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Keywords:

  • rumination;
  • emotion regulation;
  • self-reflection;
  • psychological distance;
  • fMRI;
  • self-regulation;
  • coping;
  • mindfulness

How can people adaptively analyze and “work through” negative feelings without ruminating? This paper will briefly review findings from an integrative program of research, which suggests that a critical factor determining whether people's attempts to adaptively reason about negative experiences succeed or fail is the type of self-perspective they adopt. That is, whether people analyze their feelings from a self-immersed or self-distanced perspective. The implications of shifting self-perspectives for subjective experience, autonomic nervous system reactivity, and neural activity are discussed.