What is Rumination? What Toll Can it Take?

Last Update on August 12, 2020 : Published on April 4, 2020
What is Rumination

No don’t worry, this article certainly isn’t about cows or their habits.

What is the meaning of Rumination

It is about you. Yes you. I know you don’t ruminate like cows do but there is a great chance that you are into Rumination too.

What is Rumination:

So what is Rumination and is it bad? Obsessions can be of different kinds. People are obsessed with music, some with eating delicious food, and most of us with thoughts. Thoughts of the past which were stressful, full of anxiety, fear, which made you feel inferior, where you lost and were not able to get up. Rumination is more like an obsession of overthinking the worries of past and future, concentrating more on the negative aspects. Ruminators usually ignore the present and spend most of their time thinking, imagining, and planning.

They are lost into thoughts like

“What could I have said”, “What could I have done”, “What was my fault”, “How could he do this to me”.

Rumination is quite common and also effective. It can make you feel inferior, depressed, stressful and what not. If this habit is not stopped then it can lead to inculcating feelings of regret, helplessness, and eventually frustration.

What does Rumination Consist of?

Rumination is usually in the debate by the common people. Some say that it is helpful while others are against it. Till a point, rumination consists of reflecting on past events and possibilities of the future, which can actually assist in effective measures and also avoid the same situations in the future, but after that it is just self-loathing. This is where Rumination becomes something, which is to be avoided.

defination of Rumination

Rumination, whether done with the self or friends, is quite useful. But as the saying goes, “Any obsession beyond a point becomes a poison”. Same goes for the Rumination too. You are, time and again, playing different scenarios in your head, in which either you are a victim or a helpless bystander, makes your brain think that you actually are. This just makes your mind more stressed and doesn’t help with the situation.

What Toll can it Take?

Until you are reflecting and trying to make a sense of the situation, it is fine. But if you carry on any further then you may suffer from the bad effects of this obsession. Some of them are listed below. They are:

Social Distancing

Though social distancing is encouraged in the times of pandemics like COVID-19, rumination can actually take you far away from any existing social life. You may isolate yourself from your friends, colleagues, family, etc. as you feel that they hurt you again and again and are not able to understand you.


If you are a heart patient then Ruminating for long hours can be worse for you. Continuously feeling stressed can often lead to hypertension and that is not something anyone would want. So if you have such a medical history, it is better to avoid such toxic thought processes.


Rumination can also lead to degradation. When you are continuously playing the victim card in your mind and how you are not able to stand for yourself, you are degrading yourself. Eventually, you will accept these thoughts and think of it as your reality, without realizing it consciously.

Negative Image

A continuous rumination about the world around you can also lead you to form a negative image of the world. So if next time anything would go wrong, you will jump directly to the negative conclusions rather than keeping an open-minded approach.

What Toll can rumination Take

What can be done? Set Boundaries

Remember, how I explained a fine line between reflection and self-loathing? That is the boundary. That is the line which you need to remember and proceed. You need to sit silently and reflect on the events that took place. It is perfectly fine, healthy and even beneficial.

Businessmen like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. have told us time and again, the need to sit and think. Here you need to keep an open mind, accept mistakes and discover opportunities but also keep yourself away from brooding and loathing. This makes ruminating toxic instead of productive.

Hope it helped. Do you also think that you have been ruminating for too long? Do let us know your experience in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.

Thanks for Reading!

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