We all have times when we dwell on things longer than we should. People will tell you there’s no sense beating a dead horse, move on. Easier said than done because there can be times when you think too much about bad things and it can create a terrible depression, and feed awful cycles of anxiety.

 

So when you feel ruminating thoughts in your brain and you don’t know how to stop them, what can you do? Well, thankfully there are answers…

 

How Not to “Dwell On It”

As Bustle explains, there are varying degrees of anxiety, but what practically every kind of anxiety has in common is what’s known as “repetitive anxious thoughts.” You can “what if” everything forever, and constantly run the worst case scenarios of life in your mind. Ruminating thoughts and repetitive anxious thoughts can start small, then grow into full-blown anxiety.

 

As one therapist told Bustle, “Even high-functioning people can experience these thoughts while going through normal days and tasks,” but thankfully you can overcome this. “Using a combination of basic cognitive-behavioral exercises, mindfulness, and meditation, it is very possible to break, and eventually eliminate, the cycle of repetitive thoughts.”

 

Suggestions and Tools to Beat Ruminative Thoughts and Beat Anxiety

One of the first tools that Bustle recommends is coming up with positive mantras for yourself. There is no one size fits all for this, and you can custom build your personal mantra however you wish. Good music is helpful for this too. As a psychiatrist explains, “Your brain will respond to any kind of soothing melody and will send a message of calm to your nervous system.”

 

Another great way to help make the anxiety go away is naming it and defining it. When you experience panic, it’s good to tell yourself things like, “This is an unhelpful thought,” or “this is just an anxious thought.” This way, you can tell yourself that your anxiety is just fear without any real reason to be afraid.

 

Communicating With Your Anxiety

Another great way to combat your fears is with visualization. Imagine a STOP sign when you start freaking out. You see the STOP sign, slam on the breaks with your fear.

 

This story also recommends talking back to your anxiety, and speak confidently against it. And when you speak back to your anxiety, speak in a positive way against something negative.

 

Other ways to beat anxiety and depression you may already have in your toolbox include change the scenery of your life, take a good long bath, talk to friends, meditate, and distract yourself. The last one is fairly easy to do in today’s digital age, and it’s easy to get lost in something else to the point where you forget to feel anxious and depressed.

 

It’s important to remember a lot of these techniques are short term, and it’s important to speak to a psychiatrist and go into therapy to deal with underlying issues that may be fueling your anxiety. At the same time, having new tools in your toolbox to deal with anxiety and depression can be fun to try out, and with enough practice, they can become part of your daily routine.