Like most terms in mental health which has a different meaning altogether outside the field, rumination is often misunderstood.
Ordinarily, rumination just means thinking deep of or about something. This is normal and healthy and doesn’t need interventions such as telemental health services in New Jersey. However, when it’s excessive and turns to be repetitive, it can transform into rumination as it is known in psychology—the process of continuously and repetitively thinking about the same thoughts which usually revolve around the themes of sadness, melancholia, and other negative thoughts.
In this way, rumination is harmful not because of the unpleasantness of ruminating but due to its effects in the long run. Rather than causing you to be reflective, it instead causes you to stress and obsess over a situation, re-living every single bad moment and past mistakes and feeling worse about yourself as you go through each memory but somehow feeling accomplished, too.
As a provider of behavioral health services in New York, we at Pearl Behavioral Health, know how important it is to make people understand the repercussions of this maladaptive self-reflection. As such, here are the specific ways it becomes harmful:
- It can prolong and even intensify depression and impair your ability to process and think about your emotions in a way that’s beneficial to you.
- It puts you at higher risk for alcohol abuse and eating disorders.
- It can ramp up the activity in your brain’s stress response circuitry preventing your stress from cutting off.
- It can heighten and prolong increased spikes in your blood pressure and heart rate.
- It can distort your memories and your perspective in life and drain your mental resources.