Overcoming Ruminating Thoughts & Overthinking

Are you a ruminator? Overthinker? Have paralysis by analysis?

Me too!

The average human has about 6,200 thoughts a day, with 80 percent of those being negative.  Some of us even have ruminating thoughts, which are negative, intrusive thoughts about a particular event or experience.

What causes ruminating thoughts? Perfectionism, low self-esteem, a traumatic event, or life-changing experiences. Ruminating thoughts are believed to lead to depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Physical symptoms could be linked to high blood pressure, stomach ailments such as GERD, acid reflux, and headaches.

Are we doomed? Is it in our DNA? Are we born to ruminate and overthink every ding dang thing in our life? To contemplate the should haves and could haves of our past life and ruminate on what could happen in the future?

The answer is NO!

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It takes practice. I started this yoga journey of mine 6 years ago, and I can see vast improvements in my thinking. It is not one and done. It is my main reason for teaching yoga.  Yoga cultivates mindfulness. By teaching, I stop, breathe, learn new techniques, and constantly learn better ways to teach, therefore helping others and myself.

I continue to prepare for each class. I want to encourage people around me. I understand first-hand what it is like to be crippled by the should haves and the could haves. Our brain sometimes convinces us that all that worrying and ruminating is somehow helpful, but that is not the case.

So what can you do? Try this!

Notice your thoughts. Ask yourself how many times you have had that same thought. Allow yourself two more times to think it, and then Breathe. For me, I like to take five deep belly breaths, focusing on the temperature of the air or just simply saying, “I am breathing in, I am breathing out.”

Your thoughts can stress you or serve you. You get to pick! Learning to be aware of your thoughts is the first step.

Changing habits can be hard. If you have questions about changing habits, follow me on Instagram or Facebook @Valhealthcoach. I specialize in helping you create lasting changes to create that healthy lifestyle you want.

Valerie Thompson
Author: Valerie Thompson

Valerie Thompson is a health coach, yoga instructor, meditator, breath instructor, and mom of two grown boys. She helps women explore how to take care of themselves by balancing hormones, while juggling their career and family.

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Overcoming Ruminating Thoughts & Overthinking

by Valerie Thompson time to read: 3 min