In psychology, Rumination refers to the tendency to repetitively think about the causes, situational factors, and consequences of one’s negative emotional experience.
As a result, it leads to increased levels of stress and is a contributing factor of Anxiety and depression.
In fact, rumination is extremely common among anxiety and depression sufferers, acting as both a trigger and a symptom of these conditions.
But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that way? What if I told you that it is possible to overcome such thoughts?
Although rumination is a major contributing factor of anxiety and depression, it is possible to overcome it with enough effort.
The question is, how exactly do you do that?
How to stop rumination
The correlation between rumination and worry is very high.
Some experts even claim that rumination is a type of worry.
As such, rumination can be a contributing factor for generalized anxiety, which in turn can be a contributing factor for depression.
After all, anxiety and depression are known to be very closely related to one another.
It was also shown to be closely related to overall negative thoughts directly.
After all, focusing on negative past experiences is bound to get to you eventually.
Still, there are many people who are truly happy for their rumination nature.
They claim that this pattern of thoughts helps them pinpoint their problems and learn from them.
It is still not worth it though, not at the risk of developing mental disorders.
There are perfectly reasonable ways to learn from past mistakes and improve, and rumination isn’t one of them.
It needs to be stopped before it causes you real damage.
here’s how to do just that.
The whole problem with rumination is that it happens in your head.
These obsessive thoughts are going with you wherever you go, making them very difficult to shake off.
You can’t run away from your own negative thoughts, but you can distract yourself from having them.
Enjoyable, pleasant activities can be very useful in blocking out rumination.
Exercising, spending time with friends or enjoying a hobby are only a few examples for you to consider.
These activities will not solve your problems, but an active lifestyle does make rumination much less common.
Another viable option would be to combat ruminative thoughts directly through action.
Meditation is the best way to go in this particular case. Not only will help you manage your thoughts but it will also decrease your overall levels of worry.
In fact, meditation is particularly effective in combating anxiety as a whole.
Another great method is to keep a journal of all of your ruminative thoughts.
Not only does expressive writing help with negative thinking but it is quite useful in combating rumination.
The whole problem with rumination is how it forces you into thinking about problems without reaching a solution.
By writing down said problems you can keep them defined and real. That way you will be able to keep things in proportion.
Control your thoughts
As I have said before, rumination happens purely inside your head.
As such, learning to control your thoughts is arguably the best way to go around solving this problem.
The first and most important step is to recognize your rumination for what it is.
Once you do, the battle against it becomes that much easier.
It is possible to break out of rumination simply by calling yourself out on it.
Telling yourself to stop ruminating can actually be surprisingly effective.
Another great method would be to put rumination on your schedule.
Write it down, and give yourself half an hour a day to ruminate, allow yourself to ruminate only during that particular time.
These “Worry Breaks” are much more reasonable than letting your thoughts run all over the place.
Using them, you will be able to control your thoughts better over time.
Avoid triggers as best as you can
Rumination is not always random.
Sure, sometimes stressful thoughts come to us out of nowhere, but in other times they originate from very specific things.
From certain triggers, if you will.
Worry triggers and rumination triggers are very similar, to the point where they can even end up being the same.
You can prevent yourself from ruminating about your problems by either avoiding possible triggers or managing them better.
For example, let’s say that your financial situation is a great source of concern on your part.
A possible trigger for this concern can be shopping for groceries or paying your bills.
Sure, these are not exactly things that can be avoided, but it is possible to improve your reaction to them.
Maintaining a budget or shopping for products you decided beforehand are a few practical examples.
Our thoughts are surprisingly easy to influence, so make sure avoid pulling your own leg by thinking about the wrong things.
Normally, when faced with depression or anxiety, I advice enlisting the help of a family member or friend.
Although it is still a good idea, This isn’t one of those times.
In fact, discussing your problems with someone else can arguably make your rumination even worse.
It is a rarely discussed problem by the name of co-rumination.
Co-rumination refers to the idea of discussing problems and focusing on negative feelings without reaching any conclusions.
This type of rumination is just as bad, if not worse, than regular rumination.
It oftentimes surfaces in therapy sessions, where extensive discussion over your negative feelings and experiences can lead to negative results.
After all, talk therapy can easily turn into an hour-long session of co-rumination.
The problem is that the line between sharing your problems and getting support from a friend, family member or a professional and practicing co-rumination is very difficult to notice.
The solution is not to stop discussing your problems entirely.
After all, other people can be a great help with your condition.
Rather, focusing on positive feelings and experiences is the right way to go.
Try and talk about these things more and you are bound to get results.
Stop ruminating at night
The most difficult problem to deal with when it comes to rumination is how to handle it when you are completely alone with your thoughts.
For the most part, even if you are alone, you can still take physical action and distract yourself from these thoughts.
But not always.
Sometimes you will not be able to distract yourself so easily.
A good example would be night time.
When you are all alone, lying down in your bed, there are no distractions or methods to use.
Your thoughts are more likely to wander and as a result, you are also more likely to ruminate.
It is important to be more conscious of your thoughts during that time.
Recognize them for what they are and stop them before they escalate.
Another great trick is to focus on your breathing, that way you can distract yourself from harmful thoughts despite the circumstances.
put your problems in proportion
For the most part, people who suffer from anxiety tend to blow their problems entirely out of proportion.
This pattern of thinking is caused by that very anxiety, and sometimes noticing your ruminative thoughts for what they are might not be enough.
The best solution to this problem is to force these thoughts to their logical conclusion.
After all, rumination is what happens when an individual thinks about a negative emotional experience again and again.
By reaching a conclusion, you will be able to resolve these thoughts once and for all.
Luckily for you, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to do just that.
- “What’s the worst that can happen?”
- “how bad is my current situation?”
- “Is there anything I can do to make this better?”
- “Why should I even worry about this?”
Realistically, you can ask yourself these questions and manage your rumination better as a result.
Most of the problems that we face are not worth worrying about.
After all, if there is something that we could do to make them better then it is our responsibility to do.
If not, well, then there is no point in worrying, seeing as there is nothing to be done about it.
Rumination is related to anxiety
All in all, rumination is not a simple problem to deal with.
Luckily for us, there are many methods to get better and all of them can be done at home.
The real risk is when rumination develops into a full-blown anxiety disorder, in which case the problem becomes much more complicated.
If you suffer from ruminating thoughts, excessive worry and anxiety then you should definitely check out the Panic Away Program.
Not only does it detail some of the best methods of overcoming anxiety, but it also contains videos that demonstrate these methods live.
Before you go on to check it out, here’s a question for you – How do you deal with rumination?
Make sure to leave your comments in the comment section below, I enjoy reading all of them.
If you got any questions that you would like to ask me personally then please feel free to contact me via Email
Email: [email protected]
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