Why We Can’t Stop Thinking About the Same Problems. Have you ever noticed how often your mind returns to issues and circumstances that give you discomfort, insisting on reviewing what’s wrong? Our proclivity for ruminating about problems is a curious phenomena. Even when we don’t want to think about what’s troubling us, we can’t help but do so. Why do we do this, and Why We Can’t Stop Thinking About the Same Problems.
We find ourselves in terrible circumstances over and again because we assume that additional thought (about our problem) would solve it. We believe that with greater thought, we can solve any problem. From the moment we are born, we are taught to believe that thinking is the answer to all of our problems.
So, as painful as it is, we keep thinking about the same problems, hoping that we can figure out a solution to make the problem go away. In the end, we’re attempting to make ourselves feel better, but the answer we’ve devised—more thinking—makes us feel even worse.
Why We Can’t Stop Thinking About the Same Problems
Simultaneously, we continue to review our issues since it appears that doing so is a method of empathising with our suffering. Our attempt to offer ourselves compassion is to go over the problem again and again.
We keep saying (to ourselves): can you believe this, how could they do this, isn’t this insane; we do this to feel acknowledged and recognised, even if it’s only in our heads.
Furthermore, we keep returning to what hurts because if we let go of it, if we stop thinking about it, we would be dis-honoring how much it hurts.
Stopping to think about our issues would be (we imagine) to act as if our suffering is nothing. To put it another way, to forsake ourselves. In this manner, our obsessive thinking is an attempt to provide priority and attention to our pain.
Finally, because we are associated with our pain, we are addicted to thinking about our difficulties.
What we’ve gone through, endured, and survived is woven into who we are (or think we are). We get a lot of our identity from what we go through. That said, it seems like we’re going home, to some fundamental element of ourselves, when we dig into what’s upsetting us, what’s not okay. Rehashing our problems makes us feel more alive.
When the mind is chewing on an issue, we may sense our own being, our self. There’s nothing that makes us feel more at home than when we’re trying to solve an issue.
How to Let Go of Repetitive Thoughts
So, with all of these reasons to keep thinking about our issues, how do we unstick from this most sticky of all thoughts?
In each transformation process, the initial stage is always the same: awareness. We can’t alter anything if we don’t know what’s going on. As a result, we must be aware of how and when we are reliving an issue or tough circumstance.
We must become observers of our own minds, observing how they continually lure our attention back down the rabbit hole—into misery.
Once we are aware, we must be ready to face the possibility that we, as individuals, are incapable of solving the situation. As a result, we must abandon the dream and delusion that more thought about it would cure the problem and make us feel better.
We must realise that there is no diamond at the bottom of this thought jumble, no miraculous bullet in this newest round of thinking that wasn’t there in the previous nine thousand. In other words, we must abandon the hope that greater thinking would bring us peace. Instead, be open to the idea that moving away from the problem and thinking less is the route to serenity.
Surrendering to our inability to figure things out rather than attempting to do so may be our only option.
Furthermore, in order to quit obsessing about our suffering, we must realise that our pain is always with us, whether we are aware of it or not. What we’ve gone through is woven into who we are; it’s a part of who we are.
To make our suffering important, take care of it, or keep it with us, we don’t have to constantly think about it. We don’t have to constantly imagine our suffering in order for it to exist.
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