rumination, ruminating, ruminateThinking about our problems is, without doubt, part of an effective way of solving them. If we need to deal with one of our life issues we think it through, review our various options, and then choose a course of action to handle the problem. We can then take action to resolve the issue – and this might include redefining it so that we don’t experience it as a problem any longer.

Rumination is more likely to occur when our thoughts are largely negative. Positive thinking encourages us to take effective action. Negative thoughts, on the other hand, because of social constraints and the negative impact they have on our self-image, discourage us from taking action. When we engage in negative thinking most of the time, we feel overwhelmed by the world. We feel stuck. We can’t see our way out of our problems. Negative thinking drives people away from us so that we are unable to share our thoughts with others and benefit from  the feedback they might offer. And so, alone, we think – and think. We ruminate.

How Do We Overcome Rumination?

rumination, ruminate, ruminatingRumination is an elusive experience. We get caught in the ruminative pattern without realizing it and then assume that this is the way things are supposed to be – thinking and thinking endlessly. We slip into the pattern automatically and feel that we have no
control over it. The experience can feel agonizing, but may also seem familiar and comfortable. It does not solve the problems that we are anxious about, and in fact it ultimately increases our anxiety and may lead to depression.

Click here to read Rumination – When We Get Lost In Our Thoughts.