Pestiferous Rumination = Anxiety and Depression
My reason for writing this article.
I hope this article helps you some way to overcoming worry and anxiety and ultimately stress and depression caused by excessive rumination.
This article is about my own experience and how I managed to overcome this debilitating state of mind.
Rumination, can lead to anxiety and ultimately depression; there is a way to nip it at the bud.
I previously never really understood the damaging impact of ruminating and its link to raised levels of worry, anxiety, and eventually depression.
Yet ruminating is something that you and I can do so easily without even realising that’s what we are doing!
How rumination quickly lead me into depression.
Generally, I am not one to ruminate… well I wasn’t until the car accident in 2012 which did a great deal of damage not only to my physical body but also to my life in general.
That’s when it all began… asking “Why me?” thinking “if this hadn’t have happened, I would have been…” these negative “what if” thoughts crept in.
I was reliving the moment which ruined my life and the worst two and a half year nightmare!
Severe anxiety set in over finances and how we would survive this huge event in my life.
This experience took me from being an active and positive individual to a total worrier.
I studied a great deal about rumination depression and stress some of which I share on my Free Stress Buster Webinar. Click here to book you place.
If I am being totally honest, this level of rumination soon lured me into a state of depression.
You see, my then young ‘seedling’ of a business, was set to make more money than I had forecast in what was only it’s second year. I was thrilled… actually that is an understatement, I was beyond ecstatic!
Can you see where this part of the story is going?
At the very beginning of that ‘would be’ successful and amazing year… the accident happened and in a very brief moment of carelessness (on part of the other driver), my life changed for two and a half long and challenging years.
I became depressed, my outlook changed and my health changed forever.
So what did I do?
Of course, I ruminated almost constantly for the first year and a half.
Thinking back to all my hard work, the graft, the days that just rolled into each other as I worked relentlessly, day and night to do the things that would make the business successful. I could smell, taste, feel the success, actually I could see it by the number of commissions and bookings I had.
The accident happened, on my way to a new client at an embassy… it made me feel sick and angry every time the thought crossed my mind. I got anxious about my recovery. Soon and very subtly, anxiety turned into depression .
My eldest daughter, who was driving at the time of the said life changing event, always pulled me back to reality when she saw me ruminate.
Alas! she too was guilty of it as her injury still troubles her, but for her it was the shock and the psychological impact.
It was her final year at university and she was finding it terribly difficult to complete assignments due to the constant pain and discomfort.
She did it though, however, her predicted first became a 2:1, she had worked so hard for that first… can you see the reason for her rumination now?
What I learned and what you can learn too.
Despite having a good reason for feeling as you do after a nasty event. Rumination is quite damaging, it changes your thinking into the negative, leading to anxiety and if this persists, depression creeps in.
Ruminating creates a negative energy that makes you sluggish, it turns you into a completely wet blanket.
The experience for me was so damaging, I wasn’t aware when the rumination led me to depression, I wasn’t even aware I was depressed. My moping got so bad that I didn’t want to be around myself!
Needless to say both, my daughter and I got some help for this stuff; mind issues sometimes need to be talked through with someone trained to help you who is detached from the situation.
Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, admitting you need help, identifying and admitting you have depression, and making the effort (it was a so difficult for me to even leave the house) to find, ask and get professional help is commendable.
Admitting you need help and getting it.
Being the little fighting troopers that we are, we took it upon ourselves to snap the other out of it if caught ruminating. I used all the NLP techniques I had to hand to snap me out of the state of anxiety and depression. They helped a little at first and more as time went on.
I can see, I’m making myself sound like a little helpless lamb here, that is not the reality, yes, I felt that way for some time. Here I was, angry, damaged and losing business. Unable to do anything at all in the six months after the incident, there was plenty of time to ruminate.
My arm was numb enough to act as a pin cushion or perhaps even a knife block. Worst still, my neck was just short of being broken and my jaw had moved causing neurological damage (as if I wasn’t crazy enough to start with!).
Rumination seeks justification, here’s mine:
All these injuries still play up to this day and the blinding flash headaches. I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.
What killed me inside for a good year or so was the loss of so much of the business I had bust my guts to acquire and make successful.
This killed me even more as I am the sole breadwinner in my home, the girls rely on me to provide… that’s my job as a single parent.
I was terrified that we would end up with no food on the table, no roof over our heads, no quality of life. Until the accident, I had done a bloody great job of it (even if I say so myself!).
The thing I hated the most was that the girls had to see me in such a vulnerable and weak physical and psychological position, they have always seen me as bold, strong, a ‘doer’. I want to be a strong role model to them.
How I ‘got over it’
Despite the depression, I knew there was no way I was going to let this slip away from me completely without putting up a fight. I worked whenever I could and as hard as I could to salvage the business. This was not a great deal at the beginning.
In fact, during the first year and a half I felt a bit like the sloth from the movie Zootopia; my head wanted to do lots in a day, my body however, was moving at a pace that would have even the most patient person pulling their hair out.
As time passes
Now, almost three years on, I look back and wonder… did all that ruminating do me any good? Nope, I know it didn’t, it made me sad, angry, depressed and sluggish, and, as a result I was not as productive as I could have been so, it was, in reality, slowing me down from moving on.
I no longer ruminate; now, on a day that my body reacts at its extreme to the aftermath of the accident (bad, painful days are now a permanent part of my life), I accept it for what it is and work from my bed… it is what it is and nothing can change what has already gone, it’s done.
Where there’s a negative, there must also be a positive.
From time to time I do look back and think about all the positive stuff that happened during that time:
- My girls really stepped up, now I know they can manage without me (I used to worry about that all the time)
- My little one, then 14 years old, grew up and did things without having to be asked (that’s beginning to slip a little lately… but I don’t mind)
- We were a strong team, in fact I’d go as far as saying we were formidable
- My NLP skills are so much more refined through using them daily
- My Meditation skills have improved beyond recognition!
- We still had food on the table and a roof over our heads… we had enough strength to manage that
- I know who my dearest friends are
- We have learnt that nothing comes without fighting for it, not even the help you’re promised from your insurance company. This for me was a sad realisation but a very good lesson
- Knowing that I can keep fighting even from my sick bed… yes I am a lioness!
- It prompted me to think of ways of ensuring business continued, even when I can’t, a contingency plan is now in place
This may have been the most difficult experience in my life but the lead up to my divorce and other such past events come a short distance behind it.
I know that life will throw more unwanted, unpleasant challenges at you and me, that’s life. By understanding the impact of rumination, you will become more aware and catch yourself when you’re doing it.
Why go round in circles, ruminating about things that you and I both know cannot be changed? I know that’s easier said than done when anxiety is high and you are in a state of depression.
Learn to look at these events as lessons; they can teach us so many things that perhaps we might not have discover or appreciate had that event not happened.
My philosophy and advice to you
My philosophy now; I don’t want to waste a single moment ruminating over what is gone and cannot be changed. The anxiety levels are kept in check, so as not to slip back into depression.
I truly believe that you are the creator and director of what happens in your life; get on with it, don’t let that moment in the past hold on to your mind and impact your life going forward.
Want help with this? Book your free place on my stress buster webinar here…no strings attached, unless of course, you want there to be.
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P.S rumination is different to nostalgia… nostalgia is good, read more here