Tips To Help Stop Ruminating

Do you find yourself constantly dwelling on negative thoughts and experiences from the past, unable to shake them off? This habit of overthinking and replaying the same thoughts in one’s mind repeatedly is called rumination. Ruminating can lead to anxiety, depression, and can hamper mental well-being. Here are some tips to help stop rumination:

1. Recognize The Habit

The first step to stopping rumination is recognizing the habit. You must identify when you’re wrongly focused on past events, and become mindful of the repetitive thoughts. Recognizing the habit of rumination helps you become more focused and present, which helps stop the cycle of self-doubt and negativity.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to the practice of becoming present in the moment, fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to help stop rumination. It involves being fully present in the moment and observing your thoughts as they come up, acknowledging them, but not allowing them to overtake your mind.

3. Focus On Solutions

Focusing on solutions is an excellent way to stop the habit of rumination. Instead of focusing on problems and negative thoughts, find solutions to problems or things that you want to change in your life. Actively seeking solutions helps you shift your focus away from negative thoughts.

4. Be Grateful

Practicing gratitude helps you channel your thoughts positively. Every day, take a few minutes to think about things in your life that you are grateful for. Focusing on the good in your life helps you let go of negative thoughts and emotions.

5. Reflect On Positive Experiences

Reflection is an excellent way to help you stop ruminating. Take a few minutes to think about positive experiences you’ve had in the past. Look at old photos, revisit a favourite place or object, listen to a happy song – doing things that remind you of positive experiences can help you break the habit of dwelling on negative circumstances.

6. Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones

Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones takes practice, but it is a great way to help you stop ruminating. When you find yourself thinking negatively, try to reverse the thought pattern by thinking of something positive. For instance, if you’re thinking, “I can’t do this,” try thinking “I can do this, and here’s how.”

7. Seek Support

Seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional is essential to help you stop ruminating. Discussing your issues with someone can help you gain a new perspective and provide you with the support and encouragement you need to overcome the habit of rumination.

8. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is crucial to help you stop ruminating. Make sure you take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that you enjoy. Taking care of yourself helps you feel better and less likely to ruminate.


Ruminating can cause negative emotions and impact mental health. However, breaking the habit of rumination is possible. Practicing mindfulness, focusing on solutions, being grateful, reflecting on positive experiences, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, seeking support, and practicing self-care can help you stop ruminating and improve your well-being.


FAQ 1: How can repetitive thoughts negatively impact mental health?

Ruminating, or the repetition of negative thoughts, can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. It can also affect one’s ability to concentrate, sleep, and maintain healthy relationships. By addressing ruminative thinking patterns, individuals can improve their mental and emotional wellbeing.

FAQ 2: What are some practical tips to reduce ruminating?

Some effective techniques to stop ruminating include staying present in the moment, practicing mindfulness, challenging negative self-talk, and seeking support from loved ones or mental health professionals. Exercise, engaging in enjoyable activities, and developing a regular sleep and self-care routine can also aid in reducing repetitive thoughts.

FAQ 3: How long does it take to break the habit of rumination?

Breaking the habit of rumination varies from person to person and depends on the severity of their repetitive thoughts. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months of consistent effort to overcome ruminative thinking patterns. Patience and persistence are key in the process of breaking this habit, and seeking professional help can speed up the recovery process.


1. Hawley, L. L., & Thompson, R.W. (2017). Mindfulness and Rumination: Does Mindfulness Training Lead to Reductions in the Ruminative Thinking Associated with Depression. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 31(2), 115-127.
2. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2012). Ruminative Thoughts: A Psycho-Educational Intervention Targeting Mindfulness and Rumination to Reduce Symptoms of Depression Among At-Risk Adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(2), 285-294.
3. Roberti, J. W., Harrington, N. G., & Storch, E. A. (2006). Further Psychometric Support for the 10-Item Version of the Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire. Journal of Personality Assessment, 87(3), 366-376.