When you start to feel a little sad, anxious or irritable, it’s not the mood that does the damage but how you react to it. Sometimes, we can go racing around, being busy, the mind is like a chatterbox. For example, someone in work does something to offend / upset you. You deal with it in the moment but later driving home you begin to replay the event in your head, what you should / shouldn’t have said, etc. It may be helpful to talk to someone (develop your reflective awareness), explore whether your thoughts reflect how you feel. It is helpful to learn to recognise our thought patterns and reflect, ‘there I go again’. Remember your thoughts cannot think themselves, you have to keep feeding them your attention to hold them in place. Whatever you focus on grows. You are the boss of your thoughts – like buses, you don’t have to get on the bus.
Develop mindful awareness. Rumination keeps us trapped – why am I feeling this way? Name the place you’re in. Through reflective awareness, you can learn to name the place you’re in. Stop fighting what’s happening. Even though it may be uncomfortable, welcome the bad feeling. Be mindful – take hold of it like you would face a life event, for example, like acknowledging a death or an illness. Maybe you remember being ill yourself or learning to live with the illness or death of a loved one? Fighting what’s happening doesn’t work. Be present with it and hold it. It’s not all of who you are. This is where I am. Can I accept that?