Monday, December 5, 2011

Rumination — Often an Extension of Negative Self-Talk

 David Brooks, columnist and author of The Social Animal, asked people in their sixties and seventies to write to him about life and learnings. Here's a snippet from one of his recent columns as he categorizes and summarizes the responses he receives.

 Beware rumination. There were many long, detailed essays by people who are experts at self-examination. They could finely calibrate each passing emotion. But these people often did not lead the happiest or most fulfilling lives. It’s not only that they were driven to introspection by bad events. Through self-obsession, they seemed to reinforce the very emotions, thoughts and habits they were trying to escape.

Many of the most impressive people, on the other hand, were strategic self-deceivers. When something bad was done to them, they forgot it, forgave it or were grateful for it. When it comes to self-narratives, honesty may not be the best policy.

Here's a link to a previous post about rumination. http://intelligentwomenonly.blogspot.com/2011/10/rumination-is-not-problem-solving.html

Now is a great time to stop NST and rumination! Enjoy the upcoming holidays without the inner critic, demon, harsh perfectionist. Let's get real. You don't have time to make exquisite cookies. You did drink too much at the office party. You have not chosen the perfect gift for everyone on the list. Your party wasn't the best. The house hasn't a touch of decoration yet and maybe won't for a week or two or three.
BUT, you are still a good person, a smart person, a capable person. You just are NOT a perfect person. And when you are 60 or 70 you certainly don't want to still be stuck on 2011 and your inability to be a great cook, party planner, or gift giver.
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1 comment:

  1. As a gerontologist, I'm so glad to see this attention to elder wisdom!
    Readers may be very interested in a Cornell University project that for 6 years has gathered and shared lessons for living from America's elders. The Cornell Legacy Project has a webstie with videos of elders sharing lessons and an archive of lessons that is found to browse. A book from the project has just been published: "30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans."


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