What Is Rumination?
Rumination is characterized by repetitive, excessive ideas that obstruct other modes of cognition. This thinking style is frequently associated with generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder illnesses. Still, it is also common in persons who do not have a diagnosable problem.
Rumination is as distressing as it is frequent in that it intensifies the tension and relevance of an already difficult circumstance in our thoughts.
Rumination is made up of two distinct components: contemplation and brooding.
Reflection: Rumination's review can be beneficial since pondering on a problem might lead to a solution. Additionally, thinking about specific occurrences might assist you in processing powerful emotions linked with the situation.
Generally, ruminating and brooding are related to less proactive action and a more negative mood.
Additionally, ruminating focuses on the sense of powerlessness that might emerge from an incapacity to change what has already occurred. We may be unable to recreate the circumstance in the future and reply with the perfect rebuttal, answer, or solution, which can leave us feeling helpless and frustrated.
Finally, recognizing how much energy we devote to dwelling on the problem might exacerbate our aggravation, as we realize we've allowed the circumstance to continue ruining our day.
Co-rumination: in which you discuss a topic with friends until you've exhausted all possible solutions, also adds stress to both parties once it ceases to be beneficial.
In short, if you're continually repeating an event in your head, lingering on the injustice of it all, and meditating on what you should have said or done without acting, you're increasing your stress level. Additionally, you are probably feeling some of the rumination's harmful impacts.
5 Strategies to identify and manage rumination
Not all hope is lost; a few tactics can assist in reducing and managing rumination.
1. Identify the source of fear or stress:
Specify precisely what you are concerned about. Consider what you are terrified will happen and attempt to understand what you anticipate. Then consider the worst-case scenario in this situation and whether you are capable of handling it. It may seem counter-productive, but in truth, humans are pretty resilient and frequently fare better in worst-case circumstances than we believe!
2. Stations of action:
Determine each step necessary to address the stressor. If necessary, jot it down, and be detailed and realistic! Then, one by one, proceed through these stages until you feel the situation has been addressed or are less nervous about the problem.
To effectively control rumination with mindfulness, you must first become aware of your reflective thoughts and triggers. Because mindfulness focuses on being present in the moment without judgment, it is critical to observe and recognize your thoughts without passing judgment on them. By engaging your ruminating in this manner, you may discover that you are more tolerant and more friendly to yourself when these ideas arise. Additionally, with experience, you may learn to recognize when you are contemplating and gently refocus your thoughts on the current moment.
4. Plan a worry break:
Allow yourself 20-30 minutes to leave! Worry and ruminate; jot down your issues and tensions, prospective answers and suggestions, annoyances, and impasse areas. If necessary, discuss it, but let it all come out. When you see yourself meditating at other times of the day, recognize and acknowledge it.
5. Make a choice:
We frequently obsess about situations that feel out of our control. The top course of action in these situations is to make a decision – even a modest one – to move in any direction. You are not required to complete the optimal choice, but only the appropriate one for the moment. You can permanently alter your mind later, but making a choice and taking modest steps of action in the time might give you a sense of power and break up a ruminative thought cycle.
Rumination is characterized by repetitive, excessive ideas that obstruct other modes of cognition. This thinking style is frequently associated with generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder illnesses. It is also common in persons who do not have a diagnosable problem.