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Readers Respond: Do You Ruminate? What About, and How Do You Stop?

Responses: 54


Updated October 05, 2009


I am a life long ruminator about personal relationships. Rumination is hard, may be non-stop and is anxiety -provoking. Days off are harder, by the middle of a nice spring afternoon start feeling the all -familiar tension and anxiety build up caused by hours of ruminating..I may repeat real and imaginary conversations and exchenges for the whole day non stop.And I have a need, like a powerfull pull inside to go back to those obcessive thoughts even if I get distracted temopararily. Feels like a real mental handicap though I remain a fully employed busy professional and am married. anna
—Guest anna

Ruminating and Dwelling About Work

It's 3am and I'm dwelling about work and cannot sleep. I spent all weekend thinking about how to deal with an upcoming issue instead of enjoying family time or using the time to relax. I over-analyzed the situation, came up with solutions and took some action that will help remedy the situation, but after feeling good for a few hours I fell back into dwelling since the issue is still there. I thought I was better/stronger than this but am not sure if I'm losing self confidence because of the issue or if I'm ruminating. Probably both, but it's not healthy and after reading all the prior posts while I'm glad to know there are other people in this boat that are dealing with their ruminating related challenges, I'm saddened by some of the stories especially around family situations. Here are some tips I've read that I hope can help others: 1) Short term - focus on something, anything! (e.g. scrub the toilet or go for a run) 2) Medium/Long term - keep a journal, exercise and meditate
—Guest GuestJohnDoe


Hi everyone, First I want to say that I understand. I too suffered with terrible rumination and yes it is a nightmare experience. There is a way to manage rumination and actually benifit from it greatly. Research the "human condition" because that is pretty much what you are doing anyway. You are the human and it is your condition that you are ruminating about so combine the two and you have self examination that can only result in a better person. Think like Socrates and use his method, "the Socratic method",. Keep asking questions of everyone and of everything. Investigate your own self and be honest , and know that as a species we share many things such as emotions and biological, neurological funtions. Also you can be the Psychologist and you can be the scientist, only if you stop trying to always entertain yourself and take a long and hard look at who and what you are. I am Albert Camustein, layman, psychologist and scientist and I know no stress only love is real.
—Guest Albert Camustein

My Little Boy

The doctors believe my 7 yr old son has rumination. They r sending him out of state to actually be tested for this condition. The doctor believes that all the events that have happened over the last couple of yrs triggered this. I feel so bad as a parent wondering what I can do to help him. His father and I have always given him love and attention in positive ways. Our whole family has. He has started to hate school. He doesnt like to go anywhere. He would rather be at home and he is so emotionally sensitive to everything. I find it difficult to try to help him. We are seeking help for him in many different areas. If anyone else has a young child and is going or gone through this and has any suggestions I am open to hearing them.
—Guest Amy

Turmoil in the mind

Ruminating is the root cause of all anxiety, stress and depression. As a youth I was a chronic daydreamer and as an adult that turned into anxiety, ruminating and depression. The only cure I know is to turn your life over the God and let him carry the burden. It's very hard, especially when your brain has been hard wired with negative thoughts. To change those thoughts they have to be replaced with something better and that means rewiring the brain. Memorizing Bible verses helps me as does attending church and Bible study groups. God is the answer but it takes time and effort to get there. I'm not there yet but I'm sure on the path.
—Guest charles

Role Play

Role play, or acting can help, too. I think prayer should be a option.
—Guest Jandi

Rumination on things I can not control.

Hey, I'm Mysterious and I tend to ruminate on if I'm doing enough, if I have the right impression on the ones I love and such. Only because I don't want to die and leave them all behind with mixed feelings. I'm 22 years old and I don't think I've ever felt differently all my life. Since my panic attack in 2009 I have thought more and more about death and it tends to scare me silly. Anxiety is a given and its definitely because I can dwell on my physical and mental state. I think this is considered rumination not too sure to focus on something constantly and to fear it. Then bring back the past with these triggers. Like the panick attack.. Well, the only thing I can say is that, Journaling seems temporary as well as meditation but i'll give it a try. I hope it works as well as everyone else has said it has. Thanks
—Guest Mysterious


I was tought in therapy when you start to ruminate visualise it as an ugly monste and say in your mind to it whatever you have to until you see it turn tale and cower down . anything you do takes practice im not always perfect but Im trying
—Guest ruminate

guest Christine

Wow!!! This was like reading my life back!!! I too only recently found out why I have been depressed for so long. I've had meds, therapy, and counseling, but nothing seems to help and I actually have a great life!!! I ruminate on my entire past life and feels awful during and after!!! But can't stop!!! I have brief respites but the main bug bear is I am so unhappy with the work situaiton that was actually caused by my ruminating instead of focusing on enjoying the present. So Christine, I can relate and you are not alone. I've staretd meditating, journaling and making myself stop thinking the negative thoughts as soon as they start. It's tough, but works. Keep you posted!


I can't stop ruminating about finding a career that I have a passion for. I have not been able to stay in a job for more than 2 years and I am now 43 years old. In my 30's I even went to university and now can't work out a way to continue studying whilst being a single parent. I have also not had a relationship for more than 2 years. What's up with that? I look at my past mistakes and worry about future ones and have done so my whole adult life. Man, do I have a headache. As far as the career goes, I have a lot of ideas but they all fall short at the last hurdle. Is this a case of setting myself up to fail?

Write It Down

I have a hardback note book entitled What Makes Me Angry. I write down everything that makes my blood boil. Most of the things I have written down I have now forgotten about.
—Guest poppy

Sleep Rumination

I have chronic insomnia--unable to turn off thoughts when I go to bed. Have tried just about everything--I now take Ambien but I reallly don't like taking a pill. Any advice on how I can get some z's.
—Guest Donna Pat


It's very exhauting to runinate. I feel out of control at times. I journal and that helps. Mostly I ruminate about my 5 year relationship with my boyfriend which is not going well. He doesn't communicate. He pretty much ignores me until he wants sex. I'm a good person. I'm not understanding why I'm being treated so poorly by him. I know I should leave the relationship. I've tried many times, but I ruminate myself to tears. Honestly, last year I was diagnosed with HPV. I feel I am classified as a leper now and can never have another relationship again. It just wouldn't be fair to another human being. I'm sad, lonely and feel used. Probably the best way to stop ruminating is to end this realtionship myself and get on with my life, such as it is, and accept reality. Self love I beleive, is the key to open my heart that indeed I am a good woman and will surely survive this ordeal. Oh, I hate to write this, but when I get obsessed, I take an anti-anxiety medication.
—Guest Donna


Lots of aspects in your life can be pointed out but there should always that desire to counter act and solve all the worries you are facing at the moment. Choose to be happy.

A Form of OCD?

Over the years, I have begun to wonder if rumination, almost to the point of obsession, might not be a form of OCD and respond to the treatments and drugs used for OCD if it becomes too problematic?
—Guest TeeK

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