Rumination, it’s a commonly experienced thought-spiral that traps us into focusing on the causes and consequences of things that negatively affect us. For instance, losing your job, it’s undeniably life-changing and can make us feel lost but if you start constantly focusing on the fact that you are no longer employed, rather than getting out and looking for a new job, this is where rumination takes its hold and can be difficult to shake off.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t feel sad or down or even angry when you affected by something negative but holding onto only the negative feelings can do so much more than just ruin your mood, it can affect your appetite, interfere with restful sleep and even cause upset in your personal relationships.
Rumination is regularly tied to those who are prone to worry or who suffer anxiety but it can and does affect everyone. The key to preventing rumination is to turn your negative experience into a positive one as much as possible, while we can’t provide a positive for every negative experience, here are some suggested ways to stop rumination before you get trapped into your negative thoughts.
Losing Your Job
With the recent pandemic, many people have unfortunately been furloughed or have lost their job through no fault of their own. This combined with country-wide lockdowns has caught many people in a negative thought-spiral and understandably so. However, as the country starts to reopen and the economy scrabbles to get back on its feet, we need to push forward into our ‘new normal’ and turn the page for our next adventure.
With the spare time you have gained, it’s easy to want to just sit on the sofa and pass time with day-time shows and movies but a few weeks in, you’ll soon be kicking yourself. Instead, use this opportunity to explore new skills and hobbies that you otherwise wouldn’t have had time to try before. Resources that are available include YouTube (free), Skillshare (subscription) and potentially hundreds and thousands of niche blogs from people already experienced and knowledgable in the subject you wish to explore.
When we are sick and it interferes with our lifestyle, it can be easy to feel like you won’t ever be back to normal but it’s important to take one day at a time and make a list of the things you want to achieve, working through them as and when you can. Sometimes you might only achieve one thing on your list but that’s still a cause for celebrating your achievement and rewarding yourself for your efforts.
If you feel restricted in your physical ability, why not look at offering someone else some support, either through sharing your experience so others who struggle with a similar time can seek guidance and know they aren’t alone. Alternatively, give what you can to a worthy cause, even if it’s just volunteering a small amount of your time, helping others is a quick path to boosting your own mood. You can give to charities that help to rescue animals that have been abandoned, give to an Islamic charity that helps orphans get a better start in life or find an organisation or group that is trying to improve facilities and resources in your local area.
Falling Out With Someone
This can be a huge source of rumination when you have an argument or a disagreement with someone you care about deeply. This can leave both of you feeling emotionally sore and it’s always better to take some time from each other and give each other space to think. During this time, don’t focus on why the argument or falling out happened or why the other person is wrong but consider the impact this person has had on your life and if your disagreement is just a case of a differing opinion.
The world is full of differing and even completely opposite opinions but things aren’t always so black and white and we should use other’s viewpoints to gain a greater understanding of the world around us. We can be passionate about our interests and our desires as long as what you are interested in doesn’t cause harm or interfere with someone else’s right to live. That is how we should aspire to a truly free and harmonious life, where we can involve ourselves in disputes and discussions without sore feelings and broken relationships with those we are close to.
The act of rumination doesn’t affect only some people, it’ll affect all of us at some point in our lives, young, old, amateur or experienced. A negative thought-spiral can happen whenever we experience something negative but we shouldn’t let it define us and instead turn it into an opportunity to grow and develop our personal selves. Start yourself on the path of breaking out of negativity today and begin working towards a more positive future.