Rumination: how to stop the constant swirl.

by | Jul 15, 2022

Rumination…Let’s discuss. We’ll keep it brief, because knowing me and my brain and how it works, I will ruminate on ruminating and that will get us all nowhere. 

You know the moment: you give a presentation, and you finish, and instead of that I WAS AWESOME feeling you know something was a little off, so you spend the night thinking about all of the reasons it didn’t feel just right. Then you do the same the next night. And the night after. 

Or the conversation you had and the comment someone made…what exactly did they mean by that? Why did they say it that way? What were they trying to get at? Let’s play that one over about 50 million times. 

Perhaps the look your boss gave you…why did they dead eye me? What was that about? What did I do wrong? Analyze-ruminate-analyze-ruminate. 

If you’re thinking “I don’t know what you’re talking about” close out this email and go about your business. If you’re thinking I-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about but instead mean I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about, let me introduce you to my technique to stop the insistent ruminating chatter. 

A mantra, of sorts. 

Trash it. Curb it. Release it. Be here now. 

When the thought pops into my brain “why did he look at me like that” I think: trash it. As in throw it in the trash. Put it in the can, and put the lid on it. 

Curb it. I then imagine taking it out to the curb. Dragging it outside of my brain and leaving it on the street. 

Release it. If it’s the garbage truck taking it away or it floating out of the can into space…somehow it gets away from my front yard and floats off somewhere. Or gets thrown in the dump. 

Be here now. These three words bring me right into the moment. Right into the present. Right here to what’s in front of me. That’s the only moment we’ve got…so be here now. 

I notice, in that moment, how it feels to not have the thought woodpeckering my brain. A moment of peace. A bit of distance. A bit of a reality check of the story I’m most likely making up about that intimidating look that chances are had nothing to do with me. 

Now if your brain functions like mine, (God bless…) you’ll have to “trash it, curb it, release it, be here now” on average 546 times before that thought stays gone. 

This mantra brings some distance to the thought. 

This mantra helps visualize the thought moving on out and moving on away. 

“Be here now” brings you into your body, your surroundings, and the present moment. 

Trash it. Curb it. Release it. Be here now.

And go use that rumination energy on something much more enriching.


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