Overthinking, Ruminating, and Obsessing – The Unholy Trinity

overthinking, ruminating and obsessing

Ah, overthinking, ruminating, and obsessing –
the unholy trinity of repetitive thinking.


overthinking, ruminating and obsessing

As an emotional coach, I’ve seen plenty of clients who struggle with these three beasts, and let me tell you, they can wreak havoc on a person’s life.


So, what exactly are the differences between these three types of repetitive thinking?


Let’s start with overthinking. Overthinking is when you can’t stop thinking about a particular event or situation, and you analyze it to death. You go over every detail in your mind, trying to find hidden meanings or clues that might help you understand what happened. It’s like you’re stuck in a hamster wheel of thoughts, unable to get off.


Now, ruminating takes overthinking to the next level. When you’re ruminating, you’re not just thinking about a particular event or situation, you’re obsessively analyzing it, trying to figure out what you could have done differently. You’re filled with regret and self-blame, and you can’t seem to let go of the past. It’s like you’re stuck in a time loop, reliving the same experience over and over again.


And finally, we come to obsessing. Obsessing is when you’re fixated on a particular worry or fear, and you can’t seem to shake it. You’re constantly thinking about the worst-case scenario, and your thoughts and feelings become more intense over time. It’s like you’re stuck in a dark room, with no way out.


Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Thanks for the definitions, Jay, but how do these three things actually affect my life?”

Well, my dear reader, the negative effects of overthinking, ruminating, and obsessing can be significant. Let’s break it down:



First, let’s talk about relationships. When you’re constantly overthinking, ruminating, or obsessing, it’s hard to be present in the moment. You might be physically there, but your mind is elsewhere, stuck in a never-ending cycle of thoughts. This can lead to feelings of disconnection and frustration in your relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners.



Second, let’s talk about work or school performance. When you’re consumed by thoughts and feelings, it’s hard to focus on the task at hand. You might find yourself making careless mistakes or struggling to complete assignments on time. This can lead to poor performance evaluations, missed opportunities, and added stress.



And finally, let’s talk about mental and physical health. When you’re stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions, it can take a toll on your well-being. You might experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, such as fatigue, loss of interest in activities, and difficulty sleeping. You might also experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, muscle tension, and stomach problems.



Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Thanks for the doom and gloom, Jay, but how do I stop overthinking, ruminating, or obsessing?”



Well, my dear reader, I’m glad you asked. Here are a few tips for managing these three beasts:



  • Practice mindfulness: Okay, I know I said I wouldn’t talk about mindfulness, but hear me out. Mindfulness is simply the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. When you’re overthinking, ruminating, or obsessing, your mind is anything but present. Practicing mindfulness can help you bring your attention back to the present moment, and reduce the intensity of your thoughts and feelings.
    A simple way to do this is to focus on something near you. Focus on the colours, the pattern, or details so you are in the present moment. This can sometimes help.





  • Challenge your thoughts: When you’re stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts, it can be helpful to challenge them. Ask yourself if they’re really true, or if there’s another way to interpret the situation. For example, if you’re ruminating about a conversation you had with a friend, you might be telling yourself that you said something stupid and that your friend now hates you. But is that really true? Maybe your friend didn’t even notice what you said, or maybe they appreciated your honesty. Challenging your thoughts can help you gain perspective and break out of negative thinking patterns. Sometimes we need to remove the unconscious baggage before we can manually talk ourselves around.



  • Practice self-care: When you’re struggling with overthinking, ruminating, or obsessing, it’s important to take care of yourself. This might mean getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. When you prioritize self-care, you’re giving yourself the tools you need to manage stress and cope with difficult emotions.



  • Seek support: Sometimes, managing repetitive thinking on your own can feel overwhelming. That’s okay – seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health coach can be incredibly helpful. A trusted friend or family member can provide a listening ear and offer perspective, while a mental health coach can help you release the emotions that are connected to these traits and that will naturally lead to developing coping strategies and working through underlying issues that may be contributing to your overthinking, ruminating, or obsessing.



So there you have it, my dear reader – the differences between overthinking, ruminating, and obsessing, and how they can negatively affect your life. Remember, managing these beasts takes time and effort, but with the right tools and support, you can break free from the cycle of negative thinking and live a more fulfilling life.

The benefits of journaling for your mental health

Journaling is an important practice for mental health, as it helps to express feelings and thoughts in a safe space. It can also help with problem solving and self-reflection. Journaling has been practiced by many cultures throughout history, and has become increasingly popular in recent years.

A journal typically consists of a notebook or other writing medium such as a laptop or tablet, where one can write down their thoughts and ideas on whatever topics they choose. This could include personal experiences, goals, reflections on the day’s events, memories from the past etc. Journals come in different sizes, materials (such as paper or leather), colors and designs so that each individual can find something that fits their own style. Some even have specific prompts written into them which are designed to help focus your thought process when writing about certain topics.

One of the benefits of journaling is its ability to provide clarity and perspective during difficult times by allowing us to take some time away from our emotions while still processing them safely through writing things out without judgement or pressure from anyone else. It can be used as an outlet for creativity; allowing us to explore new ideas without fear of being wrong or judged negatively by others – this is especially helpful if you struggle with creative blocks due to overthinking your work too much. Finally another benefit is increased mindfulness – since we are focusing solely on ourselves when we write there’s no room for distractions like worrying about what other people think or feeling anxious about future events; instead we get lost in our own world of words which allows us to relax more easily than usual.

Overall journaling offers numerous advantages for both our physical and mental wellbeing; whether you use it as an emotional outlet during hard times or simply want somewhere private where you can create freely -journaling provides all these opportunities whilst also teaching us valuable lessons along the way.

Rewiring Your Brain

In the pursuit of better mental health, many people are turning to journaling as a way to help manage stress and anxiety. But what you may not know is that journaling can also be used as a tool for rewiring your brain. By writing down your thoughts and feelings in detail, it helps create new neural pathways in the brain which can help bring clarity to life’s difficult situations.

When we write our thoughts out on paper, it forces us to take an analytical approach rather than simply reacting emotionally. This gives us time and space to think through our options before making decisions or speaking up about something important. It also encourages mindfulness because it allows us to become aware of how we really feel instead of just responding impulsively without thought or consideration.

Journaling is a powerful tool that anyone can use to gain insight into their own behavior patterns and make more conscious choices when faced with challenging situations. Taking the time each day to jot down what you’re feeling and thinking gives you an opportunity for self-reflection and growth that could otherwise be missed if everything stayed locked inside your head. With regular practice, this form of self-care can have lasting positive effects on both your mental health and overall wellbeing.

Finding Clarity and Direction

One of the greatest benefits of journaling is that it can help you gain clarity and direction in life. This clarity and direction can come from a deeper understanding of yourself, your goals, your emotions, or any other aspect of your life. With regular journaling sessions, you are able to reflect on events and feelings with greater insight than if you simply experienced them without further contemplation. By exploring your thoughts through writing regularly, you may discover new perspectives that provide valuable insight into how to move forward in life.

Journaling also helps focus attention onto what truly matters most to you personally. Through self-reflection while writing down thoughts and experiences, we become more aware of our values and priorities which can help guide decision making when faced with difficult choices or trying times. We learn not only about ourselves but also the situations around us so that we know what action needs to be taken for desired outcomes.

By taking time out for reflection through journaling allows us to break away from daily routines for a moment and reset our mindsets towards having an overall better outlook on life itself; one filled with hope rather than despair. Taking this time will allow us to recognize the small wins along our journey as well as recognize where improvements need made without feeling overwhelmed by all possibilities at once.

Letting Go of Stress

Journaling is an effective way to let go of stress. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you to make sense of them, gain clarity and perspective, as well as reduce the intensity of negative emotions. It’s also a great way to focus on the positive aspects of life, allowing us to appreciate our accomplishments and successes rather than ruminate over past mistakes or challenges.

When writing in your journal, it’s important not to get too caught up in self-criticism or judgment; instead, strive for openness and honesty with yourself. Consider using guided questions such as “What am I feeling right now?” Or “How can I better handle this situation?” These can help you identify patterns that may be causing stress in your life and allow you to work through them more effectively. If you feel overwhelmed by a certain issue try writing out possible solutions or action plans – seeing things written out often makes tasks seem much less daunting.

Don’t forget that journaling should be fun. Allow yourself time each day (or even once a week) where you just write freely about whatever comes into your mind – this could include reflections on personal growth or moments of gratitude for all the wonderful things happening around you. Journaling shouldn’t feel like a chore; by making it enjoyable it will become something that helps nurture mental wellbeing instead of adding pressure onto already full plates!

Achieving Emotional Balance

Journaling is an effective way to help people maintain emotional balance. Taking time to reflect on the day’s events and think about what you have experienced can give clarity and perspective, allowing you to process your emotions in a healthier way. By writing down your thoughts, it allows for an outlet of expression that can be beneficial when trying to manage intense feelings or difficult situations. This form of self-expression helps regulate emotions and promotes well-being by providing a creative platform for problem solving.

Not only does journaling allow for mental clarity, but it also provides the opportunity for positive reinforcement by reflecting on accomplishments and successes from throughout the day. It’s easy to forget how far we have come since making small changes each day; however, journaling provides insight into our progress so that we are able to appreciate our journey along the way. This is especially important when facing difficult times as looking back on our growth allows us stay motivated even in challenging circumstances.

Being mindful with journaling gives us control over how much attention we pay certain topics or issues which can be extremely helpful if they tend to occupy too much space in our minds or cause anxiety when brought up frequently during conversations with friends or family members. Journaling gives us autonomy over these sensitive subjects so that we are able keep things balanced while still feeling heard and understood at all times regardless of who else may be involved in the situation.

Unlocking Self-Awareness

The act of journaling can be a powerful tool to unlock self-awareness. It gives us the opportunity to step away from our own thoughts and process them on paper, allowing us to take an honest look at ourselves. Journaling allows us to identify patterns in our behavior, reflect on what we’ve been through, and gain insight into how we might approach things differently in the future.

It also provides an outlet for difficult emotions that often become too overwhelming or tangled up when left unexpressed inside our heads. Writing about these feelings can help alleviate some of their intensity and bring clarity into what was once murky waters. Even if you don’t have any major issues going on in your life right now, writing down your thoughts can help make sense of things that may not otherwise be clear without taking time out for reflection.

Journaling helps build self-confidence by providing tangible evidence of progress over time as well as recognition for successes achieved along the way–even those seemingly small accomplishments that are easy to forget or overlook during daily life’s hustle and bustle. Seeing your growth documented makes it easier to trust yourself more fully; something essential when striving towards any goal you set out for yourself.

Benefits of a Mental Health Coach

Mental Health Coach sitting with a male client

Mental health coaches are professionals who specialize in providing tailored advice and guidance to people who need help managing their mental health. They work with individuals, couples, families, or groups to help them identify areas of concern and develop strategies for addressing those issues.

Mental Health Coach sitting with a male client

Mental health coaching is a relatively new field that has grown rapidly
over the past few years as more people have become aware of its benefits.


A mental health coach can provide an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve their well-being or manage existing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or stress-related disorders. The coach will typically begin by conducting an assessment to determine the individual’s needs and preferences before designing a personalized plan that takes into account both short-term goals and long-term objectives. This approach allows for ongoing monitoring of progress so that any changes can be quickly addressed if necessary.

The primary benefit of working with a mental health coach is having access to someone knowledgeable about various methods of self-care and emotional regulation techniques. Coaches also often act as mentors – offering support and insight throughout the process – which helps clients stay motivated towards achieving their desired outcomes. Many coaches incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation into their sessions in order to further encourage relaxation and inner peace; this enables individuals to recognize when they are becoming overwhelmed or stressed out before it spirals out of control.

In terms of structure, most mental health coaching sessions last anywhere from thirty minutes up to several hours depending on the client’s specific needs; these meetings may take place in person or via online video conferencing services like Zoom or Skype depending on what works best for everyone involved. While some coaches may offer flat rate fees others charge based on the time spent together; regardless though all services should include clear expectations regarding privacy policies plus comprehensive information about costs upfront so there are no surprises down the line.

Improved Self-Awareness

Having a mental health coach can help individuals become more self-aware. The first step to being self-aware is understanding and recognizing one’s thoughts, feelings, motivations, and behaviors in different situations. A mental health coach can provide support in this area by helping the individual recognize how their emotions are impacting their decision-making. This may include uncovering patterns of behavior that need to be addressed or examining the impact of external influences on an individual’s mindset. Through this process, individuals can start to understand why they react in certain ways and gain insight into what they might do differently when faced with similar situations in the future.

Moreover, working with a mental health coach also gives individuals an opportunity to practice healthy communication skills such as active listening and expressing themselves effectively without becoming defensive or aggressive. By developing better communication techniques through these conversations, individuals will have a greater awareness of how they interact with others which will lead them toward healthier relationships overall. Having improved self-awareness enables people to take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming external factors for negative outcomes which leads to personal growth over time as well as increased emotional intelligence.

Enhanced Coping Skills

A mental health coach can help to develop and enhance a person’s coping skills. Coping skills are techniques used to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, or other difficult emotions. They may include problem-solving strategies, relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, or developing self-care habits like journaling or taking time for yourself. A mental health coach can provide support in learning these new skills and teach clients how to use them effectively when faced with challenging situations.

When working with a mental health coach the focus is on personal growth rather than finding solutions to problems alone. This means that they will provide guidance while also encouraging their client’s autonomy by helping them find what works best for them individually when it comes to improving their overall well-being. Working together allows the individual to explore various options until they find an approach that fits their unique needs and preferences.

Having enhanced coping skills can improve one’s ability to manage difficult emotions in healthy ways rather than resorting back to negative behaviors like substance abuse or self-harm which only further exacerbates existing issues in the long run. Mental health coaching provides individuals with the necessary tools needed so that they feel empowered enough to take charge of their own lives without relying solely on others for support during times of distress.

Greater Sense of Control

Mental health coaches provide their clients with the tools they need to take control of their own lives. Through empowering conversations and coaching techniques, a mental health coach can help you discover what makes you feel empowered, inspired, and motivated. This can give you a greater sense of control over your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. With this increased awareness, it becomes easier to make choices that are in line with your values, beliefs, and goals.

With the help of a mental health coach, clients learn how to identify any unhealthy patterns or behaviours that may be holding them back from achieving their potential. Clients also develop strategies for managing stressors more effectively while learning new skills such as communication techniques or time management strategies. These tools can then be used to create positive changes in one’s life which leads to an overall increase in well-being.

Working with a mental health coach is about taking action toward self-improvement rather than simply talking about problems and concerns. Mental health coaches not only offer support but also challenge clients when needed so that they stay focused on meeting their goals and objectives along the journey toward improved wellbeing.

Increased Resilience

When it comes to emotional health, having a mental health coach can be beneficial in many ways. One of the main advantages is increased resilience. Mental health coaching helps individuals become more resilient by teaching them healthy coping strategies and providing them with the tools they need to navigate difficult life situations. Through this process, individuals are better equipped to handle challenging circumstances without becoming overwhelmed or stressed out.

Mental health coaches also help people recognize their own strengths and ability to overcome obstacles and come up with creative solutions when facing adversity. They provide guidance on how best to use those strengths for success in various areas of life, such as relationships, work, or school. Coaches also assist clients in identifying any potential weaknesses that may hinder progress and devise plans for improvement if needed.

The support provided by mental health coaches helps build self-esteem over time which can lead to greater confidence when dealing with tough challenges and even prevent future episodes of depression or anxiety from occurring altogether due to improved coping skills and overall well-being that results from working together towards common goals.

Optimized Wellbeing

Optimized well-being is an important aspect of mental health that many people overlook. With the help of a mental health coach, individuals can focus on their physical and psychological needs to create a more balanced lifestyle. A mental health coach will work with you to assess your current situation, identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for achieving greater overall wellness.

Your coach can provide guidance on how to build healthy habits such as eating nutritious foods, engaging in regular exercise, or finding ways to reduce stress levels. They may also suggest different forms of therapy or activities that promote relaxation like yoga or mindfulness practice. Ultimately, having someone who understands your individual needs and provides tailored advice makes it easier to stay motivated toward achieving long-term goals related to improved well-being.

Working with a mental health coach helps put things into perspective by providing an objective view on any challenges you face throughout life’s journey – be it personal relationships or career decisions – helping you make informed choices based on what works best for your unique situation.