Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it gets you nowhere. – Glenn Turner
I’m not here to tell you that you don’t have shit to worry about. But what I am here to tell you is that there are ways to kick rumination — that feeling when we have repeated thoughts focused on negative aspects of ourselves or lives — to the curb.
Have you had those stretches of time where you obsess about one thing? Replaying it i in your head over and over, like a record stuck on a loop. Examining it from every single anxiety-inducing angle.
I should have said ____.
Why did I say ____?
What if I upset him/her.
If only I could have _____.
Why can’t I just ______?
Just like sitting in that rocking chair— the obsessing gets us nowhere.
Instead, it drains us of our energy and our creative thought and keeps us stuck in crisis mode rather than allowing us to think of an actual solution.
And guess what else happens when you’re stuck in a negative thought pattern?
You silence yourself.
You dim your shine.
One of the best ways to put a stop to this negative feedback loop? GET OUTSIDE.
Change your scenery and make space for your mind to take note of everything going on around you. It’s how we ground ourselves, a reminder that the world is so much bigger than whatever that thing is that we were worrying about.
Studies show that spending time out in a natural environment lowers levels of rumination and even showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness.
Think about it, a quick walk around the block or standing with your face to the sunlight for a few minutes will help you to break a harmful habit.
Getting outdoors lights up the part of the brain responsible for creative, innovative thinking.
It helps you think big again so that you can actually come up with positive solutions to the things that are worrying you.
It allows you to focus on and let in hope and light and joy so that you can continue moving forward in the direction of your brightest vision instead of shrinking into your darkest worry.
AND DON’T YOU DESERVE THOSE THINGS? To feel lit up and creative and hopeful? Damn straight, you do.
Do me a favor, stop what you’re doing and just go step outside. Stay there for 5 minutes. Don’t scroll on your phone. Listen to the birds. Feel the sun. Focus on your breathing.
I promise you, that little break will be one of the best things to happen to you today.
P.S. Head to the Color Outside Facebook Group and let us all know that you got outside, today.