Over the last two blogs, we have talked about two simple habits to improve your emotional health. We have talked about protecting and building your self-esteem as well as how to take control after a failure. The next simple habit is to distract yourself from brooding thoughts.

This is something we have all encountered. You came into the office one day and got into a disagreement with a coworker. Your reactions to everything might make sense to you, but you can’t seem to get the altercation out of your mind. You might talk with someone else about what you are thinking but still keep playing it over again and again, almost like a broken record. So what can you do to overcome this?

Quit Cold Turkey
Yes, you read that right. Simply stop. If you notice that you are brooding over something, take a second to throw all those thoughts out of your head. Sometimes, the more we dwell on these thoughts, the longer we get stuck in them and the harder it will be to throw them out. As long as you stay aware of your thoughts and do what you can to get rid of them, you can easily overcome these broodings.

Engage In Something Positive
Many sources have shown that another effective way to get out of the brooding cycle is to do something positive that fosters useful thinking. Instead of dwelling on the issue and playing back what happened in a never-ending loop, orient yourself in the positive exercises such as reflection, breathing exercises or different forms of meditation. It will not only help to distract you from the brooding thoughts, but it will also help you to clean your mind and gain a fresh perspective of the situation.

Solve It!
Would you believe me if I told you that people who tend to get stuck in these brooding cycles tend to also ask questions like “why does this happen to me?” instead of asking “what else can I do to resolve the issue and move on?” Well it’s true. Try this when you catch yourself brooding. Write down the situation you are thinking about. Now take a second to list out all of the ways that you feel you could solve the problem (if there is a problem to be solved). If it’s simply that you needed to look at the situation again, then write down how you feel about it and you can simply leave the emotion on the paper and move on. Of course, you can also do this out loud by discussing it with a friend or loved one. However, when talking to someone else about it, be mindful that it doesn’t turn into a complaining session.

We have all caught ourselves brooding over something every now and then – isn’t it time that we stop the cycle?