๐Ÿช5 Proven Strategies to Stop Ruminating

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hello Friend

Ruminating has been a nearly daily companion, and a few weeks ago, I decided to book a provocative coaching since it helped to stop ruminating within 4 coaching hours in the past. 

These are currently the most effective strategies to stop ruminating (after having tried over 30 strategies):

๐Ÿ˜ฎ #1. Recognize Ruminating

Realize that there is a difference between thinking, where you can find a solution and ruminating, where you cannot find a solution. Once I recognized this and talked to others about it, I became aware that I was spending too much time on unproductive rumination, thinking I would find a solution to the problem. 

โฒ๏ธ #2. Set a 20-30 Minute "Worry Time" Window

Set a time window where you actively ruminate. This may seem unusual, but it teaches you that you have control over your thoughts. A study by Borkovec et al. (1983) found that scheduled worry times can significantly reduce general anxiety in people with generalized anxiety disorder (https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-7967(83)90206-1). Outside this time window, try to actively interrupt any rumination and tell yourself to save these thoughts for your next Worry Time Window.

๐Ÿฅธ #3. Try Provocative Therapy

Provocative Therapy differs from traditional therapy approaches by using humor, exaggeration, and paradoxical intervention to free patients from stuck thought patterns.

The coach/therapist:

  • Uses humor to de-dramatize the situation and offer the patient a new perspective.
  • Exaggerates the patient's negative thoughts and worries to highlight their absurdity.
  • Sometimes encourages the patient to deliberately reinforce their negative behaviors, often leading to spontaneous change (https://provokativ.com/ursprung/).

In one of the earliest studies on provocative therapy, Farrelly and Brandsma found that this method can be effective in bringing about rapid changes in patients with various mental disorders. The results showed that the use of humor and exaggeration can help break through stuck thought patterns. (https://www.provocativetherapy.com/)

๐ŸŽฃ #4. Know the Time, Place, and Triggers for Rumination

Ask yourself every evening when (time), where (place), and what the trigger (stimulus) for rumination will be the next day. I think my coach gave me this method to identify rumination patterns. Perhaps there is a specific place where you fall into unproductive thought loops.

Speaking of, here is an interview with NZZ and psychiatrist Volker Busch on ruminating. 

"If someone really canโ€™t sleep, I recommend getting up and doing something. 

The best remedy for thinking is action. You can craft or build something, paint, or simply tidy up. When engaged in manual activities, rumination, thinking, and worrying often cease. You can also designate a specific rumination spot in your home. 

How does it work? 

You assign your ruminating to a particular chair, for example. There, you are allowed to let your thoughts circle, but not in other places. If you notice gloomy thoughts coming at night or during the day, sit on your rumination chair and allow the thoughts to circle. But leave this spot after a few minutes. 

This doesnโ€™t work overnight, but with some patience, you can condition your brain to such placesโ€ - (https://www.nzz.ch/wissenschaft/was-gegen-gruebeln-hilft-interview-mit-psychiater-volker-busch-ld.1823313).

๐ŸŽ‰ #5. End the Day Positively

Our brain especially remembers things that happen at the end of the day. Spending a lot of time on the phone or watching news right before bed is not a good idea.

To summarize, here are five things you can do to stop ruminating:

Recognize Ruminating: Understand the difference between productive thinking (solution available) and ruminating (no solution available).

Set a 20-30 Minute "Worry Time": Allocate a specific time each day to actively ruminate. This helps you gain control over your thoughts.

Provocative Therapy: Use humor, exaggeration, and paradoxical interventions with the help of a coach or therapist to break free from negative thought patterns.

Know the Time, Place, and Triggers: Identify when, where, and what triggers your rumination. This helps you recognize patterns and manage them.

End the Day Positively: Avoid stimulating activities before bed and engage in positive, relaxing activities to ensure your brain ends the day on a good note.

Have a great week! โ˜€๏ธ

xx Lukas

Check out one of my first posts ever "How to stop overthinking". ๐Ÿ˜‚

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