WORRY & RUMINATION

Worry and rumination are types of repetitive thinking where thinking circles around a problem without coming to solutions.  Worry is usually focused on future dangers while rumination is concerned with past mistakes or losses.  Trying to suppress unwanted thoughts may make them stronger.

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 searching for reassurance from others

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