Hello guys & gals
Today’s topic is a result of something I lived last week after a big clash with my best friend. Her words kept repeating in my head, like a scene from an Ekta Kapoor serial 🙈 .. lost in my own thoughts, I noticed a lone cow away from her pack of herd ‘ruminating’ I couldn’t help but compare how we do the same with our thoughts.
Have you ever seen a cow ruminating? In India, we witness a herd of cows at every juncture of any journey, this is a common sight! ‘Rumination’ is the process in which the cow’s rumen and esophagus sends back a small amount of “difficult to digest food” back into its mouth for chewing, this process in cow’s, help in better digestion.
I compared this process with what we tend to do with our thoughts.. Something difficult to digest, to accept, comes back to our mind again and again like the little ‘indigestible grass’ of the cow, does thinking about it constantly help accept it better? Will a continuous repetition of the scenes in our head help to live with it better? Or do we need to vomit this out for a better living?
These are the questions I asked myself, After some research, I realized that intense and constant ‘rumination’ can have adverse effects on our health, pondering over and reviewing negative actions or circumstances is normal for everyone, it’s just when this action becomes an uncontrollable habit and gets out of hand that the bigger problems occur.
As quoted by Sam Harris, American philosopher and neuroscientist.
“If you’re constantly ruminating about what you just did- or what you should have done- or what you would have done if you only had the chance, you will miss your life.You will fail to connect with it. You will fail to connect with other people.”
We sometimes wish we had done things differently may it be better decisions, better responses, better reactions and through constant contemplation we wish to make that happen. But more often then usual we end up increasing the intensity of the emotions attached to those troublesome events. Making us feel even more hopeless, sad, angry. For obvious reasons this affects an individuals mental health.
SOME ADVERSE EFFECTS OF RUMINATION
- We miss out on our present: Constant pondering hinders us from moving forward in our life. We fail to live in the present, where door-knocking opportunities may slip away because we are so obsessed and stuck in the past.
- Affects our mood constantly: Reliving negative events and emotions, makes individuals more prone to feeling depressed and hopeless.
- Health Problems: The magnification of emotions through intense thinking can lead to serious physiological issues like blood pressure, cardiovascular illness.
- Affects our decision making: Rumination can very much be addictive, inclining us to be preoccupied with it. Taking away the ability to make sound and rational decisions.
These problems can indeed be overcome,
Some simple tips which I follow too can be very helpful
- Take a fresh look on things: Emotions are a part of every situation we deal with. Effectively managing emotions can be a difficult task. Sometimes emotions can cloud our judgements, walking away from a stressful situation at an intense moment can be helpful, and once the intensity of emotions has wavered down; reaching a more rational solution is easier.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you strong: Make the situation a learning experience rather than reviewing and rejudging the circumstances over and over again to a dead end.
- Pen it Down: Sometimes writing down your feelings can be a away of extinguishing them. Blurting out on paper is more wiser/acceptable than on another person.
- Keep Yourself occupied: Taking your mind off something that’s been troubling you and focusing on other useful projects can help come back with a less emotional look on the troubling situation.
- Talk it out: Sharing your emotions with a close friend or confidant can lower the stress and help you get a reasonable insight to it. Or even talking to a complete stranger about this could be helpful, as the person has no cognizance on the people in your life or the situation, this can result in a completely non judgemental perception.
- Take professional help: If you realize that ‘rumination’ is taking a toll on you, it doesn’t hurt to go talk to a psychologist, professional help is as necessary for the mind as it is for the body.
A healthy mind is all we require to live an incredible life 😊.So be the master of your mind, don’t make hasty decisions especially under the influence of your emotions. And let’s leave the words “constant rumination” exclusively for cows.
I hope this was helpful, let me know if you use other ways to get away from constant thinking, I would love to hear from you!
Article by : Amanda Fernandes | Psychologist | 🇮🇳