The Science of Self-Talk: Rumination

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It’s important to note here that negative emotion (or negative affect) is not necessarily your enemy. It’s how you think about negative emotions that makes them negative.

In other words, how you represent negative emotions to yourself in your own self-talk is the key ingredient that turns them into real negativity. How so?

Researchers studying depression have figured out that people with clinical depression have a kind of compulsive destructive self-talk.

Psychologists call it rumination, and its characteristic is repetitively going over symptoms of distress, like a scab you keep obsessively picking at.

Its other characteristic is passivity. You don’t focus on solutions but problems.

So you have a negative emotion, such as sadness, but, on top of that sadness, you’re telling yourself this toxic story:

It’s all useless, I can’t do anything right. I’ve been stuck in this same position forever and I’ll never get out of it.

Dysfunctional self-talk tells a story. It’s the wrong kind of story, a story in which you’re passive and helpless.

In constructive self-talk, on the other hand, you see yourself as someone who can achieve your goals. That doesn’t just lift your mood.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you see yourself as capable, then you have the right perspective to become capable.

That puts you in the driver’s seat.




My two cents: Self talk: “Edward Bourne PhD. Anxiety specialist: “It is so automatic and subtle you don’t notice it or the effect it has on your moods and feelings. It appears in telegraphic form- one short word or image (”Oh no!) contains a whole series of thoughts, memories, or associations. Anxious.18th self-talk is typically irrational but almost always sounds like the truth.


Enquiring Minds want to know: Change



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How many people make a significant change in their life? What percentage would you assign to change?


Why do you think change is such a monumental task?


I know that human nature would rather endure a known suffering than risk change, even if change would benefit us.


This must be the road less traveled.


I have opined in many posts about taking risks and improving.


Looking deep inside yourself, what needs to happen for you to risk change?


It is different for all of us.


Therapists I have asked, say 5% of clients do the work and risk change.


We go crazy about politics but look at how few vote.


Are we drawn to the easy way out, seeking pleasure, avoiding anything awkward or difficult.


I know some of the greatest, most satisfying lives have been filled will difficulty, loss and drama. Lincoln, Mother Theresa, and Mandela come to mind.


Maybe if we increased our gratitude and giving, change would be easier.

Please share your thoughts on change.

Improving in my mindfulness group



We work on brain science, focus, letting go, body awareness, thoughts, and application of our practice.

We work on issues that derail us. Home work or focus during the week has helped strengthen their practice and improve life.

We work on sitting shorter periods with maximum effort (focus). I have introduced different objects of focus.

I always recommend using my breathing model and listening as our core focus. Then ideas like, altruism (loving kindness gratitude), showering others with kindness without regard for reward becomes our focus object.

A shift in focus from a visual to listening object expands everyone’s skill level.

Imagine sitting with your back to a dense jungle, tender dry from a year long drought. Something in the jungle is heading our way.

Can you quiet down inside your ears, listening deep into that jungle?

Scenario two: We are commanding a submarine 200 feet below the surface. An enemy ship is hunting us. Shhhhhh.

Absolute quiet, absolute silence is our goal for the next 15 minutes.

Add some creative challenges to your mindfulness practice.

Enjoy the journey.



Meditation/Mindfulness changes in me



That big sense, I am lacking something has dwindled. I need very little now for me to be content or happy.

Worry gets much less attention. Life is a challenge, many things are out of our control, however my time spent in the present moment has increased exponentially.

I do not try to escape feeling awkward, sad, lonely or anxious anymore. Now, feelings are felt in their entirety, then let go to fade away harmlessly.

Emotions and thoughts are discounted as mere appendages, nothing of relevance, just a mild inconvenience. Wow, what a relief this has been in daily life.

My free time has increased since ruminating lasts a relatively short duration with most disruptions.

Being able to let go of thought, judgment and emotion has eliminated so much suffering. No need to repair or integrate days of dissociating, ruminating in my traumatic past.

The promise of being free in this moment has triumphed over living in the past or predicting suffering in the future.

I enjoy times of happiness when my mind is focused, clear and ever present.

While hiking I let my senses control my being, that is I observe what my eyes see, ears hear and nose smells without narration.

I am a sponge, observing, soaking up reality without analyzing or judging.

Miracles are everywhere. Giant trees, wildlife, fresh air and nature fill my being. Thought spoils this pristine experience.

I have learned to let my mind empty, to give him a break.

My body and mind repair themselves when I focus on the breath and let thoughts clear my consciousness.

Our goal in meditation is to reach a no thought space.

We are just daydreaming until we build our focus to this level.

It takes practice and is attainable for all of us. No special talent, intelligence is needed, just daily practice.

My intuition has grown. I sense things in others, non verbal clues, unrest or agitation that went unnoticed before.

We all have intuitive skills waiting to be developed.

Meditation becomes more significant in life’s harsh times.

Most of us can have joy when things are going well.

Our issues comes with perceived failure, loss, a health crisis or someone offending us.

Our ability to focus, then let the noise go, changes life completely.

Could you benefit from a mindfulness practice?



Let’s talk Victimhood



This is an extremely volatile word on any PTSD discussion board. Many PTSD sufferers lose their minds, becoming irate and aggressive.

The discussion board taught me Victimhood demands congruence.

My sin was writing, we can heal with daily work.

You find out how hateful people can behave, being anonymous on a discussion board.

Victims could not stand having a non-victim in their midst.

The great divide between these victims and myself, was responsibility.

One communal thought shared, we can not heal from Complex PTSD until the DSM recognizes it as a disorder.

Unbelievable how many excuses are created to avoid taking responsibility.

Fear dominates their lives.

Yes my father abused me violently, but I am responsible, now.

When I was blaming my father, being a victim, I suffered.

I maybe be a victim in the future, but it will not be for long.

Please have the courage to take responsibility for your life, take action.

Taking a positive action (step) to heal, however small, is a giant step out of Victimhood.

I maybe damaged physically and emotionally, riddled with flaws, but unworthiness has no foothold inside me.

This sounds arrogant writing, but I refuse to be or act like a victim.

When I catch myself feeling sorry for myself in a weak moment, it disgusts me.

I would rather die taking responsibility, whatever that entails, than live feeling sorry for myself.

We die the same day, same hour, same minute, if you suffer as a victim or live free and risk.

We have a choice.

This may generate a few responses.



Mindfulness: Benefits I have experienced part two, 2




Benefit three: Ruminating, spending time letting the mind wander aimlessly has drastically declined.

Visualize a giant sports scoreboard, instead of visitor and home team, we have time spent in past or future, and time spent in the present moment.

My score is very lopsided now, my present moment awareness increases as I practice. My thought process has shifted.

If I need to think, it is directed thought. A High School student desires a career, so he/she directs thought into the specifics needed.

After the investigation, he/she returns to now.

We experience this moment, then we move on to the next moment, absent of any backage from the past.

We build a quiet space between external stimuli and reaction. This space gives us a choice, so we can react or ignore the situation.

We practice by refusing to react in situations that illicit an emotional reaction.

Can we resist reacting in awkward, emotional or anxious moments?

With daily practice we can be a neutral observer, focused, relaxed and content.

I have found happiness happens in one time zone, now, this moment.

Happiness can not be found in the past or future. It is not found when thought engulfs us.

Living in the present eliminates many of mankind’s mental issues (suffering).

Eliminate negative thought, refuse to entertain negative emotions.

Never say a negative thing or hold a negative thought about yourself.

The left hemisphere is extremely literal. Say your unworthy and the “Ego” will bring many memories of past events when he/she felt unworthy.

Perception becomes reality.

Let go of the past of thought for a while.



Mindfulness: Benefits I have experienced: Part One, 1




The first breakthrough was dropping the victim attitude and lifestyle. Taking actions, strenuous aerobic exercise, meditating five hours a day, research and reading of ways to improve, and finally mindful application filled my day with positive effort.

Before I found meditation, my blame was aimed directly at my father. Hate, resentment and rage filled my life.

After finding mindfulness, my perception changed. Letting blame go brought total responsibility to my doorstep.

Until we take responsibility for our life, healing is impossible.

Benefit two: Depression has not visited me in many years.

Mindfulness taught me to let go of the Ego’s needy thoughts. When melancholy grips me at supposed low moments, my practice takes over.

Meditating has built my focus and ability to take a step back, observing the thoughts from a distance.

As always the culprit is my adolescent “Ego” bombarding me with needy thoughts of me lacking something or someone wronging me.

By letting these thoughts fade, then focusing on my senses, calm enters my being. My breath can dissipate cortisol and adrenaline as it energizes my parasympathetic nervous system, the brakes.

That melancholy mood withers without attention.

Where we place our attention has the greatest impact on our life!

Anyone have a different most powerful skill?



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