rumination: is both good and bad

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Professional Dingbat
Nov 4, 2012
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
We often find ourselves ruminating about things that are past and things yet to come, I've certainly done my fair share of that on topics which vex me.
I found that this video appeared in my feed recently (because I subscribe to Theramintrees)

It discusses this topic from the perspective of abusive relationships, however I found many good points in it which would help people who (from my perspective) are seemingly abusing themselves. For instance:

"patients with PTSD often focus on 'why' and 'what if' types of questions instead of the actual traumatic experience."​

If you are endlessly doing "google reading" (which I distinguish from research) I would ask yourself if your search is for a specific end, or just searching out "how it can all go bad". If your research is more rehersal in the context of this video?

The video advises the rumination on the concrete not the abstract, and in this context I'd place the 'concrete' as something within your control. To ruminate on something not in your control is akin to ruminating about "will I be killed on the way to work today" vs the concrete of "do not answer or look at notifications the phone while driving".

To help "paraphrase" another part, imagine the zealot involved with suggesting "horrors" is indeed just your unconscious mind?

I hope it helps anyone to come to terms with the surgery and instead of focusing on the youtube videos of the horrific cutting into people and the wounds instead turn to rumination on how to heal their view of the situation by acceptance. Remember no matter what you believe now it comes down to these things

substitute out Nature for God if that makes you feel more positive about it
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Well-known member
Apr 9, 2014
Levittown ,Pa 19054
I've always been a pretty optimistic forward-looking person but this past year I have spent a good bit of time looking back and longing for the past and also fearing for the future. By fearing I mean more like what if it isn't as good as the past? What if My wife leaves me or passes first and my son's on the other side of the country and wants nothing to do with me and I end up having a stroke or something and spending my last years in a nursing home alone....? I realize there's nothing helpful about these thoughts so I don't linger on them often because the logical part of my brain knows that worrying about a potential future and longing for an inaccessible past ruins today. The only thing you can logically do is enjoy the now and try to prepare for tomorrow.


Well-known member
Jan 5, 2014
Minnesota, US
I try to make a practice of "positive rumination" daily by remembering how great certain days in the past were (times in nature where I felt awe, when my kid got a job, etc.) and imagining how great it will feel if/when certain events come to pass (next kid gets a job, upcoming vacation, see my sister again, etc.). I really imagine it vividly like I am there and savor how that feels in my physical body, really marinate in it. It feels like it changes my body chemistry and I have gotten better and better at generating that elation through thought alone via practice.