WORRY & RUMINATION

Worry and rumination are forms of repetitive thinking where the mind circles around a problem without coming up with solutions.  Worry is usually focused on future dangers while rumination is concerned with past mistakes or losses.

UNDERSTANDING WORRY
– worry is an attempt to anticipate future problems in order to feel safe or prepared
– worry can worsen the problem through over-monitoring and needing reassurance

DEALING WITH WORRY
challenge your worrying thoughts to see if they are realistic or likely to happen
– distract yourself from worry by taking action or using attention-shifting techniques

UNDERSTANDING RUMINATION
– rumination about the past can involve self-criticism or internal arguments with others
– cycles of rumination can intensify feelings of shame, guilt, and anger

DEALING WITH RUMINATION
– check yourself for whether rumination has actually helped you find answers or solve problems
– practice self-compassion and resolve not to repeat past mistakes

DEALING WITH INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS
– cycles of worry and rumination often start with intrusive thoughts
– consider intrusive thoughts as mental noise and focus on the immediate present

SEE ALSO
– Are You Confusing Rumination with Problem-Solving?
– Why Thought Suppression is Counter-Productive
Excessive Reassurance-Seeking