Dealing with mulling

Do you worry a lot? Everyone suffers from disturbing thoughts about themselves, their studies, relationships, emotions, etc. from time to time. If you suffer from it regularly and it hinders your focus on your studies, keeps you awake at night, affects your mood, it is useful to examine your brooding behaviour a little more closely and get tools that will help you experience less of it.
What is it? 

Mulling consists of thoughts that keep going through your head without leading to a solution, often even to more brooding thoughts. You experience little grip on the thoughts that keep coming at the most inconvenient times when you would like to be busy doing something else like studying or sleeping. Mulling makes you anxious, fearful, stressed and vulnerable. In fact, it is about fear of losing control of a situation, fear of the unknown. Fretting is also living in a time that has been, a time of 'if only I had.....', 'if this hadn't happened then....' or a time yet to come 'suppose this happens .....', 'what if ...?'. So you don't live in the here-and-now. 

What can you do yourself?  

You can help yourself by asking questions to put the brooding thoughts into perspective. You can think of questions like:

  • "How likely is this to happen?"
  • "Do I have a say in this?"
  • "Do I need help with this?"
  • "Who could I turn to with this question?"

You can see that the questions are aimed at making your thoughts manageable into categories. On the one hand, things you might be able to do something about yourself and might need some help with, and on the other, things you have no control over. With the last category, it makes sense to still ask yourself what you can do to deal with it differently.

Ambience photo Fontys