Thoughts on Overthinking, Rumination, Stewing and generally thinking too much!

thinkingIntelligent people think.

Intelligent and creative people think further and deeper.  They think of things in multiple ways and this helps solve problems.

However, it can be hazardous to our mental health.

I learned a new word this week – Rumination

To Ruminate – to think carefully and deeply about something (Mirriam Webster)

it sounds like to ruminate is a good thing.

BUT it turns out that Rumination is a predictor for mental health disorders – from BBC: Rumination – The Danger of Dwelling – The UK’s biggest ever online test into stress, undertaken by the BBC’s Lab UK and the University of Liverpool, has revealed that rumination is the biggest predictor of the most common mental health problems in the country.

Persistently dwelling on distressing situations from the recent or distant past (called rumination, as in that thing a cow does when it constantly rechews food) can be one of the most destructive mental habits. It’s closely linked to depression, and it can sap our confidence, our ability to solve problems, and our sense of control over our lives. from Real Simple

and interestingly, more common for women – Women were also more likely to accept undue responsibility for others’ well-being—a personality trait called unmitigated communion, often a common characteristic of ruminators.  from Real Simple

Rumination is similar to worry except that… from wikipedia Rumination (psychology)

Worry – is concerned about potential bad things happening in the future.

Rumination – focuses on bad feelings from the past.


Rumination is basically over thinking.

Over thinking causes the human mind to create negative scenarios and or replay painful memories

Over-thinking can increase anxiety and cause insomnia.

I love this quote (and I can’t remember where I heard it now) – the only thing that makes it a thing is that you keep thinking about it

“The older you get, the more you understand how your conscience works. The biggest and only critic lives in your perception of people’s perception of you rather than people’s perception of you.” -Criss Jami

How Do you Stop the Overthinking?

Want to avoid over-thinking – focus on what to do next instead of worrying about what went wrong.

9 Ways to Stop Over Thinking

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain – an excerpt by Sharon Begley

“Thoughts are not facts” 

“I can watch this thought come and go without having to respond to it.”

Thoughts do not reflect reality


as a christian, we have the knowledge of God to help defeat faulty thoughts and we can:

Take Every Thought Captive

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

take every thought captive


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Overthinking, Rumination, Stewing and generally thinking too much!

  1. Good post! I’ve ruminated on many things, and it got me nowhere except deeper into the pit of depression. God mercifully pulled me out. If we are going to think hard on something over and over again, it has to be on the promises of God.

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