Chapter 3 Practice: 11 Steps to Stop Ruminating

How can I stop ruminating / thinking in a loop?

Learn how you can let go of negative thoughts and move on with life without getting caught up ruminating. Rumination is a negative downward spiral way of thinking and while it seems to make sense to think things through over and over again to find THE solution, there are problems that you simply can not solve on the same level.

Being able to accept this and finding ways to break the loop of thinking is essential to live a more relaxed and stress free life and find the objective distance to come up with a real solution. You think about the problem one more time and get started with your plan to solve it.

Download the PDF with all 11 steps to stop ruminating.

Essential Knowledge in this Lesson:

Acceptance is the key to start finding solutions and breaking the loop.

The first step is to realize and understand that rumination isn’t helpful. Comparing your current state to your desired state will also simply make you feel worse, as well as going through all “if… then” scenarios you can imagine. Accepting the situation, being in the present moment and allowing negative thoughts to fade away while working on an action plan what you can do is the key to overcome rumination. You can let go of the pressure that you have put on yourself after thinking about the problem one more time and coming up with a plan how to solve it (or simply accept it and be with it).


The role of rumination in depressive disorders and mixed anxiety/depressive symptoms. Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 109(3), Aug 2000, 504-511.

Effects of self-focused rumination on negative thinking and interpersonal problem solving. Lyubomirsky, Sonja; Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 69(1), Jul 1995, 176-190.

Wendy Treynor, Richard Gonzalez and Susan Nolen-Hoeksema (2008). Rumination Reconsidered: A Psychometric Analysis. COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH Volume 27, Number 3, 247-259, DOI: 10.1023/A:1023910315561