Avoid Overthinking and Social Comparison
a. Rumination is rethinking negative thoughts over and over again. This pernicious cycle recirculates negatively biased thinking, interferes with concentration, makes problem solving difficult if not impossible, and leads to pessimism and ultimately depression. So, stopping rumination is one way to protect yourself.
b. Social Comparisons: Upward social comparisons can lead to feelings of inferiority, distress and lower self-esteem, but downward comparisons may lead to guilt or even fear of something similar happening to you. In either case, social comparison is not a great thing. You can’t be happy if you’re envious or pity someone else.
c. Rumination and social comparisons are compelling. Here are three techniques for overcoming them from Susan Nolen-Hoeksema’s research:
i. Cut your losses: Envision a large STOP sign when you start to ruminate and recycle negative thoughts…or just say STOP. Or, talk to someone you trust. Or, write it down to get it off your brain.
ii. Act to solve the problem: Depending on the nature of the problem, find a therapist, contact a financial planner, hire a personal trainer.
iii. Avoid Overthinking Triggers: Examine your overthinking triggers (what, who, when or where) and artfully avoid them.