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  1. #1

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    How to stop dwelling on things

    How do you stop dwelling and thinking about those things that bug you?

    You know, those stupid little things that niggle at your mind and you would really just forget them and move on. Because they are not worth losing sleep over. But you continue to go over them again and again in your mind.

    Are there any methods that people have figured out for dealing with them?

    I ask because with myself it happens quite often and I get annoyed with myself that I can't let things go. However I assume it happens to quite a few of us and we all go through it at certain points of time.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  2. #2
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    If its something that really causes you upset with your daily life than I suggest some counseling.

    Some self help books can be useful too, I cannot remember the authors name but the title is--Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, he has other books too.

    I have found that life is way to short to allow yourself to be bothered by little things. I have found that really putting priorities in order (important things not wants) helps.

    Bright Blessings!
    Without fear you cannot find courage

  3. #3
    Tranquillo
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    I've found the best way to avoid thinking about negative things is to stay as busy as I can with something positive. Usually I'm so tired when I go to bed that I couldn't stay awake thinking about things even if I tried.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  4. #4
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    I've found the best way to avoid thinking about negative things is to stay as busy as I can with something positive. Usually I'm so tired when I go to bed that I couldn't stay awake thinking about things even if I tried.
    Distraction. This tends to work for me too.

  5. #5
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    If I am about to go to bed and there is some thing that's been bugging me all day and I can't stop thinking about it and I know I won't sleep, I have a little journal on my dresser in which I write down all those kinds of thoughts and work through them in order to get them out of my head and on paper and acknowledge them for what they are. Normally, they no longer bother me and I am able to sleep.

  6. #6

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    I have this problem, BIG TIME! If something gets to me, it gets to me big time. I either don't care at all or can't seem to quit thinking about it. It gets so bad that I will have anxiety issues and high blood pressure. The only thing that works a little for me is to go to a quiet place and basically meditate. I just sit somewhere and take big deep breaths and try to think about nothing. It calms me down a bit but usually I go back to thinking about whatever it is that was bothering me, anyway. This is not always the answer but sometimes the only thing that will work is to take something like xanax, especially if it is at night and I can't sleep.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    Solution 1.
    Solution 2. watch a movie, better if a big drama. It makes me look at things in the "There can always be worse than my situation"
    Solution 3. Talk to a friend, but avoid the negative nelly type. Even if you don't want to go into details, sometimes having somebody saying it will pass or give you some idea helps. People who dwell most of the times lack the ability to judge objectively or be constructive.

  8. #8

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    I go for a run. This, obviously, only works during the day, though. Running through my neighborhood at 3 in the morning would give you more things to dwell upon.

  9. #9
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    When something's really bothering me, I write down things exactly as I feel them - no justifying, no minimizing - in a private entry on my livejournal. It's like a release.

  10. #10
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    Using cognitive therapy techniques to modify the inappropriate thoughts. Examples:

    http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs...g%20Styles.pdf

    http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs...Connection.pdf

    The Centre for Clinical Interventions has lots of great resources for modifying thoughts.

    http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/reso...cfm?Info_ID=47

    http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/reso...cfm?Info_ID=40
    Last edited by mmscfdcsu; 05-30-2010 at 05:57 PM.

  11. #11

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    I tend to freak out and dwell on just about everything. Being busy really helps against it. I also find thought suppression to be helpful. I tell myself, "Okay, I'm going to worry about this for 10 minutes only." And then I let myself really worry and dwell on the subject for 10 minutes. Then I tell myself, "Okay. I've finished worrying about it."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by altai_rose View Post
    I tend to freak out and dwell on just about everything. Being busy really helps against it. I also find thought suppression to be helpful. I tell myself, "Okay, I'm going to worry about this for 10 minutes only." And then I let myself really worry and dwell on the subject for 10 minutes. Then I tell myself, "Okay. I've finished worrying about it."


    I used to be really bad too. And both work great for me now.

    1. keep incredibly busy.
    2. decide I'm done thinking about it now. (very hard to do. learned how after years and years)

    And a third. Ask myself what I can do to "fix" this. If anything, get to it and fix it best I can. If the answer is nothing, then just decide worrying or dwelling on it is useless and go on from there

    As I said, it took years to get to where I am now, but it seemed to work for me. I'm now relatively stress free after being so bad in my past live I'd make myself sick.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    I've found the best way to avoid thinking about negative things is to stay as busy as I can with something positive. Usually I'm so tired when I go to bed that I couldn't stay awake thinking about things even if I tried.
    Yup. Keeping busy with other things leaves no energy to think about the stuff you can't help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norlite View Post
    And a third. Ask myself what I can do to "fix" this. If anything, get to it and fix it best I can. If the answer is nothing, then just decide worrying or dwelling on it is useless and go on from there.
    This is probably what I do most. If I decide that I can do something about it, I only think about it long enough to decide what I'm going to do. I then immediately do it, so it doesn't bug me anymore. And then it's done. No need to think about it anymore, because you've already done something about it.

    It also helps if you're really lazy, like I am. When I was younger, my mom used to tell me that my laziness would be the end of me, but I think it's the main reason why I'm so relaxed and happy as an adult. I only have so much energy to do or think about things, and I'd rather not spend that precious energy wallowing on things that make me anxious. It's basically an issue of prioritizing.

  14. #14
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    try a form of active meditation. Do one thing at a time and put your whole heart/attention/focus into whatever it is that is being done--just be fully present in the moment.

  15. #15
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    I've been like this since I was a very young kid (like 5/6) and the above suggestions (general therapy, cognitive therapy, medication, meditation, keeping myself busy/distracted, talking with friends, etc) never worked for me. I would always just return to dwelling on the same things.

    Once I hit my thirties I think I started to accept that this is just probably the way my brain is wired, and tried try adapt over the past couple of years the best I could.

  16. #16
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    I have this problem as well! Mostly it is over little imperfections while performing or ruminating over the intentions of others/ trying to read between the lines. It is driving me crazy!
    The mind of the performer is a very strange thing.
    ~James Galway

  17. #17
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    Distraction works for me too. One of my reoccuring thoughts is the time I made a fool of myself stating my opinion about brokeback mountain in college. I also try positive reframing, aka "it was a blunder but I've matured since then" and use mindfulness techniques to let it go.

  18. #18
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    I've gotten much worse about this problem as I age, sigh. Best thing for me is to stay busy and listen to some cheery music. Dones' always work though, but better than nothing.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mila19 View Post
    Solution 1.
    Solution 2. watch a movie, better if a big drama. It makes me look at things in the "There can always be worse than my situation"
    Solution 3. Talk to a friend, but avoid the negative nelly type. Even if you don't want to go into details, sometimes having somebody saying it will pass or give you some idea helps. People who dwell most of the times lack the ability to judge objectively or be constructive.
    Solution 1: Pity I don't drink. I don't have an excuse outside myself for my problems.
    Solution 2: Wish I had more money. But I totally agree because there is always someone worse off than myself. That is one reason why I get annoyed because I am not as bad off as some. Things shouldn't be such a drama.
    Solution 3: Lucky that for a couple of situations, there are people I can talk to. Particularly one person who a couple of us both deal with who bugs us both just as much. Talking to this other person recently was great and turned negative energy into positive.

    Thanks everyone for the words of advice. I knew I was not the only one and I hope that others can gain some useful tips from this thread. It doesn't require counselling but rather a sense of perspective.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Thanks everyone for the words of advice. I knew I was not the only one and I hope that others can gain some useful tips from this thread. It doesn't require counselling but rather a sense of perspective.
    Counselling doesn't have to be just for people on the brink of a mental breakdown. My boss suffered from anxiety for years when he was working in NYC, but went to talk to "a shrink" and it helped him a lot. It wasn't anywhere close to debilitating anxiety, but he's A LOT happier now. He totally recommends that sort of thing.

    If you think it can help you, go for it.

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