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Author Topic: 5.07 | Dealing with ruminations  (Read 33427 times)
Skip
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« on: October 05, 2009, 08:58:00 AM »

Dealing with Ruminations

This workshop is about ruminating thoughts and how to deal with them.

Rumination is a process that involves deeply reflecting on a situation. When rumination becomes difficult to control, it can lead to negative psychological effects including depression and phobias. The inability to stop ruminating on a particular thought can be a hallmark of obsession, or anxiety, or depression.

There are a number of ways to deal with ruminations.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one talk therapy approach that has been show to be effective in the treatment of depressive rumination.

One psychologist (Joe Carver, PhD) suggests a simple model that we can use to "train" the brain to better deal with ruminations (see below).

The objective of this workshop is to talk about ruminating, what it is, how it affects us, what we can do about it, and if these methods work.

Skip

Techniques for File Control

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=103393.0

1. Practice paying attention to how your file system works. If you find yourself in a bad mood, or even a happy mood, use the approach, "What file is out?" You will then find the file, what feeling is contained in the file, and will then be able to have some control over the file.

2. If a bad file starts to come out, do something physical before the two-minute emotional release surfaces. If someone mentions a name or you have an event that brings up a bad file, for example, immediately pinch your ear, touch your watch, or do something physical that lets you know a file is out. You may then change files mentally or even verbally. When talking with others, we can verbally change files by stating, "That's kind of a sensitive topic for me, I'd rather not discuss that." The physical action helps remind us that we have control over these files.

3. Take a bad file and put a funny name on it - the funnier the better. If we have people we dislike or even hate, a funny name is helpful in controlling the emotional content of that file. Common names that might be used are "Bozo," "Beanie Weenie," "Air Head," etc. It is also effective to combine both the funny name and physical action.

For example, if we call a gossip-oriented relative "Sinus Drip", we can combine the pulling of the file with the name and the physical action of blowing our nose. Again, as the brain will only allow one feeling at a time, the humor and physical action usually is enough to kill the file.

4. Many times we go through a series of horrible experiences, often lasting for years. These may include bad marriages, periods of unemployment, traumatic childhoods, and so forth. Place all those files in one mental filing cabinet. Then place a label on the entire cabinet, one that reflects the condition at that time. Some clients have used such labels as, "Wild and rowdy years," "My misery years," and so forth. When a file from that period is brought up, instead of focusing on the file and allowing the emotion to surface, the individual thinks to himself, "That file is from my wild and rowdy years, it's not needed now." Lumping all files together in one general category decreases the emotional impact and prevents pulling specific files.

5. Together with your spouse or significant other, you may train each other to recognize when one file is out. When a file pops out, a simple time-out hand signal, a certain look, or a certain comment may make the other person aware that a file is out at the wrong time. This cuts down many arguments. Using this method, couples tend to stay on-track and discuss their concerns more at length, without being bothered by bad files.

6. Looks for "blocks" in communication with others. Often these emotional blocks are actually files being pulled in response to something the other person does. Do they sound like a relative/friend or do they remind you of something or some situation. Make a new file on that person.

7. Keep several good and mood-lifting files in close memory. If a bad file is pulled during the day, you then have good files ready to recall - and change your mood. Many people have files about vacation or other happy times to be used if a bad file is pulled. Always follow a bad file with a good file - it keeps your mood up.

8. In times of social crisis, create and rehearse a special file to cover uncomfortable questions - a "press release". During a divorce/separation situation, people frequently ask about your situation. Rather than pull up the "divorce" file, pull up a "divorce public relations" file that states "things are pretty disorganized right now with us. I tell you more as things settle down." Make the public relations file brief, short and sweet.

9. Practice file pulling, especially good files. Look at old pictures of happy times, high school yearbooks, etc. Observe the number of files that are pulled when you do this. It's amazing how much information your memory contains.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 12:42:09 PM by Harri » Logged

 


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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 09:14:33 AM »

This is good stuff Skip!   |iii

Great idea for a workshop.

It reminded me of one of the books I read by Paulo Cohelo, he touches on # 2... .

"Every time a thought comes to mind that makes you feel bad about yourself – jealousy, self pity, envy, hatred, and so on – do the following:

Dig the nail of your index finger into the cuticle of the thumb of the same hand until it becomes quite painful. Concentrate on the pain: it is a physical reflection of the suffering you are going through spiritually. Ease the pressure only when the cruel thought has gone. Repeat this as many times as necessary until the thought has left you, even if this means digging your fingernail into your thumb over and over. Each time, it will take longer for the cruel thought to return, and eventually it will disappear altogether, so long as you do not fail to perform the exercise every time it comes to mind."

This exercise may be too much for some, but, it is a physical manifestation of the pain we put ourselves through with Ruminations... .especially if these ruminations are causing difficulties in leading a healthy life.
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 01:42:01 AM »

I tried the methods mentioned in this workshop and its working. Today whenever I began ruminating, I pinched my ear and thought of a silly name for the ex... .it stopped the ruminating and stopped the dark cloud in my thoughts. I then had "Happy Thoughts". go figure, such a simple trick... .Smiling (click to insert in post)

Thanks again,

C
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2009, 09:35:38 AM »

I ruminate terribly. I haven't found anyone that can help with this so I started reading a workbook called "Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life".  That has helped some. New idea's and things that make you think. Pinching myself, digging myself may eventually land me in the emergency room looking pretty beat up... .Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 09:11:31 PM »

I know I'm just in the first stages of disengaging, having left my BP boyfriend four weeks ago, but I'm so tired of having conversations in my head with him. In these, I explain why I left, why the relationship couldn't work, ways in which I felt diminished when I was with him, etc. Many of these ruminations are at 2 or 3 a.m.

I wouldn't actually have these conversations with him. We're currently LC--it would be NC, but we have some administrative items to take care of.

Do you all have these imaginary conversations? Have they diminished for you with time? Do you have suggestions for getting past this?

I'm taking good care of myself and have very good family and friend support. This board is also helpful. Though I know I'll never have a satisfying closure with my ex, I can at least vent here. Thank you, everybody.
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 09:32:58 PM »

I know I'm just in the first stages of disengaging, having left my BP boyfriend four weeks ago, but I'm so tired of having conversations in my head with him. In these, I explain why I left, why the relationship couldn't work, ways in which I felt diminished when I was with him, etc. Many of these ruminations are at 2 or 3 a.m.

I wouldn't actually have these conversations with him. We're currently LC--it would be NC, but we have some administrative items to take care of.

Do you all have these imaginary conversations? Have they diminished for you with time? Do you have suggestions for getting past this?

I'm taking good care of myself and have very good family and friend support. This board is also helpful. Though I know I'll never have a satisfying closure with my ex, I can at least vent here. Thank you, everybody.

Attagirl,

I do this all the time. All the time. It helps me. Because look, I know I can anticipate her reactions so I can have these conversations. Out loud I might add, I probably would look like a disordered person myself.

However it helps me get a lot of garbage out that I wouldn't ever have the chance to get out with her. And quite frankly i don't care to get out with her but it has to leave me somehow. Plus I get to voice my thoughts without her twisting them and using them against me. I personally think this is beneficial. I also use this time to think of my snappy retorts I would use IF I ever became engaged again. Ok well that's not going to happen and if it does it could be a whole different scenario than what i have rehearsed.

But the point is yes I have done this and I find it therapeutic for me personally. It lets me deal with the grief, the anger, the lunacy of our interaction, and all that crap I hold inside. I let it out this way. Am I nuts? Maybe? Am I feeling better? Absolutely!

Go ahead talk to yourself... .

I won't look so crazy if there's two of us.

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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 10:16:12 PM »

Do you all have these imaginary conversations? Have they diminished for you with time? Do you have suggestions for getting past this?

That makes 3 of us because I do the same thing.  I'm at 3 months NC (except for 1 email) and I play out conversations in my head.  And since I know I won't make any progress with him, sometimes my imaginary conversations are with his best friend who just 'might get it'.   

They actually help me sort through things and keep me focused on the reality of the relationship.  Even in these imaginary conversations I'm still trying to defend myself, get some validation, get closure, get any kind of acknowlegement at all that he takes responsbility for anything, etc.

As far as 'getting past it' ~ I think that happens with time.  For me they are less frequent and tend to happen on a 'bad' day.   I think they are helpful to healing and moving forward.  And, you don't break NC!   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 10:30:27 PM »

I do this all the time. All the time. It helps me. Because look, I know I can anticipate her reactions so I can have these conversations.

I do this a lot as well.  I also know exactly how the conversation would go if he was in-person reacting to it.

I've been journaling a lot about the conversations you speak of and the feelings.  I write about how I felt in certain situations or even how I feel about things now.  Having that place to have my say, when I couldn't have it in the relationship, helps me feel better.  I find that getting them out on paper helps me day to day not think about them so much.
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 10:31:17 AM »

I have a 1/2 hour commute to work every morning and I have great conversations with the absent stbxuBPDh.   I find it very healing and is such a good way to get my "angries" out.  Of course I could never have these conversations with him, as he is a pro and I, a mere amateur. And really I would never be able to have this kind of "venting" conversation with him as he would be so defensive he would never hear a word I said.  Well, he would, but only the ones he felt were criticizing him in some way.  Because we all know that if there is a conversation, it had better be us who are apologizing, or admitting they are right, and we are so very, very, wrong.  So, I just talk away in my car and always feel good when I arrive at work. 

So just keep talking and know that you aren't alone on this one!

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 12:11:16 PM »

I've had a few in the past 9 weeks of n/c. It leaves me feeling like Rain Man afterwards. i hope I don't have any more. Besides, in reality, if I did speak to the ex, I odubt very seriously she would either care, or understand. Pretty sad, huh?
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2011, 09:46:18 AM »

I was stuck in this destructive ruminating phase for a very long time and it's not beneficial.

The only way I could get it to stop was to make a conscious choice to stop it!  It was hard.  I had spent so much time filling my head with all the gory details of all the craziness - rehearsing all of the imaginary conversations/situations that I wished I'd been able to have, etc.  It consumed soo much of my time and energy.  Then I just decided that I would stop it. Every time a thought came into my head (which was nearly every minute,) about crazyx and all of his shennanigans, I made a conscious effort to think of something else.  It was so difficult at first, but I kept at it and the ruminating about him finally stopped.

Now... .In the beginning, I did allow myself 10 minutes a day to go to imaginary land -- where I was able to say all the things I wanted to say to him.  (And we all know that that land is completely imaginary, because even if you were able to say all you wanted to say... .it would mean nothing to them and you'd still be just as frustrated with them.)  But... .once that 10 minutes was up... .I was back to policing my own thought life.

Turtle

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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 10:37:30 PM »

I think this thread should be a permanent sticky in this forum.  There is a lot of RUMINATION throughout the boards on here. I am almost a month into this break up and ... I cannot seem to get a break from her in my mind. It's like f'n stop already.

"Every time a thought comes to mind that makes you feel bad about yourself – jealousy, self pity, envy, hatred, and so on – do the following:

Dig the nail of your index finger into the cuticle of the thumb of the same hand until it becomes quite painful. Concentrate on the pain: it is a physical reflection of the suffering you are going through spiritually. Ease the pressure only when the cruel thought has gone. Repeat this as many times as necessary until the thought has left you, even if this means digging

your fingernail into your thumb over and over. Each time, it will take longer for the cruel thought to return, and eventually it will disappear altogether, so long as you do not fail to perform the exercise every time it comes to mind."

.

However, the irony of the above quote kind of disturbs me.  My ex-gfBPD relapsed with self mutilation on the day she broke up with me. Not too sure I want to extinguish a trigger by inflicting pain to numb the emotional pain. Would that not create a weird 'emotional bonding' if your ex was prone to this ?  I suppose different strokes for different folks.

I think Skip's research and subsequent comments appear more ... .'neutral'.   
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 11:09:28 AM »

Hmm. I seem to be the odd duck here. I never had a lot of luck with redirecting my attention like is described in the first post. I find the harder I try to not ruminate, the more my mind is drawn back into it. Same for pinching myself etc - it just hurts, and makes me feel worse, so then my thoughts become even more depressive and ruminative.

The only think I've found so far that works for me is basically immersing myself in the pain that's causing me to ruminate. Acknowledging that there's emotions behind the rumination and letting them wash over me... with awareness though. And then I ask myself what I'm feeling, like fear etc. And then I journal about it to dump it all out of my brain. It seems to work, PARTICULARLY with middle-of-the-night ruminating.

The problem I have with this though, is that it's VERY time consuming EXHAUSTING. By the time my mind feels peaceful enough to relax and get back to sleep it's usually at least an hour later, but usually more. So by the time time I wake up in the morning I feel dreadful, and my concentration and focus for the day is shot.

Does anyone have other techniques they use? I'm interested in not just putting off the ruminating or avoiding it. I'm interested in finding out what's underneath it so that the REASON I do it goes away. (And therefore helps me stop) Thanks so much, BG.
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 11:11:57 AM »

Oh sorry, just wanted to add... .I was hoping to find a technique that I could use at times like in the middle of the night, when it's inconvenient to have to get up and journal, etc. Just something I could do while still lying in bed that could help me get in touch with whatever buried feelings I have, that are always seeming to cause the rumination. Thanks! BG.
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 11:16:47 AM »

I am not sure how I stopped the bulk of the ruminations before.  I know the precise event that triggered me to start ruminating nearly non-stop again, though: a phone call from her.

I must be doing the 'filing' technique wrong, or maybe I just need a different technique.  Wish I knew how I stopped the constant ruminations before - as I recall, it wasn't gradual - it was an overnight event.  The ruminations seem so darn involuntary.  :)irect contact seems like it re-connected my mind to all of the circular arguments, painful memories, etc., and I cannot escape (again).  Getting desperate to free myself from this self-imposed torture.

On a positive note, I seem to be free from pining for her.  It is frustrating that even without the pining, the non-stop ruminations have returned.

Lack of closure?  I will never get that from her.  Guess I am still shaking my fist at the river for flowing south... .
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 09:21:40 PM »

Dealing with Ruminations

Rumination is a process that involves deeply reflecting on a situation. When rumination becomes difficult to control, it can lead to negative psychological effects including depression and phobias. The inability to stop ruminating on a particular thought can be a hallmark of obsession, or anxiety, or depression.

I think that this is key, being aware of when deep reflections - that help us to process and move on - cross over into uncontrollable negative thoughts.

Something that helps me is to set a time limit on the reflection, literally setting a timer or alarm on my phone, or setting aside time during the day to think about this. If I find myself going there during other times I remind myself that I will have the time later/tomorrow to think, that now is not the time.

This works for me because I am allowing myself some thinking time, but keeping it healthy. Often I do need to do something physical to stop myself going there, sometimes it can be as simple as standing up and getting a drink of water, other times I might need to do some physical exercise or find something fun and Way More Awesome to do than waste my time thinking these things!
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2013, 12:34:37 AM »

I'm here now because this is where i need to be.  I can not believe (yes i can i am here) how OBSESSIONAL and neurologically trapped i have gotten in this situation.  I tell my self next week will be different, tomorrow will be different... .  and find myself locked in.

~.

well above posts and workshop will be  helpful.  I need to remember to put my efforts here first!  And get on with my day, my life... .  

Rather be a host to God, than a hostage to my ego.   Damn, that damage got me but good.  Okay, it is what it is.  You got to heal.  Let go man!
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2013, 08:39:01 AM »

Adding to the list of ruminators... .  Obvious to most I am sure, that a lack of closeour causes this stuff. I had lots of chats with my ex, via email... .  she was very insistant that we not see each other (easier for her that way to not recycle maybe?) And many many chats with her "ghost." I hated that, and got mad at myself for doing it. She was living rent free in my head. making me crazy while she was off living her new life 

Anyway, will have to try the file thing, I think I am at a point now where I should be able to switch off the thoughts by changing the channel... .  lets hope, because I certainly have had enough.
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2013, 08:48:12 PM »

I think my superhero name at one point could have been The Ruminator.

I really like the suggestions for stopping the negative talk - and putting a more postive spin on the thoughts. I learned a little trick for self-talk when the my "problem solving" ruminations creep into my head while I should probably be sleeping. Stop the thought (pull the file) and then place it back on the shelf for later.

I can't fix this right now. I can think about it tomorrow.

And then I count backwards by 3's.

Sounds silly but it really works. 


5. Together with your spouse or significant other, you may train each other to recognize when one file is out. When a file pops out, a simple time-out hand signal, a certain look, or a certain comment may make the other person aware that a file is out at the wrong time. This cuts down many arguments. Using this method, couples tend to stay on-track and discuss their concerns more at length, without being bothered by bad files.

As a secondary-non, I think that the pwBPD in my life can ruin a good night out to dinner with my husband... .  without it even being her fault.

I really like this "file" should be dealt with at the right time. Good boundary to have in a marriage.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) 
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2013, 01:50:56 PM »

This is really excellent and helpful. We do have to remember, and we do have to feel the feelings, but there comes a real point when we're keeping ourselves stuck in the past. I know I've struggled with this a whole lot. The visualizations of seeing my "Bleh" files when they're open and needing to put them back in the filing cabinet is really helpful. I created a treasure box on a shelf in my head for my ruminations. When the box wants to open and all the files are jumping out, it helps me to repeat the name of the files over and over. Very quickly, my brain gets bored, the files jump back in the box, and the box jumps back on the shelf. Then I thank the box for trying to help me out, but tell it I don't need it anymore. Doing this consistently seems to lessen the problem.
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2014, 01:36:15 PM »

Even beyond ruminating and on into those gut-reactions I have when I see a truck that looks like my uBPDh's now that i'm out of the house--I believe I will use the silly name and pinch my ear when that happens since it STARTS me down the rumination trail. Currently trying to decide between "SillyPants" and "Bullfrog"... .or maybe "Loquat" (such a funny word!)

i'm gonna try the file system for a couple of things.
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2015, 10:51:45 PM »

One thing that helps me when I'm ruminating is to write it down.  I take the thought or dialoge out of my head and put it on the paper.  Then I can stop thinking about it for now and know just where to find that thought if I want to think about it more later
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2015, 06:19:18 PM »

I just went NC 1 1/2 weeks ago with the BPD man I was involved with for almost two years. Reading these posts has been very helpful. For awhile I thought I might need to get a restraining order, then he finally stopped contacting me and I felt so relieved and peaceful, like I was starting to move on. I started to feel happy again. But unfortunately I had a relapse a couple days ago, after I registered for Pinterest and saw his account ... .he had a board of posts pertaining to him and the woman he is involved with (that he claimed was just a "friend," even though he was/is in love with her). It leveled me, and now I can't stop thinking and feeling resentful that he used me, emotionally abandoned me, betrayed me and replaced me with someone else once I had nothing more to give (and lied about it), before he had even moved out of my place, and is now seemingly happy while I am alone. 

I am glad to know it gets better, and will get better. Apparently I need to stay off the Internet!
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2015, 02:34:24 AM »

I'm here now because this is where i need to be.  I can not believe (yes i can i am here) how OBSESSIONAL and neurologically trapped i have gotten in this situation.  I tell my self next week will be different, tomorrow will be different... .  and find myself locked in.

~.

well above posts and workshop will be  helpful.  I need to remember to put my efforts here first!  And get on with my day, my life... . 

Rather be a host to God, than a hostage to my ego.   :)amn, that damage got me but good.  Okay, it is what it is.  You got to heal.  Let go man!

Its funny to think that the past and future are objects/stories the mind plays with. "Oh how they treated us, oh how potentially happy they may be in the future without us."

What I find most confusing is what part of this is to be taken as a lesson and how much of it is just food for the ego? Is there really anything to be learned or are these ruminations just mind fuel? 
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