful expression!
Disciplining my thinking in this way is like turning one arrow in the sequence outwards, breaking the cycle:
3. Understand the deeper issues. No need to go into details; let’s just say all those years of therapy are paying off!
Holding this insight in my mind helps put the rumination cycle in context:
Now that’s a much better picture, isn’t it?
As I now look forward to a rumination-free evening, I’d like to throw the question open: how do you cope if your mind keeps going back (and back and back and back) to an unpleasant topic?