Ruminating Thoughts

When The Damage Is Done

Without keeping your mind in check, the brain can start to malfunction, resulting in pathological states of mind. One such state is the rumination over negative events that have occurred in your life; in particular, negative and stressful ones. Rumination is not like OCD, but can also be time-consuming and distressing in nature.

The difference between rumination and OCD is that OCD involves compulsions or acts in an attempt to alleviate the anxious thoughts. With rumination, you have the anxious thoughts, but which are not followed by any acts; you are just stuck in a never-ending loop of analysis.

Rumination is difficult to stop after you have experienced it a few times, because the mental act starts to become engrained within your personality. Rumination is essentially your mind trying to analyze how and why something happened; attention is not so much directed on the solution.

The solution is often easily obtained: perform this to fix that. But during rumination, your mind becomes stuck on the past: “why did the event happen and how could I have prevented it?” Even the prevention part is not that big of a focus; the majority of rumination is focused on the “how and why.”

Rumination can be seen as a defense mechanism to mental pain. By refusing to accept the outcome of a negative event, your mind paradoxically starts to become obsessive on the details leading to the event. If you read that correctly, then you can easily see how rumination is not a defense mechanism at all, but an error in your mind’s processing of the event.

The best way to overcome rumination is to simply stop worrying about what happened; the damage is already done! Ruminating about the damage will not fix anything. But since rumination is the problem in the first place, you have to put an end to it! And the way you do that is to just stop stressing over the negative event; accept it and move on!

Tame your mind before its wildness takes over your life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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