What is ruminating and how can people identify it?

The term “Rumination” means when someone has repetitive and constant thoughts about something. Usually, it is about a problem or a situation. Rumination is not the same as Rumination Disorder which is a disorder of feeding and eating, illustrated by frequent regurgitation of food.

Sometimes people might end up getting caught thinking about the same thing over and over again and no matter what they do they just get caught in that vicious circle. It can be as simple as saying something wrong in front of people or falling in front of someone. It can also be a messy breakup or a terrible fight with your loved one or career that you were never able to choose for XYZ reason.

Rumination can lead to people having anxiousness, or panic attacks, or stress, or their decisions can become influenced by their not-so-positive side. It can become debilitating. 

If you are stuck in a severe rumination then feel free to contact a Psychologist.

How can one identify if they are ruminating about negative thoughts? 

Identify the fear or the stressor

One can start by asking themselves what they are worried about? What are they expecting out of the situation? What do they think will happen? Let them think about the worst-case scenarios and see if they can handle this. Usually, whenever we are under pressure or are resilient about something, we end up performing better than we had thought. 

      2. Strategy for taking action

Write down the steps/strategy that is required to tackle the problem. Be as realistic as you can and follow them until you feel that your problem is being resolved. 

      3. Mindfulness

If you want to work on your repetitive and constant thoughts using mindfulness then we need to identify the triggers and the origin of these thoughts. It is also very important to be non-judgemental towards yourself and acknowledge your thoughts. This approach will help you be calm and composed and accepting of your thoughts. As a result, you will be able to identify when you are ruminating and then bring yourself into the present. 

      4. Ruminating break

It is important to take a ruminating break every now and then so that you have the time to stop and think about the negatives, reflect on them and then figure out how you can move forward with them. Take out as much frustration as you want to. This will help you let it all out and deal with it in a healthy way. 

     5. Decision making

Whenever you are stuck in the cycle of rumination, try to make decisions about things. It doesn’t have to be a big or a small thing, as long as you can decide or reach a conclusion. The answer would not have to be a permanent solution but at least it will distract you from your rumination and then help you get back to your reality. These small steps will help you to come back to reality.

Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.

About MindTribe.in.

MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.

About the Author.

Guntass Cour Sandhu is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.

Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.


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