“Rumination inevitably backfires. It merely compounds our misery.
It’s a heroic attempt to solve a problem that it is just not capable of solving”
We often ruminate about a problem we face, obsessively playing and replaying the scenario in our mind. We tend to believe that rumination will help us overcome discomfort or unhappiness, but in fact replaying the scenario over and over in our mind usually makes things worse. In the words of psychologist Mark Williams and his colleagues, “Rumination is part of the problem, not part of the solution.” On the other hand, purposeful thinking – whether through writing in a journal or verbalizing our thoughts – is a much better way of dealing with psychological and emotional challenges. Purposeful action – actually doing something that could make us feel better – is a lot more helpful than allowing chaotic and usually very negative thinking to wreak havoc on our emotions.
Do this: Instead of focusing on the helplessness of your situation, which gets you nowhere, you could choose to engage in an activity that will help you feel better as well as perform better. Begin by creating a personal blog or/and writing your thoughts and feelings about the situation. Writing will help you feel better, and the clarity you reach will help you commit to taking concrete steps toward meeting the challenges you face today.
Don’t obsessively replay a scenario,
Think and act purposefully.
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)
1. Choose the Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create You Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD (New York: The Experiment, 2012)
2. The Mindful Way Through Depression: Feeling Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by J.M.G. Williams (New York: The Guilford Press, 2007).