You know how it is, you hear a song you like and you push the replay button, or you’re watching a video and you push the replay button. You play it again and again until you know it by heart. Unfortunately, many of us hit the replay button when bad things happen—we play it again and again in our minds and just won’t let it go.
The dangers of hitting the replay button in your mind is that you are actually ruminating, or worrying, about whatever it is. You begin to relive it over and over, time and time again. This replay can cause stress, depression, obesity, a loss of present time, a loss of future time, unhappiness, feelings of unworthiness, hopelessness, physical pain, emotional pain, disease, anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, dementia…and the list actually could go on and on.
Nothing good comes from constantly pushing the replay button on a negative event. Nothing.
If any of the above symptoms have plagued you as a result of ruminating, here’s what you can do:
1. First, become AWARE of when you are pushing the replay button. If you’re constantly thinking about how your man cheated on you, how your “friend” stabbed you in the back, how you don’t have enough money to pay the bills, how much you hate your job and your boss because she disrespected you, how your in-laws get on your last nerve telling you what to do, how you wish people would just shut up and go somewhere…you need to catch yourself while you’re in the throes of rumination and hit the STOP button. If you are unaware that you’re hitting the replay button, get an accountability partner; find someone you talk to frequently and ask them to bring it to your attention when you’re doing it.
2. Secondly, once you are aware that you are constantly thinking about this negative thing, make a conscious effort to think about something positive that can actually hold your attention, like a goal, for instance. If you know you need to redecorate, for example, plan out your color scheme, the throw pillows you’ll buy, the type of paint you want to get, decide whether you need new furniture, figure out what you’re going to do with the floors, figure out who’s going to help you…you get the picture. Throw your conscious mind into something worthwhile. Train your mind to think positively. Refuse to let your emotions take you to that dark place you go to when you push that replay button.
3. Next, make it a habit to think positively on something else. You may have to avoid negative friends while your mind is in training. Negative friends will only feed your urge to push the replay button by bringing up the offense or just by complaining about their own situation that may be similar to yours. Until your negative friends get themselves together and stop directly or indirectly feeding your negativity, you may have to leave them alone for awhile. Also, consider doing something for someone else. When you do something for someone else, this takes the focus off of you, your drama, your unhappiness, and instead gives you a feeling of purpose and fulfillment.
4. When you wake up in the morning, make a point of planning positivity into your day. Say a gratitude prayer, get cute, plan to move towards your goals. Decide you are going to have the best day possible. This is another new day—another day closer to your healing. Another day closer to your solution. Another day closer to your deliverance.
5. When you go to bed at night, make a point of thinking about your progress that day. Say another gratitude prayer. Congratulate yourself on your progress; you are retiring the replay button. You’ll begin to notice that you aren’t feeling as sad, depressed, confused, etc. anymore and are instead feeling more positive, strong, focused, and empowered.
Mind work IS a lot of work. It may not require a lot of physical energy, but it can require massive amounts of mental, and oftentimes, emotional energy. It requires self-control, self-discipline, a positive attitude, faith, focus, forgiveness, and surrender. It requires a willingness to change, to grow, to move on. It requires a decision to be mentally (and emotionally) free. I hope you’re willing to put the work in; you’ll find it’s worth it.
To your mental (and emotional) freedom,
And if you liked this post, check out 8 Ways to Stop Sleeping With A Broken Heart . And don’t forget to check out my book, Grown & Virtuous: 28 Simple Lessons to Unveil the Spiritual Diva In You.