Break negative thought loops

Thought loop: No matter what you do, you seemingly can’t stop your mind from thinking of the stuck thought over and over again. This is also called rumination.

Thought loops can happen to anyone. It is important to break out of them as quickly as possible before they take over and add stress to your life.

The key is to observe your thoughts and to observe how you react to them. Two techniques you might try:

1. Question those thoughts. Ask yourself these four questions: 1) Is it true? 2) Can you absolutely know it’s true? 3) How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? 4) Who would you be without the thought? (Byron Katie’s 4 Questions)

2. Self-distance from the situation to clarify your thoughts. Take on the perspective of a third-party observer. Wonder about your reaction in third-person (he/she/they) rather than first person (I/we). “Why is s/he so hurt in this situation?” rather than “Why am I so angry?” and “How did these two people get to this point?” rather than “How did we get here?”


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