I have faced challenges with negative rumination and anxiety, especially when I am trying to relax or my mind is idle. However, I have recently discovered a simple and effective technique to overcome this.
I practice enumerating as many positive future events as I can, starting with the most probable and desirable ones, calculated by multiplying their probability with the level of happiness they bring, adjusted for their proximity in time.
While the focus is on positive thoughts, I find that this slightly quantitative approach helps me direct my thoughts more effectively. It pushes me to consider realistic and desirable events, countering the natural tendency to dwell on negative scenarios. Additionally, by visualizing medium-probability positive events, I become more aware of opportunities to increase their chances in my daily life, similar to the popular concept of "manifesting."
This technique not only provides a positive outlook but is also additionally rewarding because it requires me to think creatively and explore what I appreciate in life, making it feel like a game.
I also extend this technique by dividing positive events into 3-5 broad categories and brainstorming each one separately. This ensures a more comprehensive outlook and prevents me from dwelling on low probability scenarios or getting lost in unrealistic fantasies.
I hope this helps someone!