WE ALL HAVE TIMES when we think about something
negative we cant do anything about: Something in the news,
something that happened yesterday, one of our fellow workers
who made us mad, a company policy. The time spent ruminating
on that stuff is wasted. Its worse than wasted,
because it makes our bodies produce stress hormones, which circulate
in the bloodstream and arent good for our health.
When you find yourself thinking about something
negative and you want to stop, Id like to give you a technique...but
I cant. The mind doesnt work that way. Its
like a river that just keeps flowing, and even when you try to
dam it up, it just overflows the dam and keeps on flowing. A
river must flow. You cant stop it.
But you can redirect it.
The same is true for your mind. It keeps
flowing; it keeps thinking. You cant stop it. But you can
When you are thinking about something negative
you cant do anything about, redirect your mind. There are
a million things you could direct your mind to, but lets
choose a good one now rather than wait until were bothered
by something. Heres an extremely useful area to redirect
your mind to: Complimenting other people.
You and I know we take things for granted
and it would be good to appreciate what people do for us, but
we dont, at least not as often as wed like. Why?
Because we need to think about it. When we compliment
someone without giving it any thought, it comes out shallow,
general, or phony. To do it well requires thought.
But we dont have the spare time to
think about it were too busy thinking about negative
things we cant do anything about (wink).
So from this point on, use the occurrence
of needless negative rumination as a trigger something
that reminds you to think about complimenting someone. Use it
as an opportunity to switch your mind, to turn it in a new direction.
What specifically has someone done that you think was cool? Big
or small, it doesnt matter. Next time you see that person,
let them know you appreciate it. The fact that you acknowledge
it some time after it happens shows it was important enough for
you to think about later, which adds more impact to the compliment.
Give more sincere and well-thought-out
compliments and your relationships will be better, your life
will be better, the world will be better. And one way to give
more compliments is to use the old switcheroo.
When you want to stop ruminating
Direct your thoughts to what
you appreciate, and say it.