Steps For Overcoming Rumination
To Fight Depression

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Steps For Overcoming Rumination To Fight Depression

In this article on how to fight depression by overcoming uncontrolled rumination, we provide you with the actual steps for dealing effectively with your harmful rumination habits, so that you may soon find relief from your depression.

Breaking the habit of excessive rumination is important since it can be a trigger for depression, as well as a key factor in maintaining depression in suffers. Subsequently, these steps outlined below are based on what the experts have found to be useful for helping depression patients overcome this harmful habit.

According to Dr Ilardi, breaking the habit of rumination involves mainly two major steps [1]

  • learning to be notice rumination is taking place (increasing self-awareness), and

  • learning how to redirect your focus to some other external activities.


Increasing awareness of rumination


Monitoring your thoughts

To increase your awareness of rumination, Dr Ilardi suggests that you start monitoring your thoughts processes at an hourly interval. You could engage the help of an hourly alarm in your cell-phone etc, or make use of daily activities like going to the restroom or getting a drink as a memory prompt.

The aim of this monitoring exercise is to observe (and note down) the amount of time you spent ruminating, the activity you were engaged in when you ruminated, and the intensity of your negative mood during the rumination, in the hour that just passed.

As you practice monitoring your thought processes day after day, you will notice that it soon becomes a habit (practice makes perfect) – you will develop an “internal alarm” that will alert you anytime you start to ruminate. This awareness will form the important first step for you to effectively interrupt your rumination activities.


Awareness of your high-risk situations

Besides helping you develop an “internal alarm” that detects rumination activities, when you note down your thought processes as suggested above, you can also have a better sense of your high-risk situations – the activities make you feel the worst or most often trigger the rumination habit in you.

It is observed that people typically ruminate the most, and feel the worst, when they have nothing else (besides rumination) to keep them engaged. This means that spending time alone, especially in the absence of an engaging task, can be a high risk situation for depressed individuals with the tendency to ruminate.

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