We are generally advised to do self-reflection and examine our lives, but we may not be doing it right.
Rumination, the process of recurrent worrying or brooding, is the default process of the brain but can lead to impaired decision making and even depression.
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Third-person thinking, or talking to yourself about the problem as an outsider, or as a witness, can temporarily improve decision making, according to numerous studies.
Talking to yourself in the third person brings clarity, insight and greater emotional regulation about the current situation or problem.
The detachment that being in the third-person offers, removes the inherent emotional bias that one has, but is unaware of.
Creating a fictional persona is a strategy that involves taking a step back from our immediate feelings to allow us to think rationally about a situation. It allows us to rein in feelings like anxiety, and increase our perseverance and self-control.
Beyoncé created a persona that she stepped into just before a performance: "the moment right before when you're nervous... then Sasha Fierce appears, and my posture and the way I speak and everything is different."
The act of increasing the psychological distance from your own subjective perspective when assessing events that you experience.
Is an external perspective that you can use when thinking about an event that you’ve experienced, where the self who is analyzing the event is considered to be distinct from the self who experienced it.
Studies have found that just having negative feelings isn’t enough to lead to depressive symptoms. You also have to be unable to put a name to your feeling state, and then dwell on trying to identify it, to be at risk of depression.
It’s important, without ruminating, to try to identify negative emotions so you can move on, relying on methods proven to be successful against that particular emotion. Some people may just have a tendency to experience emotions intensely, but this factor is an independent contributor to feelings of depression.