Updated: Oct 3, 2020
What does Ruminating Mean?
1. The process of continuously thinking about the same thoughts, which tend to be sad or dark, is called “rumination.”
A habit of rumination can be dangerous to your mental health as it can prolong or intensify depression as well as impair your ability to think and process emotions. It may also cause you to feel isolated and can, in reality, push people away.
2. Rumination is when you become fixated over a word, problem or event and play it in a continuous loop over and over in your head. When people ruminate the words said by an abusive partner or replay the mental images about the distress they suffered, they can become agitated, hopeless and depressed—which is a complete disservice to their own healing process.
Why Do We Ruminate?
1. Belief that by ruminating, you gain insight to the problem
2. Having a history of emotional or physical trauma
3. Facing ongoing stressors that cannot be controlled
4. Ruminating is common in people who excessivly focus on one's relationship with others
Brain research reveals that women's brains seldom shut down while men's brains occasionally rest, even while they are wide awake. Nice for them and helpful for us if we are multi-tasking, but infuriating when repetitive unproductive thoughts steal our peace or when overactive imaginations sap our energy and make us feel like mice on treadmills. Exhausting. Why do we women typically ruminate? Ruminating results when we cling to worry. To “ruminate.” Derived from a sixteenth-century word describing how cows chew the cud, this modern English word indicates thinking about something over and over again. Continually. This is the way many people spend their lives. Obsessing about their past. About decisions. Problems. Mistakes.
This rumination has dangerous implications, and can lead to depression, anxiety, and even substance abuse. One study at the University of Oxford revealed that “people who are high worriers are less able to control their attention and block out distraction.”
The type of repetitive thinking that occurs in worry and rumination is an important risk factor for anxiety and depression (Watkins, 2008). Worry has been defined as “a chain of thoughts and images, negatively affect-laden and relatively incontrollable” (Borkovec, Robinson, Pruzinsky, & DePree, 1983, p. 10), whereas rumination refers to repetitive and passive thinking about one’s mood and its consequences (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). Worry and rumination have much in common, both involving repetitive thinking about negative self-relevant topics, the main difference being the orientation of the negative repetitive thoughts. Worry typically has a primary focus on future threat, whereas rumination is oriented toward past negative events and failures.
How do we Stop Rumination?
1. We cast All our Cares unto God:
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Casting our cares to God sounds so good when we are not ruminating.
However, when those thought cycles begin we need to take steps and Identify the Situation:
1. We need to question our thoughts.
Think more about how your troubling thought might not be accurate; because the thought actually makes no sense.
2. We need a support system.
Having someone to talk to when we notice the rumination beginning. We must Speak about what is bothering us immediately. Do not hold the thoughts in your mind to twist and poke and explode open looking for the solution, Because most of the time We Never Have the Solution. We must stop trying to fix things on our own. We must stop trying to analyze things until self-fulfilling prophecy actually happens and what we don't want to occur becomes Reality.
3. Identify our Irrational Thoughts
I must be competent in everything or I will never succeed. If you think you have to be competent in everything to succeed, you are setting yourself up for failure. You don't have to be an expert in everything. Your strength lies in what you know, not in what you don't.
My emotions are outside of my control. If you think have no power over your emotions, try to think in terms of educating yourself about those emotions. It's possible to learn to manage your feelings--and in the meantime, however you feel, you can always control how you act and respond.
One of the most common components of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) is identifying and answering irrational thoughts. Once you can label and dissect an irrational thought, you take away some of its power. The longer these patterns are allowed to continue, however, the more likely they are to become ingrained, lifelong habits. These habits of thought contribute to development of the hard-to-treat personality disorders that often bedevil bipolar adults.
4. Understand what Triggers or Sets you off.
Knowing what makes you ruminate can help you develope ways to avoid or manage the trigger.
Keeping a journal and notating the situation that has triggered you helps identify the situation you are in. Keep a log of the feelings and what was said in the initial conversation. This way when/if your mind goes in too deep, you have a point of origin to try to bring your thoughts back to.
5. Boosting your self-esteem. Glenn R. Schiraldi, Ph.D, author of The Self-Esteem Workbook, describes healthy self-esteem as a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself. He writes, “Unconditional human worth assumes that each of us is born with all the capacities needed to live fruitfully, although everyone has a different mix of skills, which are at different levels of development.” He emphasizes that core worth is independent of externals that the marketplace values, such as wealth, education, health, status — or the way one has been treated.
Some navigate the world — and relationships — searching for any bit of evidence to validate their self-limiting beliefs. Much like judge and jury, they constantly put themselves on trial and sometimes sentence themselves to a lifetime of self-criticism.
This can mean using soothing music, sitting in the tub with candles or just deep breaths. Meditation on the Word should be something we put first in this journey to self healing.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
God promises to be with us when we actually face storms in life, but he never promises to provide what we need in our what-ifs. How foolish to attempt to figure out life without him--and that's exactly what we do when we ruminate.
Ruminating is a sin, when we remove God so we can figure things out on our own. We need Him now more than ever in our lives. I write this not only to help you but for myself as well. I need to practice what I learned and shared today, for ruminating has Ruined my life for the Last Time. Claim the Victory in Yahusha's Mighty Name!!
10 Tips to help you stop Ruminating
8 Steps to improving your Self-Esteem