WORRY & RUMINATION

Worry and rumination are forms of repetitive thinking.
Worry usually involves apprehension about the future.
Rumination usually invovles disappointment or regret about the past.

UNDERSTANDING WORRY
– worry is a way of trying to anticipate future problems or dangers
– worry often leads to over-monitoring, checking and excessive reassurance-seeking
– people who worry may mistakenly believe it makes them safer or more prepared

DEALING WITH WORRY
challenge your thoughts to see if they are realistic or likely to happen
– write down worrying thoughts and deal with them during a set period later in the day
– practice mindfulness and attention-shifting techniques

UNDERSTANDING RUMINATION
– rumination can involve self-criticism or internal arguments with others
– cycles of rumination can intensify feelings of shame, guilt, and anger
– people who ruminate may mistakenly believe it helps them find answers or solve problems

DEALING WITH RUMINATION
– check yourself for whether rumination has actually helped you find answers or solve problems
– learn lessons from the past and resolve not to repeat them
– practice self-compassion
– start taking action towards new goals
– practice mindfulness and attention-shifting techniques

DEALING WITH INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS
– cycles of worry and rumination often start with intrusive thoughts
– everyone experiences intrusive or distressing thoughts on a daily basis
– consider intrusive thoughts as mental noise and focus on the immediate present
– if you feel you must worry or ruminate, set aside a 20 minute period once a day

SEE ALSO
– Are You Confusing Rumination with Problem-Solving?
– Probing the Depression-Rumination Cycle
Excessive Reassurance-Seeking
Why Thought Suppression is Counter-Productive
Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression