Rumination is when we mentally replay the same negative scenario over and over again without any advancement towards closure. It has been fairly well established that women generally ruminate more than men and there is also a good set of theories on why that is; we are more invested in relationships, we are more insecure and less powerful and we have so much more to ruminate about.
Root causes aside though, rumination is essentially a form of self-torture that drains our valuable personal resources. It should therefore make logical sense to stop but try telling that to a churning mind!
So how can you curb rumination?
- Distraction. It is very challenging to ruminate when you have to come up with a word using all your seven scrabble letters.
- Write it down to get it out of your system. Not enough for you? Read it, cross it out, tear it up and burn it!
- Exercise. Outside in daylight is optimal but doing stretches and balance poses at 2 am is certainly an option too. You can always follow it up with a taco.
- Imagine a big red stop sign every time you start obsessing. If you are super adventurous obtain a real stop sign for this purpose and stare at it.
- Play out worse case outcomes in your mind. No matter what they are, you will either endure or die. Most humans before you have endured so the odds are you will too. But if not, then surely you do not want to spend your last moments in life ruminating?
- Remind yourself that personal failure leads to learning and learning is how we grow. Then remember that immigration to another country is always an option.
- Resolve the issue head on if possible. Defriend some people on Facebook, call your mother, look for a new job and familiarize yourself with your alcohol tolerance levels.
- List all your best qualities, what is good in your life and all the people loving you. Are they out of their minds or are you? If they are, see point above.
What are your favorite methods to curb rumination?
"It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive
to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts."
— Robert H.Schuller
— Robert H.Schuller