Understanding Rumination: What It Is And How To Stop It

September 04, 2018

Understanding Rumination: What It Is And How To Stop It

One thing that's bound to cause stress and anxiety is overthinking or what is known as rumination. Rumination occurs when we repeatedly think about events from our past, or when we dwell on difficulties or things that have caused us stress, or when we become preoccupied with something and can't seem to get that something out of our mind. 

Rumination is normal, we all repeatedly think about things. And thinking in depth about our problems can be helpful, especially if we end up reaching a solution and are able to put that solution into action. However, it is excessive thinking that can make rumination unhelpful. Rumination is also unhelpful when it focuses on the causes and consequences instead of the solution. For example, when we think "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why did this happen to me?" instead of "What can I do to resolve this situation?" Unhelpful rumination focuses on what has gone wrong and so can lead to further negative thinking. Ongoing rumination can lead to depression, and it is often linked to procrastination and the avoidance of problem-solving. 

So, how can we address rumination? The first step is to notice that we're doing it. A great way to improve our awareness of rumination is to develop our mindfulness skills. Check out this little mindfulness video to see how mindfulness can empower us. 

Another way to address rumination is to notice what you're thinking about and start focusing on working toward a solution. You might begin by using how questions. For example, "How can I get out of this situation?" or "How can I make this situation better?"

Sometimes you might notice a theme emerging in your thinking. Such as, "I'm not good enough" or "I don't fit in" or "I can't do this on my own." If this is the case, you may be dealing with a strong belief or schema that developed when you were young. If this is the case, I recommend reading Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko and/or considering working on these thinking patterns with a therapist. 

 

Mindfulness and meditation are wonderful tools for dealing with rumination. Check out our meditation and mindfulness handouts. Or consider getting some assistance to get started with meditation. You might also like to consider our online course - Boost Your Resilience - to help you to deal with stress and learn some relaxation strategies. 

 




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in BLOG

The Importance Of Saying Thank You
The Importance Of Saying Thank You

October 01, 2018

Thank you is the current conventional expression of gratitude. When someone offers us their seat on a bus, we might acknowledge their generosity with a 'thank you.' When we ask a friend to help us with some information, we say 'thank you' for their assistance and to acknowledge we have received the information they provided us. 

Continue Reading

beating procrastination and how to succeed
Steps To Success, Or How To Beat Procrastination

August 07, 2018

Procrastination can be defined as follows, "to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay." It doesn't sound too good, so why do we do it?

Continue Reading

How Writing Is Good For Your Physical and Mental Health
How Writing Is Good For Your Physical and Mental Health

July 15, 2018

Have you ever thought about why you love writing? For me, I think it’s a fantastic career. There certainly aren’t too many jobs out there that offer so much choice. As a writer, you can work from anywhere in the world, 

Continue Reading