On the Verge: Reflection on the Tendency to Ruminate

Last night I awoke at 1:40 a.m.. I was wide awake, bothered by thoughts that I’ve had before concerning conversations, comments, things I notice during social events, and even just while out in the community. I felt like a cow chewing on cud swallowed previously and brought up again to be chewed on some more.

I’ve always had a predisposition to rumination. However, my thoughts are not dark or sad, they are usually born of frustration or a feeling of not fitting in socially. I feel like this a lot after a I’m with more than a few people. I am intense, I notice things other people do not, I have odd hobbies (writing), and I am a “recovering” perfectionist. I mean, I am trying not to be caught up in some well ingrained perfectionistic tendencies.

I also feel I am becoming more and more of a writer and living a writer’s life suits me. However, it does make me analyze many of my interactions with people. I’ve noticed that there are a few particular people, events, comments, and topics that start my rumination. It is not a healthy habit, so does this mean I should avoid the situations that prompt me to ruminate? I don’t know. I only have a small group of friends, so spending less time with them is unattractive to me. Still… there are those I spend time with that don’t cause me to ruminate. Do I attempt to spend more time with them?

I’ve got to do a better job of letting go. I’ve got to not concern myself with the comparisons others make that I don’t see as needed. I’ve got to realize that there will be questions of interest, not questions that indicate disapproval or that I/we could be doing something better or differently.

Unfortunately, I’m sensitized to this now. I don’t want to start ruminating after one of the triggers that I am well aware of, but I seem to do it involuntarily. I think I ruminate as an effort to solve a problem or gain insight into my own life. I ran across this article on how to stop ruminating. I think it has some valid points. I know I can stop ruminating because I have been able to do it before.

It’s helpful to be able to recognize the cause of my rumination so I can take steps to stop it. Today, I will spend time doing the things I love to do – and, not worry about what someone else would think about it or instruct me on how to do it differently. It’s helpful to be busy, too. So, I also plan to be busy. I’ll avoid napping, so I can sleep tonight. I had four – five hours of sleep last night – a few before and some well after the two hour period of rumination. Sleep is so very important to our health. I strive to protect it.

I don’t like feeling I’m on the verge of a rumination – insomniac cycle.

Today, I’ll stop it in it’s tracks. Or, at least I’ll try.

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