How to Stop Ruminating

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Perhaps you spend hours replaying a tense conversation you had with your boss over and over in your head; or maybe you can’t stop thinking about where things went wrong with an ex during the weeks and months after a breakup.

If you find that your thoughts are so excessive and overwhelming that you can’t seem to stop them, or if they’re so distracting that you’re falling behind on responsibilities at work or at home, you’re probably experiencing rumination, said Dr. Tracey Marks, a psychiatrist in private practice in Atlanta.

While rumination is not a mental health condition, it can be a symptom of a larger problem. And in some cases, it can become so encompassing that it requires intervention, Dr. Marks said. Here’s how to tell if your thought patterns have transitioned from regular overthinking into rumination, and how to stop them if they have.

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