I’ve been reading about rumination lately and it is simply fascinating.
A cow will chew then swallow its food, only to regurgitate it then swallow it again. Upon reentry the food is able to be properly absorbed by the cows stomach. This the process of rumination.
Rumination in humans is a little bit different. When we make a mistake we should simply look for the appropriate lesson, integrate it and move on. Instead we replay the scenarios in our heads and often experience the accompanying shame and guilt. We continue to eat these negative emotions repeatedly even though they have no nutritional value.
To remedy this fault you could stop playing the “If-only” game and start playing the “If-then” game. Compare the following statements that you could make to yourself after failing an exam:
A) “If only I had studied harder for my exam I would have gotten a better result”
B)”If I try a prepare more thoroughly for the next exam then I will get a better result”
“If-only” is past focused, while “If-then” is present and future focused. This subtle shift in language can yield positive results. Stop ruminating.
If the food you are eating is no good for you, spit that shit out and move on to your next meal.