4 Ways to Get Rid of Ruminant Thoughts

Tired of overthinking everything and only focusing on the negative? Learn how to cope with negative and ruminant thoughts in this article.
4 Ways to Get Rid of Ruminant Thoughts

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Ruminant thoughts can literally make your life bitter. After all, this type of obsessive thought plagues your mind.

Thinking about what could have been, what didn’t work out, and even what hasn’t happened yet can cause anguish. This is the result of carefully analyzing something that has happened to you, and there is no solution for.

However, it’s easy to get rid of ruminant thoughts if we know how to counter attack them.

Although breaking your thought patterns may feel like an extremely difficult task, here are four key tips that may work for you. If not all of them work, then at least some will.

Are you going to try them?

1. Ruminant thoughts need their time

Ruminant thoughts illustrated as giant question marks

What do we mean by this? We mean that the best way to become obsessed with something is to not to set any limits or dedicate a space and time for thinking.

Dedicating some time in the evening or at night to solely focus on that thought will help you stop thinking about it over and over again.

In that moment, you should force yourself to think and rethink about that idea. When we do this, we almost always come to the conclusion that what you’re doing is worthless. This will be a very important turning point.

It’s difficult and requires a lot of practice. However, this is how you’ll be able to prevent ruminant thoughts from appearing when you least expect it (for example, during a major conference or work meeting).

2. Should you practice mindfulness?

Man meditating in the beach

We always mention mindfulness as something that helps people resolve many problems in their daily lives. This is because the consequences of practicing it are very healing.
Mindfulness helps us focus on the now, the present moment. What happens if you focus on what you feel and the things that are happening here and now? You’ll stop thinking about any ruminant thoughts.

With practice, you’ll become more aware of the present moment. Hence, you’ll give less importance to all of those thoughts about the past and future which are so useless in the present.
You’d be much happier if you were more connected with the present. It’s only a matter of continuously doing this very beneficial practice.

3. Seek refuge in your hobbies

Man taking pictures of the sunset

When a ruminant thought hounds you, it stays for days or weeks prowling around in your mind. Hence, it can have effects on you that you don’t like.

You can begin to be more apathetic, to lock yourself up more at home and, ultimately, stop enjoying life.

That’s why it’s important to push yourself to continue doing what you like and improve this skill or hobby during the moment when you most need it.

As you do something that you’re passionate about, you’ll completely forget about the destructive and harmful thoughts that are hurting you so much.

Also read:

What’s The Best Sport for Your Personality?

4. Go out to new places

Woman traveling to new places

This is a recommendation that we usually hear. If work stresses you out, go for a walk. If you need to disconnect, a walk through nature will be just right.

When you have ruminant thoughts that make you bitter, it’s important not to stay at home, as this will help them unravel completely.

In order to release these thoughts, you just need to move. Seek calmness in a remote place and just be.

Take a walk in nature. Nature has a very great healing power. It’s where you’ll find silence, where your mind will calm down and where your ruminant thoughts will be ready to stop harassing you.

You’re not alone

Have you ever had to deal with ruminant thoughts? All of us, at some point, have encountered this great block that prevents us from forgetting a past situation or living in the present without worrying too much about the future.

Obsessive ideas are fairly common, but if a single one lasts too long, it can become a problem.

In some cases, this can lead to the well-known and dreaded mental health problem called depression.

Therefore, it’s important to learn to let go, to not attach yourself to those negative thoughts that, at times, cause everything that concerns you to end up somatizing in your body.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Probing the depression-rumination cycle. (2005). Retrieved 6 November 2020, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/nov05/cycle
  • Kuster, F., Orth, U., & Meier, L. L. (2012). Rumination mediates the prospective effect of low self-esteem on depression: A five-wave longitudinal study. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(6), 747-759.
  • Law, B. M. (2005). Probing the depression-rumination cycle. APA Monitor, 36 (10), 38-39.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.