When I say the word “rumination” what do you think of? Most people think of a cow ruminating or chewing her cud. But there is another type of rumination which cows do not do–human beings do! That is thinking over and over about disturbing thoughts or things that cause anxiety and depression such as paying an overdue bill or worrying about financial problems. The more you ruminate about these distressing thoughts, the more distressing they become.
Ruminating thoughts are like binding chains. How do you get loose from them? There are various ways to break these chains. You can divert your brain to other thought patterns. For instance instead of thinking and dwelling on your financial problems, you can start reading a good book, working on a puzzle, watching a movie on tv. You can start a new housekeeping project, talk to a friend or write in a journal. The important thing is to stop thinking about your distressing thoughts and concentrate on another subject! Some people wrongfully assume that if you are trying to solve a problem, the more you think about it, the sooner you will solve it! That is not correct. With ruminating thoughts, the more you think about them, the more you get caught up in their web of anxiety.
The next time you find yourself in a repetitive thought pattern where you go over and over again thinking about the same anxiety filled thoughts, ask yourself, “Do I want to stay in this no-win mental trap or do I want to break through and start thinking in a positive, productive manner? “Do I want to be a cow chewing her cud or a thinking human being solving problems?” I think you will choose the no-cow alternative!
Until next time,
I remain your forever friend Hope