Rumination is comprised of two separate variables -- reflection and brooding. The reflection part of rumination can actually be somewhat helpful -- reflecting on a problem can lead you to a solution. Also, reflecting on certain events can help you process strong emotions associated with the issue. However, rumination in general, and brooding in particular, are associated with less proactive behavior and more of a negative mood. Co-rumination, where you rehash a situation with friends until you’ve talked it to death, also brings more stress to both parties. In short, if you find yourself constantly replaying something in your mind and dwelling on the injustice of it all, thinking about what you should have said or done, without taking any corresponding action, you’re likely making yourself feel more stressed. And you are also likely experiencing some of the negative effects of rumination.
From About.com: Stress Management - By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.
Ruminating is a style of thinking in which, like a hamster in a cage, you run in tight circles on a treadmill in your brain. It means obsessing about problems, about a loss, about any kind of a setback or ambiguity without moving past thought into the realm of action.The trouble with rumination is at least twofold. As you ruminate, you deepen the grooves in the brain, intensifying levels of anxiety and depression. And your problems remain unsolved, and are perhaps even exacerbated by the failure to move on them. Women are predisposed to rumination, largely because they value relationships and thus devote a great deal of time and mental energy to processing the often-ambiguous content of them.
From Psychology Today - By Ellen McGrath, published on April 11, 2003
Symptoms and Effects include:
*Extreme or Crippling Negativity/Pessimism
*Heart palpitations/Anxiety attacks
Stay tuned for mindfulness/meditative solutions.