OverviewDepression and Anxiety are two of the most common mental health conditions, with both causing numerous problems for those who suffer from them. While the two conditions differ, one area that is a problem in both is called Rumination. Simply put, when one ruminates – they repetitively think over a thought or a problem without reaching a conclusion. A vicious cycle can take place as a result, with depression or anxiety eventually deepening and causing the problems to be exacerbated. This article takes a look at Rumination, as part of our Get Going series.


Rumination can be a difficult problem to overcome


The Process: The brain is an incredible thing. But it’s advanced nature can cause issues. When someone thinks of a memory, the mind automatically connects other memories that fit how you felt. When you are ruminating over past events or memories, it can be tough to find a way to think of something else, or push your thoughts to the back of your mind – rumination then intensifies and continues to be a problem. Overall, the issue is that you think more regarding the problems rather than the solutions.


A Vicious Cycle: Rumination is part of the vicious cycle often seen in depression especially, and sometimes anxiety. When you have negative thoughts, it can lead you to start acting differently – or not doing the things you used to do. This can easily lead to physical changes – such as increased tiredness, crying or being irritable. Finally, you go back to thinking about your physical problems and what you could be doing – the cycle will go on indefinitely and can be very difficult to get out of.



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Research: Rumination has been researched heavily, and is generally seen in a negative light. The belief is that rumination results in the dwelling on past events and failures. Research on rumination has yielded the conclusion that those who ruminate are at risk of developing depression. Rumination has also been linked to anxiety, post-traumatic stress, self-harm and eating disorders.


How to Stop Ruminating?: To begin with, it can be recommended to try and focus on positive things – and when times have been better. Returning to somewhere that you have experienced a positive event can help. Sometimes, it can be helpful to sometimes schedule a set period of time to ruminate – but only allow that time period to be when you ruminate. Writing down your thoughts too can be helpful – and you could even try and find links in your thoughts. Eliminating and identifying these unhelpful links could be useful. Meditation has also proven to be useful. While there is no set way of treating rumination, there are different things you can try to attempt to get you out of the difficult cycle. Good luck!


There are many ways to try and stop ruminating


Extras: Consider following this link for enhanced information on Rumination. Otherwise, return to the Get Going page at the link below!