COVID’s Effects on Ruminating Thoughts
The COVID-19 pandemic became a worldwide crisis in early 2020. It also triggered more stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues than most people deal with every day. Rumination has likely risen, and there is no shortage of concerning topics to think about.
Working From Home & Unemployment
Many businesses made adjustments in their workforce, encouraging people to work from home. While working from home has been a flexible option for some, it comes with its own cons. This approach also wasn’t suitable for all types of companies, and some did not survive, leading to record unemployment and reduced hours. All of these changes have taken an emotional toll. Work-related stresses like these are easy triggers for rumination.
Co-rumination occurs when two people go over repetitive negative thoughts together as a conversation. Because it involves another person, it can seem like a helpful way to address worries or relieve stress. However, this can become a toxic pattern that only adds to each person’s stress. It is an external version of mental rumination that can reinforce a negative mindset.
The Effects of Social Media and Political Climate
The already divisive political climate has only worsened since the beginning of the pandemic. Also, the sheer volume of virus-related information published each day is overwhelming. Between these two dynamics, mentally processing the news every day is exhausting. Taking a break or filtering news through only a few trusted sources can help.
Life Experiences and Past Traumas
Stressful life events can easily trigger periods of rumination. A divorce, changing jobs or moving to a new home can understandably cause a person to worry and stew for a short while. But a person can easily get pulled into an endless circle of negative thoughts for weeks or months after a change has occurred. Traumatic incidents can generate troubling intrusive thoughts as well, often years later. With additional stress from the pandemic, these events can be more challenging to manage.