Overthinking. Fixation. Rumination. Whatever you want to call it, I do it and I know I’m not the only.
The act of rumination is essentially thinking about something to the point where you literally drive yourself crazy on a thought or series of thoughts. For me, rumination typically happens when I think of something that’s gone wrong or something that has the potential to go wrong. Need an example? Let me supply you with one.
What is “Rumination”?
Rumination can happen in a number of ways. For me, rumination happens most when I get worried about something with my relationship, my job, the health of myself and my family, and my friendships. Most recently, I’ve ruminated about my job.
So, we all know about the crazy thing going on right now. I wasn’t going to bring it up but I think I should because I think it’s a source of a lot of people’s anxiety right now. The “crazy thing” I’m talking about right now is the big ol’ COVID-19. The coronavirus. The shit making bars and restaurants close. The shit keeping us away from our friends and keeping us inside our houses. You know, THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC CURRENTLY HAPPENING.
Anyway, COVID-19 recently caused me to worry about losing my job. After all, my job requires generating services for clients and when clients aren’t getting money, well, they can’t exactly pay us to do these services for them anymore. So basically, my boss told me that there’s a chance my office might have to start “making changes”. I’m sure you can guess what these “changes” entail.
Due to my nature to ruminate on various thoughts and worries, I naturally started to constantly think about how I’m going to be affected by these changes. My brain instantly went to: Is my boss not impressed with the work I’ve been putting out? Will I be able to find a new plan in the midst of this chaos? Should I reach out to my office and tell them something? Even though I don’t know what that thing I should tell them should even be? Will any changes look bad on my resume? Etc. Etc. Etc. ETCETERA!!!!!!
How to Escape Rumination
So, if you haven’t picked up on the hint yet, rumination is truly the act of overthinking. Ruminators take a single thought and turn it in their hands. They look at it from every angle and fixate on that thought. And, in the worst situation, the single thought generates and splits into a number of mini worries.
While I used the example of my job, you might have had this experience with a number of other forces in your life. Perhaps a relationship. You might think “Is he/she cheating on me?” “Who was that person on their social network’s timeline?” “Is he secretly messaging someone on Instagram?” “Is there someone at his/her work he is secretly flirting with?”
Sound familiar? I thought it might.
Ruminating sucks. It sucks a lot, and yet, many of us can’t help but commit to it. Why, you may ask? Because its easier to ruminate than not. It’s easier to let your mind think those thoughts your so curious about.
But I’m telling you to stop.
Stop with that bullshit. Seriously. Ruminating is so bad for your soul and personal energy. It damages your energy to the point where it stunts your ability to maximize your full potential.
I know what you’re thinking. Okay, easy for you to tell me to just “stop” but how the heck am I supposed to do that?
Well. Allow me to present you with a little list of ways you can help yourself stop ruminating right this moment:
- Go for a walk in nature.
Immersing yourself in nature is scientifically proven to keep your brain from ruminating more than if you were just sitting in your room or at home somewhere. I know this because, obviously, I heard it on a podcast titled The Savvy Psychologist.
If you’ve never tried to meditate then you don’t know the wonders of its magic. With a little bit of effort and commitment, meditation will allow you to remove your mind from the fixation and rumination and place it on your body and the moment you’re in right at that moment. Mediation allows you to practice mindfulness and allows you to practice controlling your mind so that you can’t think about those harmful thoughts that often ruin your mood. You can learn tips on how to meditate through a number of free apps and online resources.
- Hang out with some friends.
Spending time with friends and doing social activities with people who love and care about you will help you take your mind off of the thoughts that are taking over your mind. When you’re with your friends, ask them about their days, their lives and their successes. This will help you take your mind of troubling thoughts and focus on positive aspects about a person you love.
- Acknowledge your feelings then let them go.
This is, perhaps, one of the most important steps you can take to quit ruminating.
Although this might seem counterproductive, taking the time to acknowledge how you feel, rather than pushing it away and trying to resist the feelings and thoughts, can help you come to terms with the pain and worry. The key is to take that emotion or feeling and to view it as just that: a feeling that is ever-changing and a thought that is simply passing through. Don’t treat the feeling and thought as a permanent piece.
Think about a time you were so unconditionally worried or angry about something that ended up being quite OK in the end. Perhaps the bad thing still happened but it turned out being a good turn out in the end after all. Or perhaps the bad thing you were ruminating over never even ended up happening. Those were fleeting thoughts and feelings. And the next negative energy that intrudes on your thoughts and soul will be that as well–ever-changing and adapting. Observe that feeling exactly as it is: a feeling that will be present and will leave just as naturally as it arrived.
You Are Bigger Than Your Worry
Read that headline. Now, read it again. Repeat it to yourself in the morning. During the day. Multiple times during the day. And then again at night.
Breathe it. Live it. Love it. BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.
You truly are bigger than your worry and the negative energy coming into your personal sphere. You can get through this. Don’t let these thoughts and worries take over your life. You are so much better than this.
You got this.
Do you do something else to get through your rumination? Comment! Message me! DM me on Instagram! @ohshesalty 🙂
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