Managing the Unknown: Reducing Rumination and Committing to your Goals

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Too many disorders have a common symptom: rumination, perseveration, and the greater experience of fear that disturbs our moments and may even evoke enough agitation to land us in the hospital. Our anxieties can not only get out of hand for us personally, but they also have the potential for complicating our social worlds when we interact with our friends and colleagues. Anxiety has an uncanny way of entering not only our life but the lives with touch in our everyday lives as if our mental health was a communicable disease.

Like most diseases that are viral, we have the power to prevent it from spreading from ourselves to those we interact with at the point of inception. Anxiety, fear, rumination can begin and end with us, if we choose to commit to goals and not let the ifs in life and unknowns fill our every day. It begins with goal-setting and ends when you’ve decided your dreams are worth fighting for anymore.

Choosing to adhere to our dreams and wants for ourselves and believing in the joy and peace of mind having what you want in life is not only a positive mindset, it’s a productive one that will allow you to cultivate the gains to you need to do accomplish your goals. Rumination, fears, and other anxieties are not only unproductive distractions, but they are unavoidable.

Fortunately, this unavoidable disruption is both manageable and can be an asset that drives your progress towards your goals forward. Identifying exactly what is that’s in what seems like a perpetual holding pattern, taking up unbearable and unwelcome mental energy is a great first step. Realizing that your rumination is just your fears of not reaching your goals manifest is an even further step in demystifying the disturbance and making it accessible to manage it effectively. By providing you with the insight you need to reduce the disturbances harm and prevent further harm from interfering with your achieving your goals is just another reason to stop you from worrying.

Knowing what’s going to stop you or what won’t let you think about what’s productive doesn’t mean you can’t make the disruption into another skill or technique to drive you forward in recovery and managing yourself in the manner that suits you attaining your goals.

Edited: Autumn Tompkins

About the Author

J. Peters

J. Peters is the Editor-in-Chief of Mental Health Affairs.

Award-winning book author and Bold 10 Under ten award recipient J. Peters, LCSW. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mental health therapist and disability rights advocate Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various care systems, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, or the city's Department of Corrections.

Mr. Peter's battle with Schizophrenia began at New London University in his last semester of college. Discharged from Greater Liberty State Hospital Center in July 2008, Jacque's recovery was swift but not painless and indeed brutal after spending six months there.

He has published several journal articles on recovery and mental health and three books: University on Watch, Small Fingernails, and Wales High School. He is also a board member of the newspaper City Voices. Mr. Peters currently sits on the CAB committee (Consumer Advisory Board) for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in NYC and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a peer advocate.

Owner of Recovery Now in New York, a private psychotherapy practice, Mr. Peter's approach is rooted in a foundation of evidence-based practices (EBP). Jacques earned a master's degree in Social Work from Binghamton University and worked as a field instructor for master's and bachelor's level students in NYC.

He is blogging daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog, Mr. Peters regularly writes articles relating to his lived experience with a mental health diagnosis.

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