Delayed ruminating

We all have around 70,000 thoughts a day. The biggest difference in how we perceive the quality of our day is linked to how we manage all of these thoughts.

Metacognitive therapy has had great results dealing with depression simply by limiting the amount of time clients spend ruminating over the things that worry us or what’s called trigger thoughts.

Remarkable results through a few steps practised and followed up professionally:

1)    Become aware of the trigger thoughts

2)    Define a certain time a day for ruminating – for example, every night 8-9pm

3)    Every time during the day you catch yourself reacting to a trigger thought, you delay that ruminating: “I’ll come back to that at 8 pm”

Limiting the amount of time spent turning, twisting and twirling the negative or worried thoughts is the key. It’s NOT changing negative thoughts into positive, it’s NOT trying to empty your mind and not think at all (how can we possibly with 70,000 thoughts a day?).

It’s realising we ourselves have a choice: as the trigger thought pops up, decide to delay ruminating about it until 8 pm in your defined ruminating slot. During the day, we then practice doing two things with the thoughts coming and going: observing or detaching. Not trying to suppress them or pretend they’re not there.

Simply observe your thoughts, like the sushi train we talked about some months ago: Observing the plates of sashimi or tiger rolls passing by – knowing you don’t HAVE to grab them. Simply let them continue on the train. They may even come back a second time, you still don’t have to grab them.

As you practise, you’ll realise that it’s OK for both positive and negative thoughts to pass through our head. And that we have a choice of which ones we grab and linger on. And as we start practising not grabbing them until our “chosen ruminate slot”, they may even have passed or not be relevant when we get there.

So, it’s not a matter of whether we’ll HAVE negative or worrying thoughts because we will for sure. It’s realising we have a choice of how much attention we give them, and for how long.

This without saying goes for your own mind as well as for the collective mind in your teams and your businesses. We have a choice – and it’s not hiding the thoughts or discussions, it’s choosing how much time and when we give it attention…

Comments · 4

  1. Hi Annlone,

    I’m in the early stages of lighting the fires as Joe Pane puts it and then have the courage to post out to my old tribe and network. I’d be really interested in reading your leadership stuff. Mine has been learnt from Network 21 and from my own journey forming the Institute for Veterinary Practice Management http://www.ivpd.co.za in South Africa – and now of course through TCI. My sense is to continue with that veterinary avatar and continue sharing my own journey as a veterinarian altho there are a few other avatars I could deal with having lived a bit of life 🙂 Kind regards Larry. Would love to know how you chuck down with a company for 30 days 🙂

    1. Hi Larry, thanks for commenting – I’ll email you through my latest Whitepaper on leadership, and happy to talk more about ways to work with company clients. For where you’re at right now, I believe it’s a great idea for you to apply your new learning and insights to the veterinary world you know, go for it! And as you build and create your business, new additional ideas and angles will turn up – no need to wait (and ruminate!) about all the options now, just get started with one. Enjoy!

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