How do I stop letting obsessive thoughts affect me?

I keep ruminating on past events, and then when I notice that, I get annoyed at myself, which leads me to think why did I think that, which just creates a thought cycle that I find it hard to break out of. How do I change my thoughts and stop these cycles?
Asked by Lew

Hi, Lew thank you for your question regarding your ruminating on past events. Getting angry may stop you from being able to process your feelings of negative thinking about past events. If you start journaling and recognising it may help you become aware of your negative cycle thinking. There is a technique called The Stop Technique which enables you to stop the negative thinking, if you imagine when you are driving a car and the lights change to red, you stop the car. If you do not you will cause an accident which is a catastrophizing the event which is like our thought process so when you feel yourself going through the red light, try and put the stop technique in place. Remember red spells danger with a lot of things. 

You can try thinking of other ways to stop ruminating maybe introduce some enjoyable activities things you like hobbies etc, music, gigs, reading, art. By doing this your thoughts may be deflected into positive thoughts instead of negative. You could look at setting some positive boundaries for yourself. Focus on the thought or situation and examine your thinking process, try and recognize your triggers. By noticing this you may be able to start some problem solving and you can start by challenging your negative thoughts. It's okay to make mistakes. Find ways of stopping your obsessive thoughts about your past mistakes because in turn this keeps the negative cycle going.

If you can make a plan to take action when your thoughts begin take time to question these and readjust your life's goals. You start making small goals, they are a lot easier to accomplish which can help grow your self-esteem which help you in the long run to be more positive about the future and can have a positive outlook for you. Ruminating is a negative way of thinking but once you can master this and start changing negative to positive thoughts it may help you move forward and start to have more quality and think things through better. Worry breads worry which can be consuming and very tiring for you to cope with so by recognizing before we go the the red lights for stop can be helpful for you whether in relationship, work and everyday life. Hope this helps you Janice.

(Degree/, Bch, of, Science, Degree, Psychotherapist)