As we go about our job and personal lives, there may be times when the thought of an unknown scenario and its possible results weighs heavily on our minds, causing tension and rumination. This article will discuss seven methods for reducing the harmful impacts of stress and rumination.
Introduction to Rumination
Rumination can sometimes be associated with a highly-anticipated life event (e.g., discovering whether you got into your dream school after working hard on your applications). In other instances, it centers on consequences over which we have no influence. Active thinking can seem like a big load on the head that won’t let go in either case.
The mind offers to help when rumination happens, yet it frequently does more harm than good. The mind, in its desire to assist, is always searching for and analyzing hypothetical possibilities in order to find a conclusion and/or find a solution to a difficult situation. For example, in order to discover some detail in order to forecast what will occur in the future, the mind will frequently ponder about the nuances of a circumstance.
You’ll be able to select a beneficial response or approach to lessen the resultant tension and worry once you’ve recognized the key contributor. Movement-based and mindfulness practices are given below to assist you in better reacting to certain situations when thoughts and anxieties about uncertain outcomes might produce unnecessary physical and mental stress.
1. Embrace what you don’t have power over
Accepting that you don’t have direct control over an unknown future or scenario is the first step toward lowering worried thoughts about it. That is why we must constantly remind our minds of it. If you’re having trouble accepting things in your life that are beyond your control, consider exercising acceptance meditation when you’re feeling stressed.
2. Concentrate on what you can handle
Once you’ve accepted what you can’t control right now, the next phase is to concentrate on what you can. Often, it acts that are irrelevant to the result that can relieve tension and anxiety. Do some light exercises, take a walk, or engage in other relaxing and calming activities to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. More importantly, keep in mind that the only thing you have control over is how you react to anxiety and anxious thoughts.
3. Try being “present”
There are a variety of mindfulness concepts that you may employ to assist you to reduce rumination, but the one I encourage the most is the practice of being present, or being aware of your surroundings. Take a second to look around you and note what you hear, smell, see, and/or physically touch to begin (i.e., your breathing). To redirect your focus away from worried thinking, start telling yourself what you’re noticing with your senses. You can also try being present while moving, which is a fantastic stress reliever.
4. Be aware of your physical body
Being present in your body, such as through breath-based activities like yoga or tai chi, is a powerful technique for minimizing rumination. Even going for a walk or jog while consciously focusing on your breathing might help you be more mindfully present in your body. Another method to be aware of your physical body is to dance to the music you enjoy. Embodiment techniques are another term for such examples. Being physically present in your body or using embodiment methods is an excellent way to avoid concentrating on past or future views and circumstances that are particularly out of your power.
5. Rest and start taking deep breaths
Another effective method for reducing rumination on a circumstance outside your direct control is to relax and take a deep breath. Despite its simplicity, we are often shocked at how often we forget this extremely beneficial move. Take a long, steady breath whenever you find yourself fretting over something out of your control. Remove your eyes from the computer and take a few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale longer than usual. As you inhale and exhale, tell yourself that you accept what you can’t alter and that you’re in control of your reaction.
6. Make a Personal Affirmation
Make a personal mantra to apply when you’re actively worrying. A personal affirmation is a pragmatic approach that directs the mind’s attention to something more beneficial. As a result, it assists in shifting focus away from one’s concern with the specifics of an unknown outcome. “I will stay present at the moment right here, right now,” “I will understand that I cannot change the result of this event,” and “I will stay calm and take deep breaths” are examples of good affirmations.
We have no power over circumstances and stressors in our daily lives, but we do have power over how we respond to them. That would be our reaction to stress and rumination in the context of this article. In general, both mindfulness and movement-based practices can help people move ahead in difficult situations. If you want to learn more about mindfulness, you may check sites such as Maryland Mindfulness as they guide you on your journey to a stress-free life.
Also read: Amygdala Retraining: How to Cope with Anxiety and Stress