It is common to go down memory lane and reflect on upsetting situations. By replaying such scenarios in our minds, we hope to have an epiphany that may help us solve our problems. But more often than not, this process of reminiscing on our past goes awry to the point where we keep falling back to these bad memories and begin to get more and more upset each time. Before we realise it, our mood is ruined and our emotions get the better of us.
Here are the 7 deadly sins of living in the past…
Ruminating Lands Us In A Rut
By ruminating on a regular basis, we slowly become part of a vicious cycle that can easily have us trapped. It is truly an addictive feeling and the more we do it, the more constrained we feel.
Brooding = Depression
Excessively brooding about something can increase the likelihood of us becoming depressed and what’s worse is the duration of depression can last longer with each brooding session.
Rumination Can Lead To Vices
That’s right, one often resorts to drinking, smoking or other similar vices to help take the edge off the constant sadness and irritability that result from rumination. The more introspection you do, the more likely you are to go on a substance abuse spree.
Rumination Goes Hand In Glove With Eating Disorders
Many of us will resort to food to help us cope with distressing feelings that arise from brooding. Rumination has been proven to be associated with causing a greater risk of eating disorders. Some people develop a condition called bulimia nervosa, where they resort to binge eating till the point where they vomit and then they start eating all over again. Others tend to abstain from food all together and end up becoming anorexic.
Brooding Gives Way To Negative Thinking
By spending so much of our valuable time on distressing and negative events, we end up paining our perceptions in a way that every aspect of our lives begin to look bleak.
Brooding Makes It Difficult To Think Straight
A study found that women who tend to ruminate a lot and who found an abnormality in their breast, waited approximately 2 months longer than sound-minded women to go in for a breast exam.
Rumination Can Lead To Cardiac Arrest
Rumination can increase your stress levels to a point where your physiological responses can put you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
So How Do I Break The Habit?
Due to the very addictive nature of brooding and ruminating, the best way to break the habit is to simply go cold turkey. Particularly, we must try to identify brooding as and when it happens, and try to distract ourselves by occupying our minds with something that takes the focus away from our ruminations. It doesn’t matter whether you try watching a movie, solving a crossword puzzle, working out at the gym or simply playing Candy Crush; anything that shifts our focus will eventually force us to stop ruminating. Over time, by preventing brooding from acting out and by not giving in to its allure, the urge to revisit that dark place will soon diminish.