August 8, 2022

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What are ruminant thoughts and how can you get rid of them?

What are ruminant thoughts and how can you get rid of them?

Revolving around the same question but without finding a solution An uncomfortable and cumbersome phenomenon. This is how ruminant thoughts behave, and they are meditations that have nothing to do with meditation. They can be triggered by vital events, such as an epidemic outbreak, but also by less transgressive issues that settle in the mind without intending to let go.

Ruminant thoughts appear when there is a particular concern that we have not yet resolved. It’s a circular thought, in a loop, that spins in the head and the big problem is that we can’t stop it,” explains clinical psychologist Elena Dabra. In addition, it is intrusive and has a tinge of negativity. The good news is that You can put an end to this kind of obsessive thoughts With specific techniques and with the help of a psychotherapist.

What activates ruminant thoughts?

The epidemic is causing great mental stress in the population

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Although these types of thoughts have no function, they can be a signal about an unknown emotional problem. The trigger is usually found just before the loop runs. “In the emotional world, everything happens very quickly. What happens before it begins? It is important to identify this part of the personality to break it up and prove that there are other ways to deal with problems,” says clinical psychologist and UNIR Professor Pilar Berzoza Grande. In fact, there are predisposing factors such as a lack of expression of emotions that can prevent these mental fluctuations.

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As Dabra tells: “It’s something that causes us stress, and since we don’t know how to solve it, our thoughts become hyperactive and interrupt all cognitive processes. We can’t think of anything else, it fills the entire space and everything is directed toward that specific interest.”

What happened to them?


Stress and anxiety cause physical fatigue


In addition to triggering unpleasant feelings such as anxiety and pain, rumination causes physical fatigue. “It is not only an emotional expenditure, but it also absorbs the reserves of glucose, the food of the brain. Those who suffer from it end up with physical exhaustion.” It also increases tunnel vision, which makes you partially see reality. “It makes us lose perspective and reduces creativity to a minimum,” Dabra says.

How do you unblock ruminant thoughts?

Breaking the cycle of these thoughts requires learning, which will take more or less time depending on when rumination begins, stakeholder participation in the process, and other personality variables. These are some of the techniques used by psychotherapists.

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stop thinking

Use a word like stop, stop or clap. “It is applied to stop thoughts that generate discomfort and replace them with more adaptive ones,” Daprá shares.

someone suffering from anxiety


Think about it for a limited time

It is possible to set aside some time in the day to try and resolve this unresolved anxiety. “This is how we exercise self-control so that this thought does not occupy our entire day,” explains Dabra.

Dinner with friends



Put into practice activities that do not correspond to this type of thinking. “This is something that depends a lot on the person, for some it might be going out with friends, for others it’s running or playing on the console for a while,” Daprá explains.

Keeping a diary helps self-development, decision-making and conflict resolution faster.


write what you think

Ideas can be evacuated through writing. One technique is self-registration. “It’s about writing down what you think? How do you feel and what do you do?. The advice is not to filter your thoughts,” explains Dabra, who invites you to tell directly what is going through your head. “From there, you learn to analyze the objectivity of the thought and the situation. We make them look for the positive, and criticism and exaggeration come out of there. In addition, cognitive distortions (the way of expressing thought) are taught and the person is directed to action, because the problem is that the person continues to think In an episode and he does nothing,” Dabra shares. Keeping a journal is a valid tool to get these thoughts out. “Writing in a diary can be helpful. What I suggest is that you write it down, then give yourself a few days without thinking about it and after 3 or 4 days read it again, as you will have a different perspective. It is a way of teaching the brain to deal with those thoughts to reduce suffering” , advises Dabra.

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Evacuate through the word

Orally externalizing these thoughts is another way to get rid of them. Brzoza suggests “a person can record it and listen to it later so that he feels the distortion that may be present between what he is feeling and what he is saying.” Likewise, talking about the matter with people you trust at the right time is another way of expressing it: “It’s important not to be the only topic to discuss with your circle, but clearing it out at a certain time can help,” Dabra explains.

Sometimes it is enough to pause for a few minutes and focus on breathing to turn the mind off.


Breathe, walk and listen to music

This combination of techniques is effective in reducing ruminant thoughts. “The first thing is to improve breathing, something that can be combined with aerobic techniques like brisk walking, to release adrenaline, endorphins and all that remaining energy,” Berzoza says. The expert recommends adding music to the equation to maximize the benefits. Brzoza concludes: “We breathe, release anxiety from aerobic activity, and make information enter through the auditory canal that will have a direct effect on the neurons, since they have the ability to empathize with other sounds.”

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This article was published in La Vanguardia on February 16, 2022