It’s easy to get obsessed with thoughts. To mull them over and over in your mind. But what does that help? Does mulling them over really do anything but gobble up your time?
When something happens, that is out of your control, it easy to get stuck in a loop of what ifs.
When someone hurts you it’s easy to play it over and over in your mind and get stuck. This time stuck eats up your thoughts, robs you of moments with your loved one and changes nothing.
So how can you stop this destructive thinking cycle and move on more quickly so you don’t waste your precious time on it?
Because if it really changed things you would have a resolution, but you don’t.
So it only robs you of more and more moments until you let it go.
I know I’m a ruminator, I’ve been like this all my life. Wrongs seem to cut me to the core. And when the hurt is all over, my mind plays them over and over.
Until I can break free. But there are a few steps you can take to shorten this process. It’s worked for me.
And if you are good at practicing the steps soon, you’ll find you do them automatically.
In this podcast, I’m sharing productive steps to take to control of what you can and let go of what you can’t change as quickly as possible.
Have a listen…
5 Steps to Take Control of Your Thoughts
1. Stop and Grieve
Yes, I know it sounds weird. But your mind is stuck in this cycle because it leaves something unresolved.
Maybe it’s a hurt you want to address but can’t.
Maybe it’s a circumstance out of your control and you feel stuck.
Whatever it is, take a moment to stop and grieve. Let yourself feel the pain. Cry, let it out. Talk out loud to yourself.
This is the first step in letting it all go.
2. Stop the Thoughts as They Start
Even after you grieve the loss, the problem may come to mind off and on, for a while.
When those thoughts creep back, don’t press them down to deal with them later. Think logically about the situation that occurred.
Did you do something wrong?
Was there something you could have done differently to have a different outcome?
Was the other person in the wrong and won’t make it right?
Look at these and other questions logically. Think like a computer would without emotion as much as you can. This can help separate you from the emotion and help you move on.
3. Get Someone Else’s Perspective
When you share your hurt with others, they can empathize with you. Tell you, if you allow them, a fresh point of view. I know this part is so hard.
Sometimes the hurt is so great because you might be a sensitive person, raising my hand here.
Sometimes the hurt is because you look at the situation one way and not another.
Sometimes the hurt was totally unintentional and someone else can give you that viewpoint and help you see what is happening.
And sometimes when you share your hurt or suffering with others, you let it out.
4. Do a Physical Task
Often when we are mulling things over in our mind, repeatedly, getting active can help break the cycle.
Instead of sitting around and thinking, get active. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or do yard work.
We always have projects that need to be done. When I feel stuck, I get out and work on a project. Trimming the bushes, pressure washing the fence, painting a room I’ve been putting off.
By getting active you can break the cycle of thinking about the situation over and over and let go.
5. Know When to Let Go
Sometimes we hold on to hurt or keep going back in our minds over situation because we aren’t letting them go.
We feel we want to hold on to that hurt. We are justified at holding on to it.
We want to feel some control over a situation we had no control over and so we hold on. And keep going back over it again and again.
To truly let go, we forgive that person or situation that wronged us.
Because when you hold on to the hurt, it will consume your mind and your energy. And then the person or situation wins again. Taking you from what is truly important to you.
You can take control of your thoughts and become more intentional, so you don’t let those thought steal your day.
I’d love to hear what you have tried to get control of those racing thoughts that just won’t go away. What has helped for you? Share it in the comments below.