While it can be perfectly healthy to take some time to reflect and meditate on your negative experiences in order to learn and grow, spending too much time on them can lead to over magnification. Having an overactive mind can be exhausting, make it hard to sleep, and even lead to more severe problems such as anxiety and depression.
When we think about a trauma or negative experience over and over our body and subconscious mind believes it is happening over and over which leads to extra stress and strain on the body. For the biological systems alone it is common to have higher blood pressure, heart rate, and rushes of adrenaline as your body is prepping for a flight or fight response.
This actually makes it hard to heal from the trauma, maintain a healthy weight, and peace of mind. When your body and subconscious mind are always posed for a fight or running away it can make if very difficult to interact with your partner, family, friends, and coworkers with any level of balanced neutrality.
Even when you are around people who weren’t involved in the negative experience they are affected because you aren’t present in the current moment either. Since we don’t want other people to suffer for the stories in our own heads it is important that we take steps to rebalance ourselves.
1. Recognize when it is actually happening.
Since your body, mind, and emotions will keep reacting to the negative memory it is important to take a deep breath, do some grounding, and bring yourself back to the present moment. Is the negative experience happening right now? If not try to tap back into your senses and use some mindfulness meditation techniques to bring yourself to this moment.
2. Look for solutions to resolve the experience.
If you are observing what happened from a calm and balanced space with the intent to find a solution that works for you and helps the other people involved then it is ok to remember what happened.
Once we figure out what we need to do in order to fix what happened or make sure it doesn’t happen again the rest of it is timing.
This can be a hard one especially when you are at fault. Though we may want to jump to resolve it right away we have to make sure it isn’t for selfish reasons. If we are just apologizing so that we can feel better then we are being selfish. If we are apologizing because we feel sorry and we would really love to resolve things with another party then we have to make sure the timing of our apology will be as well received as it could be.
When you feel someone has wronged you then look for ways you can express yourself that won’t escalate the situation. Remain calm, use I statements, and talk about what you did wrong and what you could have done better to prevent the issue. Allow the other person a chance to own their side of things. If they don’t you may need to either involve a neutral party or realize that people are where they are at and all you can do is make sure you are in a state of balance.
3. Set aside some time to think.
There is so much that goes on every day that we really do need some time away from electronics to calm our minds and observe our thoughts and emotions.
I feel this is best done in a meditative state because then I can breathe, slow down, and practice non-attachment with my thoughts and emotions. They become like clouds floating across the sky which rise up and pass away naturally.
This time to think will also make sure that you don’t bury issues that trouble you. If you get a gut feeling that something is wrong it is best to trust that feeling. Once you have a quiet non-biased space and time then you can sit calmly with the feeling and explore it.
4. Self Care
Take some time to care for yourself. Since your overactive mind is putting your body through the ringer allow time to read a book, take a bath, watch your favorite movie, play a video game, eat some healthy food, go on a hike, and allow time to help you move forward from the experience.
5. Practice Mindfulness, Yoga, Breathing Techniques, or Other Self Soothing Activity
Our biological responses are instinctual, and even though mind over matter is very powerful, you cannot force your body to not feel what it is feeling.
That doesn’t mean you have to react to your feelings but it is important to realize that negative things are going to happen in your life and it would be wise to set up some sort of daily activity that can help ‘take out the trash’ so to speak.
Going for a walk, run, practicing yoga, stretching, breathing tackiness, or meditation can all be great ways to move forward and keep from getting trapped in the past.
Exercise and the release of natural endorphins allow your body the chance to process things on a physical level so that it is much easier to think clearly and act instead of reacting to your problems.
Let us know in the comments below what do you do to end the cycle of reliving negative experiences.