What is Rumination?

What is Rumination?




In this episode, we are going to discuss rumination or ruminating thoughts. It is a mental behaviour that we engage in that stimulates the loop of anxiety and keeps us stuck. So in this episode, I am going to discuss what rumination means, what causes it so we can break ourselves out of it and take back control of our life.




Hey there. And welcome to this episode where we're going to talk about mental compulsions. And in this episode, we're specifically going to talk about rumination. And so the idea of rumination is really, most people don't understand it as a behavior, right? Um, when you talk about things like OCD or anxiety, we think that because we're thinking about something all the time, like that's, that's what the problem is, right? You know, my mind won't stop thinking about this, but what we need to realize is rumination is actually a behavior that we engage in. Right? It's actually one of the behaviors that fuels that cycle that I talk about. Right. And the thing is, is the behavior just happens in your head. So it's, it's hard sometimes to distinguish that, especially when you're really stuck in something. So, um, when, when we talk about the word rumination, I just want to first understand what it is, right.


It's really this idea of kind of mulling on and chewing on a thought metaphorically, right. Where you're just thinking about it and thinking about it. Right. It's just, and just can't let it go. Right. And the word roommate, at least my understanding comes from, um, you know, cows and how they eat. Right. And so the cows have multiple summits. And so it will happen is they'll swallow like grass. Right. And then what they'll do is they'll throw it back up and chew on it. Right. And then swallow it again. And that, that word room, it comes from that. Right. And so to ruminate, I mean, essentially metaphorically you're chewing on a thought, right. And you kind of think of it like that. And so, but, but the, the real thing that I want to get out of this episode or want you to take away is the idea that rumination right.


Is a behavior, right. It's something that we do. And it's something that we can see cease doing. Right. And it's something within our control. That is probably one of the hardest things to get people to understand when you're really caught in something. And you're really caught, like worrying and analyzing and just going over something again. And again, we think that going over it is actually, what's going to help us. Right. I need to come up with a solution, you know, as I need to figure this out, I need to figure this out. And the harder and harder we try, because oftentimes with anxiety, right. We're trying to solve something that we don't know. Right. And that we can't know. Right. It, it, it, it's, it's trying to solve an impossible question. And because of that, though, we just keep going and keep going and keep going and keep going.


And what happens as a result is actually all that rumination fuels the worry and fuels the anxiety and actually fuels the power of that thought, um, in our minds, which then makes it more alarming. And then it w we try to ruminate more and that's that vicious loop that we get in. So the first thing, when it comes to rumination is just understanding what it is. Right. It's that chewing on a thought, right. And then the second step, when it comes to like, how do we stop ruminating? Right. How do we, how do we get ourselves out of that loop? Right. Um, and, and the first thing to that is to really notice that you're ruminating, right. So a good exercise, I think, um, to start with w you know, I often offer people, right. Is really this idea of like, okay, when you find yourself ruminating, right.


If you find yourself like really getting lost in something, just note that you're ruminating about it, or know that you're thinking about it, right. As opposed to going full fledged and like, how do I stop ruminating? It's like, first things first, like, let's get present to when we are ruminating. And if we can consistently do that, what we can do is just start reeling ourselves back in. Right. And, and once you notice that you're ruminating, then the next thing becomes, okay, well, what do I do instead? And that's really starting to ground yourself in the present moment. Right. It's starting to ground yourself in what's happening around us. Right. Like right now, you know, and then, you know, obviously there's a lot of talk of mindfulness as being very effective for anxiety. Right. One of the reasons is because it brings us back to here, right.


So oftentimes a grounding exercises, right. Just deep breathing. Right. You know, just noticing your breath. Um, cause these are things that are happening right now. So what we're trying to do is get ourselves out of this rumination loop in our head and into right now. And that's in one and drawing ourselves back to the present using, using the present moment senses, right? Like what do I taste? What I feel, what do I hear? What do I see what I smell? Right. Grounding ourself. Right. And then kind of starting to move into the present and then stay in the present. Right. And then as soon as our mind tries to go back, it's like, Oh, ruminating and come back. And so just that practice of coming back and trying to reel yourself back in, so, so helpful when it comes to, um, ruminating and, and really stopping that.


And I wanted to bring this up because, you know, we're all on this, a series of more intrusive thoughts and Pierro OCD, um, stuff. But again, this applies to any and all forms of anxiety, but really I wanted to bring this up because that rumination is such a simple behavior that we engage in without really realizing it. And so once we can become, again, understanding what rumination is, becoming more aware of it and then just starting to reel ourselves back. And so those are the kinds of big takeaways that I want to share in this episode today. And, um, you know, if you like this and thought it helpful would appreciate if few to like this and subscribe as well as leave us a comment and even share it with, uh, you know, on your, on your social feeds. Um, you know, just to, to really help get this information out to people that are struggling. And so, um, also we have some additional resources right down in the notes. Um, that'll take you over to our site restored minds and you can, you know, check out some of our additional trainings as well as some of our free downloads and, uh, and other things that will help you on this journey. So thank you so much for taking the time to hang out with us today and I'll see you in the next episode, take care.


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