Ruminating your energy away

in #life4 years ago (edited)

One of the more peaceful scenes I have ever witnessed was a herd of cows chewing their cud. Mindless bliss! No worries, just an urge to deposit the next cow pie.

From a perspective of mindfulness, ruminating is considered a very harmful practice, so much so, that it is one of the first things we are encouraged to identify and eliminate. When we ruminate, we continually play an event ( almost always negative) over and over in our mind. This is usually done without conscious intent, like the mindless state of the peaceful cows, but what happens to us as we ruminate is anything but peaceful.

We are not cows, and the crap we bring up from inside to reflexively gnaw on, and then stuff back down deeply out of sight, is poisonous to our well-being.

Our thoughts are our reality. When we bring up an unpleasant or hurtful experience from our past, or worse, imagine one happening to us in the future and continually chew on it, at least four negative effects occur:

  1. We reinforce the pain, damage, and loss of self esteem that occurred in the original incident.

  2. Since our brain cannot tell between real and imagined events, if we repeatedly focus on negative events that might happen we get the same damage inflicted on us as if they actually did happen.

  3. We create our future by what we consistently think about now; allowing our thoughts to be negative creates the very things we wish to avoid.

  4. In every interaction (and when we are thinking we are most definitely interacting with ourselves!) we either give life or we diminish life: There is no neutral ground. Rumination diminishes our life-force.

Paradoxically ( or so it may seem at first), the whole practice of being present minded is about finding and maintaining a neutral space from which we can mindfully decide how to act. To make a choice is to no longer be neutral, but to commit to a particular course of action. When we mindlessly ruminate, we are choosing to hurt ourselves. The ruminating thought process is a symptom of an underlying ill, so just suppressing it is not a wise course of action.

One of the main tenets of mindfulness is that we observe our thoughts impartially and without judgement in the present moment. When we observe ruminating thoughts, they are a sign that we need to consciously work on our underlying beliefs, assumptions, and self-imposed limitations.

I want to share a brief experience I had with ruminating thoughts, and how I worked through it.

My ruminating thoughts concerned a series of interactions I had with a church leader about ten years ago. Something triggered the underlying issue and I started ruminating for about ten minutes before realizing what I was doing. Since I had been focused on energy work and clearing past limitations caused by negative experiences, I intuitively understood that the rumination about the incident represented a deeper belief/blockage that I had taken upon myself and never resolved. Using EFT (emotional freedom techniques) and clearing some self-imposed limiting beliefs, I resolved a huge burden I had been carrying around with me for over a decade. I was able to forgive myself, the other person, and regain my freedom and power to act. I felt literally enlightened.

So the next time (and there will be a next time) I cough up some crap from deep inside myself I am not going to chew it like a cud and swallow it back down. I am going to mindfully identify the underlying issues and clear them so I can move on as a more powerful creator of my life.

I am not a cow.

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This was originally published on Beingpresentminded August 29th, 2015 at:


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Rumination can sometimes become an almost obsessive behavior. You realize you're doing it, but it can be difficult to stop. Acknowledging it is sometimes not enough, particularly when experiencing heavier feelings of hurt, anger, or pain.

In my case I've found bringing my attention away from my mind and to my physical self is a big help. Sometimes it's difficult to "force" yourself to analyze without judgement, so a good strategy for me is redirection. I redirect my attention to my physical self, until my mind cools down enough that I can come back and try again.

Thank you for your post!

Thank you for your comment @reos! You are absolutely right, recognizing ruminations is sometimes a lot easier than letting go and halting the process of rumination. That is part of what the EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) accomplishes, along with a whole lot of other benefits, by working with our physical body to cleanse our emotional and energy channels. Mindfulness also emphasizes redirection and distancing as ways to gain perspective and lessen the focus on the trigger event. Great comment, I hope you follow along with me. There is an abundance of information I will be sharing on how to have peace in the present moment by using tools and techniques anybody can do, anywhere they need to.

This one is great! I'm not a cow either. :-)

Awesome @olivercuico, I am glad you liked it and you get the point:- ) Thanks for reading!

Enjoyed the read, nice analogy. Would be interesting if you could go deeper into detail on the EMF technique and eliminating self-limiting beliefs.

Thank you for the comment and suggestion, @cizzo! I will get to work on it, follow along with me if you want I will get it posted this next week. If you want some information now you can go to and it gives a good overview of EFT. I will tie in some basics about EFT along with specifics on removing self-limiting behaviors in the post. Is there any particular area you want me to touch on, as there are some limiting beliefs (such as money) that have more focused therapies. Thank you for reading!