It’s important to distinguish between anxiously ruminating and problem solving. Whilst anxiously ruminating might disguise itself as problem solving it is often destructive, leading to catastrophising which offers few real solutions. On the other hand, whenever I have engaged in problem solving I have often been surprised by how much better I felt for it.
So how do you tell if you are anxiously ruminating as opposed to problem solving?
Well, if you are anxiously ruminating you often go over the same scenarios imagining the worst outcome whereas with problem solving you may think about how to react in the worst case scenario but the focus will be on finding solutions and how to lessen damaging outcomes.
There are so many benefits to problem solving, when we problem solve it gives us an increased sense of certainty which reduces anxiety. It provides us with a strategy moving forwards so we feel more in control and know how to best deal with potential complications. Moreover having a clear strategy gives us an increased sense of optimism which enables us to imagine the best possible outcome, allowing us to feel calmer.
Have you anxiously ruminated in the past? How did this impact you and the situation you were trying to problem solve? Have you problem solved before? What steps did you take and how did it help you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, support and insight from our community, we’d love to hear from you.