Stop ruminating for a happier life

How to Stop Ruminating

Do you find yourself going over a past situation repeatedly in your mind? If you are thinking the same negative thoughts over and over again, it is time for you to stop ruminating. This habit of ruminating—whether thinking of a painful moment repeatedly or listing things in your mind you don’t like about yourself daily—can be a symptom of depression. Ruminating makes it difficult to heal and move forward.

Here are a few of ways to help you stop ruminating.

Change Your Environment

Changing your environment is a way to move your mind off of the topic you tend to ruminate about. For example, if you are in your home thinking over and over about an argument you had years ago in your living room, try heading outside. Or, set time aside from your normal routine to work on a hobby you love. When you shift the focus of your attention, your mind can see solutions. A project you can solve gives you hope and a feeling of achievement.

Plus, adjusting your circumstances can be a way to stop focusing on the opinion of others. You see, some of rumination is worrying about how other people see you. Focusing on one mistake and deciding everyone’s opinion of you is attached to that mistake is not the whole story. The truth is everyone has problems of their own. Change your thinking and move forward to improve your own life.

Practice Acceptance to Stop Ruminating

Sometimes things happen in life that are unfair or simply don’t make any sense. This can be difficult to accept, but resisting changes can cause harm in your own life. You need to accept, adjust, and learn to grow, despite setbacks.

Meditation can help you keep negative thoughts out of your mind. Practicing mindfulness can help you reduce stress and welcome positive thoughts. When you are living mindfully, you may also be more successful at identifying triggers for ruminating thoughts, including people, places, or times of day when negative thinking occurs.

Recognize that ruminating on a problem will not solve the problem. What is the issue you would like to solve? How can you forge a new path? Think of a solution and take action. Once you feel some control, it will be easier to stop ruminating.

Talk to a counselor

Experts have documented the relationship between ruminating and protracted depression. This is because it is common for individuals who ruminate on negative experiences to find themselves in a habit of depressive feelings. This can add to feelings of low self-worth. Then, it is difficult for individuals to get the help and support they need to move forward.

With practice, you can halt the spiral of ruminating thoughts. Doing so can be a way to overcome depressive episodes. A professional can help you question your thoughts, find acceptance, and learn ways to view your life with more love and hope.

Contact Van Blarcom Consulting for help. Through counseling, you can learn to move forward and leave the past where it belongs, in the past.

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

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