First, let’s define what is the definition of looping thoughts (also called Rumination): is a persistent thought (or chain of thoughts), that are very difficult to ignore. Often, the intruding thoughts preoccupy your mind at bedtime, making sleep elusive. Fixating on fears, other people’s motives, and things you did or should have done can distract from living in—and enjoying—the present moment.
We have all been there!
Your mind works like a Netflix algorithm. Imagine you are on your couch, and you decide to watch a horror film. Netflix takes that into account and next time you turn on the TV, Netflix will suggest horror movies along with other different ones. If you chose again a horror movie, chances are, Netflix will only suggest horror movies. Because Netflix leant that horror is what you want, your desire preference.
How do you change that? well, next time you need to do a bit of effort: you go into the search engine and look for a comedy. Now Netflix will realize that your preferences are maybe changing, so you will start getting recommendations of maybe 90% horror and 10% comedy. Is until you watch enough comedies that the algorithm will start changing the preferences for you and will display comedies instead of horror.
Now let’s take that analogy and put in into your mind context:
works like this: Thoughts – Feelings – Actions.
Let me explain with an example:
You are on your bed at night, reflecting on your day. You start thinking things like: “I should have said this instead of that”, “I should have said no”, “why did I agree on this”, “I’m so stupid”, “I’m so incompetent”, “I’m so bad at this”. When these thoughts are invading us, is only normal that we feel sad, depressed, anxious, not good enough, with our confidence in record low.
Now, with those kinds of feelings, what actions would follow? probably inaction.
How would you act when u feel anxious, depressed, sad, not good enough?
I bet you would rather spend the whole day in bed. You would probably face the world with fear, not able to take decisions, trying to hide from the world in order not to get hurt or rejected. Think about it, if you end up in that state, what kind of thoughts you have? sad ones I bet... and the circle starts all over, and it just gets reinforced.
On the opposite case: you are on your bed, thinking on all the things you got RIGHT during the day. It was probably not the perfect day, but you were brilliant in certain situation, you could help that friend, your performance at work was not at all bad, you met your deadlines. It feels wonderful, it gets you a feeling of accomplishment, you feel confident and happy.
What actions follow the feeling? well, for a start, you are ready to face the day and the world, you are likely to take risks because you already feeling successful, rejections won’t bother you so much or you will take them as challenges. You will get in action. Action will bring extra motivation and you will be on a roll!
So it takes time and awareness. You have to be willing to stop watching horror movies and watch that comedy instead, but when your mind finally gets the message, you will definitely be UNSTOPPABLE.