Monday, January 16, 2012

What Kind of Repetitive Negative Thinker Are You? Or Aren't You?

A recent research study about repetitive negative thinking (otherwise known as rumination) identifies three different types.

• Rumination that maintain the focus on emotions.  E.g. "‘When I’m feeling sad, I think about the other times I felt that way." Thinking about negative feelings in the present often brings up past times when thoughts and feelings were also negative. The mind cycles cycling round, rethinking old and new experiences, leaving little space for other thoughts and feelings.

• Stress-reactive rumination measures the frequency of negative thoughts about the negative inferences following stress events. E.g. "I think about how the stressful event was totally my fault." Generally this is the type of ruminative thinking I address on intelligentwomenonly.com
It's negative thoughts and feelings about yourself. An event may cause stress. Then the negative self-talk that comes from the stress, creates more stress. "I'm so stupid. That's why I handled the situation like a jerk." Even if the rumination stays pretty much in the present, it hangs on, cycling around in the mind.

• Rumination with the primary tendency to worry in an obsessive and uncontrolled way. "I'm really bothered by the worrying I do." " I shouldn't worry so much." What's wrong with me that I'm always worrying?' Clearly that's single track rumination. There's not so much of a cycle but a straight line of linked consistent negative thoughts.

I can't provide the link because the article, "Dimensions of Negative Thinking and the Relations with Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents" was published in an academic journal (Cognitive Therapy Research, 2010) that I found on a database rather then the internet. Although the research was about children, adults do the same kind of rumination. And adults also end up with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

If you're just thinking about negative self-talk and rumination for the first time, check out all the posts on this blog under the category, Understand Negative Self-Talk.  Then if you want to start thinking about making a change, look under Eliminate Negative Self-talk.
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