What is Rumination?

Man experiencing rumination during recoveryAs Very Well Mind, a website that provides information on disorders, psychology and symptoms, explains, rumination is when we spend a lot of time reflecting and brooding. When there is something that we’re stressed about – and we begin worrying about it – we may spend so much time going over that situation in our mind and those thoughts can turn negative. A situation that originally gave us stress is now magnified because we’re spending even more time worrying. For those in addiction recovery, guilt and shame are often accompanying feelings – and rumination can be right around the corner.

When we first start ruminating, it’s common for us to feel as though we’re being productive. After all, it seems there is a problem to solve and we want to review the situation to find out what the appropriate solution could be. A problem exists, however, when we are ruminating over something that we can’t control. Some examples of this could include:

  • Saying the wrong thing to someone and wishing you could take it back
  • Wishing you could take back the addiction
  • Wondering how you got into the circumstances that you’re in
  • And more

Step 3 of the 12-Step program reminds us that we don’t have control over everything. There is simply no way to go back in time and change these things, nor do we have the power to control many aspects of our present and future – so we have to give that control up to God or another Higher Power. Many people in recovery find that releasing this need for control actually lifts so much weight off their shoulders. In doing this, we find that rumination fades away and more focus is spent on the present moment. We may take responsibility for our actions and apologize to those whom we’ve hurt, but we no longer have to feel the burden of changing what can no longer be undone.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.