If your brain is a rumination station, try mindfulness!

The mind’s tendency to focus on the negative, called the “negativity bias,” probably evolved to protect us. In the absence of genuine threats, our minds still look for “what’s wrong” — and can easily get stuck on repeat, replaying the same negative thoughts over and over. Mulling something over this way, or ruminating, can not only dampen your mood; it can increase levels of stress hormones and lead to health problems. In one recent study, researchers looked at how people responded to conflicts in work-life balance and found that those who ruminated about such conflicts had more health conditions, more fatigue, and less life satisfaction. If your mind tends to get stuck on negative loops, mindfulness can help. In mindfulness meditation, you sit and focus on your breath, noticing any thoughts and emotions that come up without judging them or getting attached to them. When you build these skills, you can apply them to your daily life. So instead of ruminating about a conflict, you can approach it mindfully, staying aware of your thoughts without letting them carry you down a rabbit hole. This frees you up to look for solutions, a much better use of your time and energy.

Investigating the work–family conflict and health link: Repetitive thought as a mechanism

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” Amit Ray

Posted on April 20, 2017 and filed under wellness.