What Is Rumination?
Rumination occurs when an individual repeats the same thoughts, which can be a way to control anxiety. When a person tries to reflect on an entire conversation, they are engaging in rumination. The more the person thinks about the conversation, the closer they may feel to interpreting it a certain way. It may develop from a tragic experience or an event that could’ve been resolved a certain way but wasn’t.
A major challenge facing someone who experiences rumination is that it’s a difficult cycle of behavior to break. Rumination is sometimes confused with obsessive thinking. The difference is that with the latter, intrusive thoughts persist, raising stress levels.
Although replaying an event in your mind can be an attempt to resolve an issue, it may also be a symptom of numerous mental health conditions, including phobias, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or major depressive disorder (MDD). The combination of multiple symptoms can indicate a mental health condition, whereas just one or two signs don’t confirm a problem.
How to Stop Rumination
The key on how to stop ruminating thoughts is to take a series of simple actions, beginning with self-distraction. When an individual realizes they’ve been ruminating, they can break the cycle by calling a friend, taking a walk, or engaging in a hobby. Then they should formulate a plan for addressing ruminating thoughts.
An important stage in overcoming rumination is for the individual to question their thoughts. They should ask themselves how accurate their perception of the facts is. From there, they can revisit their goals and sense of self-esteem. Another useful technique is meditation, which helps a person calm down and reset their thoughts.
When irrational thoughts become a regular pattern, it can be a sign of a mental health condition that requires professional treatment. Contact us at Mango Clinic for more information on how to change irrational thoughts and maintain a positive outlook on life.