Repeated thoughts and stories are almost always fueled by an unacknowledged emotion or feeling underneath. These unsensed feelings are part of what brings the thought back time and again. Future planning is usually fueled by anxiety. Remembering of the past is often fueled by regret, or guilt, or grief. Many fantasies arise as a response to pain or emptiness. The task in meditation is to drop below the level of the repeated recorded message, to sense and feel the emotional energy that brings it up. When we can do this, and truly allow and come to terms with the feeling, the thought will no longer need to arise, and the pattern will naturally fade away.
This is an invitation to freedom – Jack Kornfield