Active Mind Reactive Body
It has long been known that we have an active mind and a reactive body … that is to say … the thoughts we dwell on affect how we physically feel. If we think of the happiest time of our life and relive it in our mind, then we can conjure up the feelings we experienced at the time of the actual event. Likewise, if we focus our thoughts on a negative experience from the past we can conjure up those self same negative feelings experienced at that time. Our body responds to our thoughts!
Rumination v Worry
Wikipedia defines Rumination ‘as the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions’. What is the difference between rumination and worry? Rumination is the focusing on negative experiences from the past, whilst worry is focusing on what might go wrong in the future! Both rumination and worry are associated with depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental health problems in the developed world.
Rumination and Depression
The human mind is extremely complex, we cannot just switch off and de-programme events from the past which have caused caused pain and trauma. We cannot just repress all feelings and hope it will all just go away. Neither can we relive the past day in day out and hope to live happy fulfilled lives. However, we can find ways of coming to terms with such events through therapy.
Dwelling on negative events, negative thoughts and self blame are choices made at the subconscious level which can lead to depression and anxiety. Because the choice to dwell on destructive thoughts is subconscious we do it automatically and have no conscious awareness that we are doing so. Research shows that people who do not ruminate or blame themselves are much less likely to suffer from depression than those who do. The positive aspect about this information is that you can change your mind about what thoughts to dwell upon and in so doing you can change your behaviour patterns. You actually can choose which thoughts to follow and which to discard but it requires some effort. There is nobody else inside your mind forcing you to choose to dwell on thoughts that are harmful to you and sabotage your best laid plans … you actually do this all by yourself!
It can be very dis-empowering to think that your depression or anxiety is caused by events from the past or because of your genetics … things that you can’t change! But how very empowering to think that with help you can tackle all those negative thought processes and behaviour patterns freeing you to live your life in the present. Now that is a wonderful present to give to yourself!
Treating Rumination with Hypno-Psychotherapy
At Setanta Hypnotherapy Clinic in Peel, Isle of Man, we practise Hypno-Psychotherapy to help clients to overcome destructive, negative thought patterns such as rumination and worrying. Please, call Mary or Xavier on Tel: 842938 to book a Free Consultation.
Links to Related Articles
Video about The Voice in Your Head