To Ruminate or Not to Ruminate

For those who have never heard of this expression, I hope you find this helpful.  What on earth is rumination, and why is it so important to know.

Here it goes… The word ruminate is derived from Latin ruminates; which simply translates into “to turn over in the mind.”  One can ruminate about academics, income, body image, social stature, careers, relationships, friendships etc. There are absolutely no boundaries when it comes to the act of ruminating.  If you’re like me however, you might honestly ruminate about all of the previously listed!  No seriously, rumination is a mental fixation on something that may be bothersome to you. If for example you are deeply thinking about something, then yes you are a victim of rumination. We as humans all ruminate, but it is just the matter and issue of how much and how often we engage in it.  Some of us ruminate in bills, and other might ruminate on a break-up. As a Bio-Behavioral Health major in Undergrad, this subject impacted me as soon as I was educated on it. Yes, I was THAT college student who did deeply think or ruminate on a certain subject matter until it literally made me sick. I always had a mental attraction to fixate on the negative details in my life, even if they were indeed minor. Let me give you an example of how my mind was conditioned:

Let’s say I received a B on my first Anatomy exam for the semester. Okay an average student might accept that grade, pat themselves on the back, and keep moving forward.  That was not the case for me… My mind would do the following. “Getting a B is okay, but that’s pretty much a C+. If I have a C+, then I’m going to fall behind, and I need a B+ to uphold my GPA for my major. If I fall behind, my GPA pretty much crumbles, I’m going to get dropped from my major, and never graduate.”  Do you see how that went form 0-100 in less than one minute? Precisely. For some odd reason I always allowed my mind to get the best of me. It was as if I conditioned myself to allow these thoughts to ruin my entire mindset. “Snapping out of it” is easier said than done.  My example was one of many ways rumination can take a toll on one’s daily life.  I let my doubts and worries affect my goals, and block my blessings as my mom always says.  Ruminating is extremely unhealthy and not just for our mental health, but for our physical health as well. The act of continuous rumination may lead to the following:  anxiety; lack of sleep; increased cortisol hormone levels which further increase our stress levels; depression;  alcohol and substance abuse; and possible chronic cardiovascular diseases.

I share this term as well as example with you all because want you to notice it, and change your mindset if needed.  If you subconsciously take part in ruminating, try being more aware of your deep thinking, and take control.  What I do now is talk to myself out loud (yes it sounds odd), and tell my mind that everything will be alright, and that a hiccup is not my complete downfall. Do not allow one minor or even major negative hiccup to ruin not only your disposition, but your mentality for that moment. Trust me it is not worth it! Ruminating is something we all do, but it is also something that can affect our physical just as much as our mental health. Don’t beleive everything you think.

Until Next Time<3

#MindMyMelanin

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