Ruminating about Ruminating

It’s fairly common for people who are trying to stop ruminating to get stuck ruminating about how to stop ruminating.  In other words, they start trying to figure out how to stop figuring something out.

When you find yourself trying to figure out how to stop ruminating, you need to let go of this form of rumination in the same way as you let go of any other form of rumination.  Stop trying to figure it out and move on.

A related issue that frequently comes up is that once people know how important it is to stop ruminating, they get scared of ruminating, and this quickly becomes a new focus of the OCD.

When this happens, you need to treat this like any other form of OCD, by accepting the risk and moving on.  For example, if you get scared that a thought you are having is rumination and that you will therefore never get better, you need to accept that possibility, and move on from trying to figure out how to do it perfectly.  Trying to be perfect about rumination will backfire just like trying to be perfect about anything else.

It’s important to know that even once a person has made the clear decision to stop ruminating and has refocused their attention on something else, sometimes the thoughts will still be sticky.  When this happens, do your utmost to stay away from ruminating, while also treating yourself with compassion and remembering that it’s impossible to be perfect, including when it comes to rumination.

Please note that this article is for your information only and does not constitute clinical advice or establish a patient-psychologist relationship.