Yummy Yummy Yummy

Perseveration is when someone “gets stuck” on a topic or an idea...People who perseverate often say the same thing or behave in the same way over and over again. But they can get stuck on their emotions, actions, and thoughts, too. From Understood.org

Earlier this week, my therapist, Baila, saw that I was “perseverating” on a difficult decision. She offered that it was time to start practicing the art of “letting go.”

Baila had a few suggestions:

  1. Find a song that reminds me to move away from the behavior. I immediately thought of “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I’ve got love in my tummy and I feel like I’m loving you.” That felt appropriately light and poignant all at once.
  2. Shake my head.
  3. Put a rubberband on my wrist and snap it when I find myself perseverating.
  4. Start using the phrase, “that’s just the way it is,” effectively saying to myself, “Move on, Scott!”
  5. If perseveration is caused by not doing something, do it.

Perseveration is the behavior that leads to my anxiety. It stops my forward progress and locks me in a thinking loop. As Eckhart Tolle once said…

“Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy. This kind of compulsive thinking is actually an addiction. What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop. It seems stronger than you. It also gives you a false sense of pleasure, pleasure that invariably turns into pain.”

Over the past few days, I’ve given myself a dozen rubberband snaps and successfully stopped myself from perseverating. (I better start singing Yummy Yummy Yummy or I’m going to scar my wrist.) I’ve also asked my good friend, Gary, a man who declares himself to NOT be a deep thinker to help me learn some of his secrets for thinking less and acting more.

I could keep writing, but I’m going to stop here. I’ve made my point and it’s time to make my next move. Hey, this just might work!

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