Co-ruminating versus Co-reflection and Dwight D’s Advice

Take command of your success like Captain Jean Luc Picard – ENGAGE!

Engage – late Middle English (formerly also as ingage ): from French engager, ultimately from the base of gage1. The word originally meant ‘to pawn or pledge something,’ later ‘pledge oneself (to do something),’ hence ‘enter into a contract’ (mid 16th century), ‘involve oneself in an activity,’ ‘enter into combat’ (mid 17th century), giving rise to the notion ‘involve someone or something else.’

Here are a few items to ruminate or reflect on:

I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent. —Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Eisenhower was not alone: In their work lives people routinely feel pulled between tasks that demand immediate attention and tasks that are important, the ones that bring them closer to achieving their long-term goals. Unfortunately, our and others’ research shows that people have a natural tendency to overly focus on the former (such as responding to mundane emails) at the expense of the latter.

One of the main reasons this happens is that human brains are wired to seek completion and the pleasure it brings — a tendency we term “completion bias.” Completing simple tasks, such as answering emails or posting updates on your Twitter account, takes little time and allows you to check off items on your to-do list. Our ongoing research (not yet published) has found that checking off items is psychologically rewarding: After you complete a task, being able to literally check a box makes you happier than when you are not given a box to check. Read full article»

Are you co-ruminating (venting, bitching) in a constructive way?

Discussing the same problems over and over again, instead of facilitating a release, can end up feeding our negative feelings.

Margo Bastin breaks down co-rumination into two subunits—co-brooding and co-reflection. Co-brooding is the tendency to talk about problems in a passive way, wishing things had turned out differently and feelings of disappointment and dejection would simply go away.

Co-reflection, on the other hand, involves speculating about specific elements of a problem in order to gain a greater understanding of the situation. Using information gleaned from this process, individuals attempt to either seek a solution or prevent the negative event from occurring in the future. In co-reflection, individuals address their problems with the assumption they can do something about them. Bastin’s study found that while co-brooding led to an increase in depressive symptoms, co-reflection led to a decrease in these over time. Read full article»

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