Have you ever had a single thought or a series of thoughts run through your head that keep repeating... and repeating... and repeating? That go round and round in your head or brain - like a merry-go-round?
This process of constantly thinking about the same thoughts, which are usually sad, gloomy, or just negative, is also known as Pondering, circling or spiraling thoughts or even as a thought carousel. Sometimes we also say that someone has fallen into the brooding trap. But in the end, these are all just different names for the same thing. And then we just wish that peace would return to our minds, because the feeling of being at the mercy of our own thoughts is really annoying in the long run.
The result of constant rumination can be dangerous to your mental health, as these thoughts can cause stress, trigger anxiety, and promote, exacerbate, or prolong depression. Sleep disturbances, whether problems falling asleep or staying asleep, are also common symptoms that can be triggered by negative thought loops.
Constant brooding is also bad for your self-esteem and can also affect your ability to perform in the Everyday life to think clearly and feelings can be severely impaired. At worst, it can cause you to withdraw (into your shell) and completely avoid social contact.
Now, in this article, you'll learn,
- what are the causes of compulsive brooding and thought loops,
- which tips will help you stop your mental merry-go-round,
- how you can prevent the mind spinning
- and what other lifestyle changes can positively impact your mental health.
What gets the mental merry-go-round rolling?
Most people ruminate for a variety of reasons. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) there are, however, some particularly common reasons for brooding:
- The belief that by brooding you will gain insight into a particular issue, problem, or even your life.
- an emotional or physical trauma in the past
- Constant stressors that you can't control
Rumination also occurs in sufferers with certain Personality traits before, such as
- and an excessive focus on relationships with others. You may tend to overvalue your relationships with others to the point that you make great personal sacrifices to maintain your relationships, even when they are not working for you.
It is not uncommon for brooding to simply become a habit and a "faithful companion" over time.
This is how you can interrupt your negative thoughts and finally end the thought carousel
Once you get stuck in a cycle of brooding thoughts, it can be difficult to get out of such situations. If you get into such a cycle of thoughts, it is important to stop it as soon as possible so that it doesn't become more intense or you even fall into depression.
Because like a ball rolling downhill, it's easier to stop ruminating thoughts when they've just started rolling - and not yet so fast are.
10 Tips - What can you do to stop these thought loops from running through your head all the time?
Here are valuable tips that sufferers can try if the same thought or series of thoughts keep running through their minds.
1. distract yourself
When you notice that you are starting to brood and your mental carousel is really picking up speed, you can break your thought cycle by distracting yourself. The best way to do this is to make the distraction require your full attention - both physically and mentally.
So look around, pick something else quickly, and don't think twice about it. Here are a few suggestions:
- Call a friend or family member
- Doing chores around the house
- watch a movie
- paint a picture
- a Read book
- in your neighborhood go for a walk
It's also best to pay attention to what distractions work best and write them down. Soon you'll have a list of distracting activities that work well for you and stop negative thoughts and ruminations.
2. plan to do something about a particular thought
Instead of repeating and allowing the same negative thought over and over again, take that thought and make a plan to address it - the problem at hand.
Outline in your mind each step you need to take to achieve the Problem to solve or write it down on a piece of paper. Be as specific as possible and be realistic with your expectations.
This is how you interrupt your brooding. It also helps you make progress in trying to banish a negative thought from your mind once and for all, so that at least that one thought can't lure you into the brooding trap again.
3. take action
Once you have an action plan in place to combat your ruminating thoughts, take one small step to address the problem. Refer to the plan you've created to solve the problem you've been fretting about.
Proceed slowly and gradually until your thoughts have calmed down again. For this I can recommend especially the Book "Positive Thinking" by Stefanie Lorenz (you get it here*), as well as the keeping of a such thought diary*.
4. question your thoughts
We often ruminate when we think that we have made a big mistake or when something traumatic has happened to us for which we feel responsible. We then believe our own musings and find it difficult to distance ourselves from our own thought carousel.
The next time you start ruminating about a troubling thought, try putting that repetitive thought into perspective, for example, by thinking about possible consequences and coming to the conclusion that it's not so bad after all. This way you can give the thought its take negative energy and you will find it easier to regain control over your thoughts.
Thinking more about the fact that your troubling thought may not be true at all can help you stop brooding. Especially because you realize that the thought makes little sense.
5. readjust your life goals
Perfectionism and unrealistic goals can also lead to brooding. When you unrealistic goals sets, you can focus on why and how you didn't achieve a goal or what you should have done to achieve it.
However, setting more realistic goals that you can achieve will reduce the risk of overthinking your own actions.
6. work on strengthening your self-esteem
Many people who brood report difficulties with their self-esteem. In fact, lack of self-esteem may be associated with increased rumination. It has also been associated with a increased risk for depression associated.
Boosting your self-esteem can be accomplished in many ways. For example, the Expansion of existing strengths lead to an increase in your self-esteem.
Some people also choose to work as part of a Psychotherapy Work on boosting their self-esteem. As you increase your self-esteem, so can your Improve self-efficacy. In this way, you may find that you can better control ruminating and stop your mind carousel.
Tip: On my blog "My way out of fear" you will find even more tips, to boost your self-esteem.
7. try meditation
Meditating strengthens the immune system and fortunately can also reduce brooding because it clears your mind and puts you in a emotionally calm state displaced. The actual goal of meditation is not complete relaxation, as many people mistakenly think, but rather a Awareness of one's own thoughts.
If you find that thoughts are repeating in your head, you should have a go to a quiet place. Sit down, breathe deeply, and focus on nothing but breathing.
8. understand your triggers
Every time you catch yourself ruminating, make a note of the situation you're in. This includes the Locationwhere you are, the Time of day, the People in your area (if available) and what you did that day. In this way, you can gradually pinpoint the triggers of a brooding attack.
By finding ways to avoid or manage these triggers, you can also reduce the likelihood that your mind carousel will kick back into gear.
9. talk with a friend or a girlfriend
Brooding thoughts can make you feel isolated. Talking about your worries with a friend can help to ease the Break the cycle of negative thinking loops and bring some order back into your chaos of thoughts.
"In the end it is always our connections with people that make our lives worth living."Wilhelm von Humboldt (more at Friendship Quotes)
Talk to a friend who can give you that perspective instead of brooding with you.
Tip: You've been friends forever? Here you will find exciting Questions to get to knowthat connect you even closer together.
10. try therapy
If your ruminative thoughts are dominating your life and you can't stop your mind carousel despite your best efforts, then you should consider therapy. A therapist can help you with this, find out why you tend to brood over and over again and how you can address the issues at the core.
If you're already a long-time, practiced ruminator and want to put an end to your recurring negative thoughts, there are some simple changes you can make in your life to do just that:
- Try to be proactive in solving your problems: First recognize the problems in your life and then start taking step by step action to solve your problems.
- Adjust your own expectations: Negative, brooding thoughts can creep in when we question our self-worth. Praise yourself for your successes and forgive yourself for your mistakes. Constantly work to build your self-esteem by taking care of yourself and doing things you enjoy and are good at.
- Create a support system for yourself: It is very important that you have friends, family members and maybe even a therapist. Talk to people you can ask for help or just ask something when something goes wrong or you are having a bad day. These special people can help you stop your mental carousel. Also, because they are very likely to boost your self-esteem.
Stop the carousel of thoughts and think less from now on
If you're an "experienced" ruminator, it's important to know some tips that can help you stop your mind whirling before it gets completely out of control. It's also important to be proactive and also take steps to prevent yourself from starting to brood in the first place.
If you become aware of this and change your lifestyle and attitude, it is possible to free yourself from ruminating thoughts. If you find that you are not able to free yourself from negative thoughts with these tips, you should consider asking a psychotherapist or psychologist for help.
I hope that I was able to help you with this post on stopping thought carousels - and that you will soon be thinking more positively. Do you have any questions, suggestions or further tips? Then I look forward to your comments.
PS.: In the next article you will now learn how you can specifically and treat panic attacks naturally can!