5 Tips to Put an End to Rumination and Move on From Bullying

Move past a bullying experience


If you are constantly replaying a bullying incident in your mind, you are probably starting to feel like a broken record. Your mind rehearses the play-by-play of what happened to you. And it likely leaves you feeling tired, depressed, angry or frustrated.

Reflecting on past experiences can be helpful in solving problems, but rumination takes thinking things through to a whole new level. Instead of offering new insights, it only intensifies your negative feelings.

If you find that ruminating about bullying is keeping you up at night, here are a few ideas on how to catch yourself and refocus.

Set a time limit .

Instead of trying not to think about the bullying you experienced at all, schedule 20 to 30 minutes a day to worry. Then, make the most of it. By setting aside time to think, you are containing your thoughts and worries to a specific time period. Then, during other parts of the day when those negative thoughts creep in, remind yourself that you will have time later to think about it. Likewise, it is a good idea to set a time limit on how long you will discuss a negative issue with a friend.

Let go of what you cannot control .

Remember, you cannot control a bully’s action, but you can control your response. Instead of dwelling on what the bully did or said to you, focus on what you can do to move on. Additionally, you also can develop a plan on how to respond in the future.

And if the bullying occurred at school or at work, you can take steps to report it.

Practice mindfulness .

Mindfulness is an important skill for enjoying significant moments in life. And it helps ground you in the present moment. Instead of getting lost in your thoughts, focus on what you are doing in the moment.

Take time to smell the rich aroma of your coffee or enjoy another person’s laugh. Focus on being present and in the moment and the desire to ruminate about negative issues like bullying will slip away. And when you notice your mind wandering, gently guide your thoughts back to the present.

Get moving.

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to disrupt your thoughts and give you a new perspective. As a result, try not to spend too much time alone with your thoughts but instead go for a walk, take an exercise class, join a photography class or do something you enjoy. The idea is that you get yourself moving by doing something positive and fun that will distract you from negative thinking patterns.

Learn from your experience and move on.

When you continue to ruminate about what happened to you, it keeps you stuck as a victim. It also keeps you from taking responsibility for your life. While a victim of bullying is never to blame, you are responsible for health and wellbeing. As a result, it is important to take a good look at what happened to you and learn from it. Ask yourself, “How can I use this situation for good?” Or, you might want to consider what you learned from the bullying.

Some people find that taking their experience and using it to help others, is a great way to not only heal from the bullying but to take back your power in the situation. No longer are you being controlled by what happened to you, but you are using it to do something good with it. What’s more, moving on keeps you from remaining hurt and angry and allows you to come to a place of strength and understanding.

Remember, it may take time and some practice, but you can change your obsessive thought patterns. And when you do, you will experience less pain and more healing as a result.

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