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How to Stop a Negative Cycle of Thoughts
Loop thinking is when we get stuck repeating the same negative thoughts over and over.
Leaving these thoughts to repeat over and over intensify the negative thoughts and feelings – possibly to the point where you can’t let them go. These loops can often trigger feelings of anxiety and irritation and feel like we are trapped in the same emotion or experience. An example would be ruminating over an argument with your partner and getting more and more angry, anxious or upset.
As a result, we end up wasting precious time, energy and affects our physical and mental health.
What you can do:
Shift Your Focus
There are many things you can do to start to address being caught in a vicious cycle or loop of negativity. In the short term, you can attempt to shift your focus of attention with the aid of relaxation techniques, such as meditation, physical exercise, or socialising.
Another technique called “Existential Digging” involves you taking the time to reflect and examine the deeper meaning of your thoughts and experiences.
1. How did you respond to the situation or life experience? What did you think and do?
2. How did you feel about the situation or life experience? What kinds of emotions were stirred up as a result of the experience or situation?
3. What did you learn from the situation or life experience? What new knowledge, skills, or attitude do you now possess because of the experience or situation?
4. How will you grow from the situation or life experience? How will you apply what you have learned, especially key learning about yourself, for your personal development? What is your course of action to move out of any loop thinking/experience?
It is important not just to increase your awareness of how you might be thinking in a loop or facing loop experiences, but also to reflect on how you responded, how you felt, what you learned and most importantly, how you will grow from these experiences.
Make a commitment today to stop repeating old patterns of thinking and behaviour so that you can stop “looping” and start finding deeper meaning in your life and work.
Original Article from Psychology Today