Rumination – What Is Rumination and How To Stop Ruminating

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This is the meaning of rumination and some tips on how to stop doing this.

RUMINATION – A further understanding of rumination and some tips on how to effectively stop ruminating.

Did you experience having repetitive thoughts about one thing that tends to be dark or negative? That this dark thought keeps on repeating and repeating and repeating in your mind?

Photo lifted from Medical News Today

This is called rumination and this is not good for your mental health. These dark ideas or thoughts are usually over a problem or a certain situation.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, rumination is defined as “obsessive thinking about an idea, situation, or choice especially when it interferes with normal mental functioning.”

However, this is not the same as Rumination Disorder – they are two different things. If you are going through this, what typically comes out of your mouth or desrcibe the feeling are the following phrases:

“I’m always in my head”

“I have racing thoughts.”

“I’m constantly dwelling on things.”

“I can’t shut my mind off.”

“I tend to overthink everything.”

Among the common situations where one ruminates include worrying about an upcoming tests, remembering a particular and important conversation, or a significant event that happened in the past.

Research said the default mode network (DMN) is involve in ruminating. The DMN is the series of regions in the brain that are interconnected. This is active when we are lost in our thoughts or when daydreaming.

Thus, when we are actively paying attention on something or on an activity, DMN is less activated.

Now, how does ruminating differ from emotional processing? Ruminating is having repetitive negative thoughts without changes. Ruminators tend to dwell on problems and stay in a negative mindset.

Meanwhile, emotional processing is productive. People who do this think of ways to get out of situation or gain new ways and new behaviors. They think of possibilities.

Here are some tips on how to stop this habit according to an article from Medical News Today:

  • Avoid triggers. Among the triggers include stressors, traumatic event, being perfectionist, low self-esteem, fear or phobia, and many others.
  • According to a 2014 study, spending time with nature also helps.
  • Exercising will also help.
  • Do some activities that will distract you. These activities should be fun, challenging, and will cause you relief.
  • Improve self-esteem.
  • Meditation may also help ease your negative thinking.


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