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Depression, Anxiety and Rumination: What is the Link?

Depression and anxiety have been on the rise over the last several years, both in frequency and also in severity. Did you know that depression and anxiety are forms of time travel? Not literally traveling in time, but mentally traveling in time though something called rumination.

Rumination is the act of turning a thought over and over in your mind. It sounds harmless enough until you are stuck in a rumination cycle and can’t get out. If you are ruminating about the past, that can evolve into depression. If you are ruminating about the future, that can become anxiety.

So how do we break out of these spin cycles of the mind?

The answer is mindfulness, noticing what is happening in the present moment right here and right now.

We begin by noticing the thought spirals and naming them for what they are: ruminations. Then we can remind ourselves that the past can no longer harm us and the future isn’t here yet. That leaves just the present moment. When you can be fully in the present, you can handle almost anything!

This week, try noticing and labeling your thoughts rather than letting them direct and control you.

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