Emilia can’t stop thinking about a long-ago love affair with Ivan, a man she met in Mexico in her early 20s and dated for several years. Now, a decade later, Emilia is newly married, but thoughts of her time with Ivan pop into her mind daily, a fact she’s never shared with her husband. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Ethan Kross, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan and the author of Chatter: The Voice In Our Head, Why It Matters, and How To Harness It. Whether thinking about a past experience or worrying about the present, we all get stuck in negative cycles of thought, and Ethan has the tools to help us form a better relationship with our thoughts.

Listen to the podcast at Slate.