Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Flexible Thinking Helps Eliminate NST — More from The Agile Mind

No surprise that I found a link between a flexible mind and negative self-talk in The Agile Mind. According to author Wilma Koutstaal Ph.D, rumination may reflect a trait of "global mental inflexibility" rather than an emotional process. Although research demonstrates that short-term rumination can enhance single goal maintenance, acquisition of the habit of rumination was "detrimental in a task that required rapid and flexible movements between goals." Many of us need to bounce around between markedly different goals, attempting to use both intuitive and rational problem-solving skills, and multitasking physically and mentally in everyday life. Hard to think of an instance when I'm focused single-mindedly on a goal — even writing this post. More reason to break the negative self-talk habit!

Koutstall mentions an 8-week program of meditation and cognitive therapy as a researched, effective approach to decreasing stress and negative self-talk. Both increase flexibility of thought and create psychological distance between the person and the thoughts/feelings about a stressful event. Meditation and cognitive restructuring are both forms of detachment, both effective ways to distance yourself from the negativity. Read more about detachment on this blog by checking the Techniques, Eliminating Negative Self-Talk red boxes, or just search all posts for the word "detachment."

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