I learned this word in a weight loss lesson this week. I experience it almost daily but didn’t know the word for it. Basically, rumination means focusing on a negative event from the past and replaying it over and over in your mind causing distress. Something may have frustrated or threatened or insulted us, triggering these thoughts. Or they may pop into our head out of the blue. Most of us don’t want to spend our days ruminating. We want to think about things that make us happy.
In my lesson I learned about radical acceptance as a coping technique. This is a learned skill that is intended to keep pain from turning into suffering. This does not mean you approve of the situation, it simply means you totally accept the situation with your mind, body and spirit. You totally accept that you can not change the facts, even if you do not like them. In other words, say and accept that it is what it is.
Because two opposing thoughts can not exist at the same time in the same space, another way to stop dwelling on the past is to bring your mind back to the present by engaging in a mindful practice. Do something that includes your mind, body and spirit. My favorite is to go outside and plant your feet in the ground. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Now picture yourself one month from now. Notice how your situation has changed. You are not your circumstances.
Meditate on God’s promises. Repeat the serenity prayer. Find a scripture that best represents your issue and memorize it. Think about it and pray about it when these feelings surface. We were instructed in Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Don’t live in captivity to guilt or regrets. If your heart is messed up you live each day looking through a broken or distorted perspective. Choose a method to help you heal. Our days are much more enjoyable when spent happy about today instead of sad about yesterday.