10 ways to dealing with Ruminating thoughts
I recently finished a brilliant book ‘ The Body keeps Score’, which has studied trauma and its effects over the past decade, research in the area and the current best practice on dealing with trauma. Whilst reading, I realised how one of the biggest problems in mental health is ruminating.
Ruminating thoughts are excessive and intrusive thoughts about negative experiences and feelings.
Most of us do this at some point in time or also during the day. How long does it take you to step out of your head after an argument with a colleague?
Are you worried for too long about your child?
Here are some ways, I have learnt to battle these:
1. Acknowledge them
Learn to label your feelings. Angry, sad, helpless. After this, acknowledge them. Its OK to feel whatever you are feeling.
2. Write them down
3. Listen to upbeat music
Very enjoyable again
4. Time out
Do you tell a friend that Saturday night is nor particularly helpful to meet? Now, say this aloud to your mind. ” Julie, this is not a great time to keep thinking about your failed project”. Then set aside 10 minutes in your diary to think about it. Then move on.
5. Get a physical activity
Go for a walk, do some cardio. If you are not in a position to do it, then simply get up from your chair, bed and get a glass of water. Do this every time you get a negative thought which you are trying to battle.
Call a friend or spend time with people.
Take a ten minute break with deep breathing meditation. Bring yourself to present moment
8. Play eye spy/Mindfulness
Know this game? Start a running commentary in your head about everything you can observe in your environment.
Observe your room, notice the colour of your bedsheets, the flowers in your balcony…keep this going for solid 10-15 minutes.
9. Is this helpful?
When someone is excessively smoking or drinking or even eating, we often ask the person- Is this helpful?
Now, try asking yourself- Is thinking over this matter over and over again very helpful? See what your mind answers.
10. Seek help
If this is getting too difficult to deal with, seek professional help. These days we often discuss about what is healthy for our body i.e. diet and exercise. But little do we know, about mental health challenges. Just like one needs to take an effort to have an healthy body, one needs to help oneself when it comes to the mind.
Remember God helps those who help themselves!