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5 Tips on How to Stop Ruminating or Intrusive Thoughts

What is Rumination?

Have you ever had a single thought that keeps on recurring in your mind? Rumination is the state of continuous thinking of similar thoughts, which may be sad or threatening. Rumination is very dangerous to a person's mental health, can impair thinking ability, increase anxiety, prolong depression, and alter the ability to process emotions.

Signs That You Are a Victim of Rumination

  • Focusing on a single thought for a very long time
  • Having a worse feeling than you began with
  • You are not moving toward accepting the situation and moving on.
  • Your thoughts are not close to any viable solution.

Rumination vs. Emotional Processing

Both rumination and emotional processing tend to focus on problems, usually on emotions surrounding these problems. However, rumination has a more pessimistic bent, involving a series of thoughts of pessimism and cognitive distortions. Rumination keeps you stuck to negative emotions repetitively without a change of mindset. By contrast, emotional processing starts the same way as rumination, though it generates new ideas of thinking or new possibilities. 

5 Tips on How to Stop Ruminating or Intrusive Thoughts

Distract Yourself

If you notice that you are under the spell of rumination, find something that can distract your mind. Select something that can break your thought cycle. Consider watching an exciting movie, walking around your vicinity, drawing a picture, reading a book, singing along to music, or calling a friend.

Take Action

Instead of stressing yourself with the same thought, again and again, take action and address it before it hits you with a mental problem. Solving the problem puts your mind at ease.

Be Flexible

Perfectionism is a worthy cause of rumination. If you set unrealistic goals that fail to be achieved, you may find yourself focusing on why you haven't attained your goal. Being flexible enough helps you reduce the risk of thinking again and again about a failure. Also give yourself credit for achievements you’ve made leading up to your final goal. They count too!

Talk to a Friend | Tips on How to Stop Ruminating

Talk to Your Friend.

If your ruminating thoughts make you feel isolated, discuss your thoughts with a close friend who can give you a perspective that can break your thought cycle.

Book an Appointment With a Licensed Counselor

If you are a captive of rumination and negative thoughts almost dominate your entire life, consider visiting a professional counselor. The counselor can help you identify the cause of rumination and address them from their roots.

Why Contact BCB Therapy and Make an Appointment?

If you or your relative have a rumination disorder, connect with a mental health professional who can diagnose and help you get treatment for ruminating or intrusive thoughts.

BCB Therapy provides counseling services to clients in Oregon. Contact us to talk to our experts. If you live in Oregon, make a teletherapy appointment with our mental health therapists at BCB Therapy and start your treatment journey today.

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