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Rumination: How to take back control of your life.

What do you do when your thoughts don't have an off button?


What is Rumination?


Rumination occurs when you are constantly and repeated having thoughts about a memory, a problem situation, or an event that has happened or is about to happen.


It feels like your thoughts just won't turn off. Your brain seems to have turned into an obsessive being that just needs to keep thinking and thinking about the problem situation.


Rumination sucks. It interferes with your mental and daily functioning. It makes it hard to concentrate in the day, and even go to bed at night. No one like it when it's 3am in the middle of the night but your brain still wants to go through reel after reel of your problems and how to deal with them.


"OVERTHINKING, also, best known as creating problems that are never there" - David Sikhosana


Recognising Rumination as a problem.


See if this sounds like phrases you might say:

  • "I can't seem to get out of my head."

  • "My thoughts are racing."

  • "I can't turn my mind off!"

  • "I think of all the scenarios that could possibly happen."

  • "I'm always dwelling upon what I could have done to prevent it."

  • "I overthink everything."


Reflecting on a problem or a memory is very normal human behaviour, but it goes awry when it becomes frequent, long-term and interferes with your ability to get through your day.


If it starts to severely impact your mood - including excessive worrying, feeling depressed, and feeling hopeless - that's a sure sign of a problem on your hands (or mind).


As you might already have guessed, rumination is a common symptom in both Anxiety and Depression