It is easy to give advice to someone dwelling on something negative for too long, but when it comes to us, we struggle to get our minds off it. In fact, research shows that when you are instructed not to think about a specific topic, it becomes harder to refrain from thinking about it. Going through negative thoughts over and over in your head can lead to chronic depression. It is termed as ‘rumination’. Fortunately, there are a few techniques that you can use to avoid constant negative thinking.
Keep positive company
If you cannot get negative thoughts out of your mind, it may have something to do with your social circle. Studies have shown that most college students pick up rumination habits from their roommates. Therefore, it is imperative to avoid perpetually negative friends if you can, or else try and spend less time with them, lest their attitude spoil you.
Physically throw them away
It may sound crazy, but research has proven that an action as simple as writing down a thought that is nagging you on a piece of paper and throwing it away can help lessen rumination. Doing this action on a computer also worked, which included writing on a text document or notepad and dragging it into the recycle bin.
Have a cup of tea
Substituting physical warmth for emotional warmth can be a quick fix, the researchers say—just do not let it take the place of real human interaction in the long run.
Reframe your situation
If your urge to ruminate is very strong, then distracting yourself is not going to be easy. At such times it is necessary to reframe the situation that is nagging you and try to analyse it in a better way. Think of what could be done rather than just crying over spilt milk.
Refrain from instant reaction
There are times when you may have the urge to get rid of a nagging negative thought by doing something impulsive. It is important to understand that weighing out a situation and thinking about it reasonably is better than letting rumination destroy you.