OCD Rumination: How to Stop Obsessing and Start Living

OCD Rumination: How to Stop Obsessing and Start Living

Do you find yourself ruminating on thoughts about your OCD all day long? If so, you’re not alone. Rumination is a common symptom of OCD, and it can be tough to break the habit. In this blog post, we will discuss what is OCD rumination and some common symptoms to recognize the situation. We will also talk about some tips and strategies that can help you overcome rumination and get on with your life.

What Is OCD Rumination?

What Is OCD Rumination?OCD rumination is described as repetitive, intrusive, and distressing thoughts that are experienced in individuals with OCD. These thoughts are often about things that the individual fears or is anxious about and can be related to any number of topics or themes. For example, someone with OCD may ruminate on their fear of getting sick, being rejected by others, or making mistakes.

Moreover, rumination is often characterized by a sense of helplessness and a lack of control. The individual may feel like they are “stuck” in their thoughts and that there is no way to escape them. This can lead to significant distress and may even interfere with daily functioning.

Researchers have found that OCD rumination is a risk factor for the development of OCD. Additionally, it has been found to be associated with more severe symptoms and a poorer response to treatment. Even so, there is hope for those who suffer from this form of OCD. With treatment, it is possible to lessen the frequency and intensity of rumination, as well as improve overall functioning.

So, what can you do if you find yourself stuck in the cycle of OCD rumination? There are several treatments and tips that can help you. What you need to do is find what works best for you and your unique situation.

How To Recognize OCD Rumination?

It seems difficult for people to understand what OCD is, let alone what rumination is. Here are some questions that may help you determine if your thoughts are obsessions or simply worries:

  • Do you spend more than an hour a day thinking about your obsessions?
  • Do your obsessions make it difficult for you to concentrate on work or school?
  • Also, do your obsessions make it difficult for you to enjoy activities that you used to enjoy?
  • Do your obsessions cause you significant distress?
  • Do your obsessions take up so much time that they interfere with important aspects of your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be dealing with OCD rumination. Let’s discuss some of the common obsessions and compulsions with OCD rumination:


Common obsessions with OCD rumination include:

  • fearing that something bad will happen (e.g., I’m going to get sick, my loved ones will die),
  • doubting one’s memories (e.g., Did I really turn off the oven?),
  • needing things to be ‘just right’ (e.g., My clothes have to be arranged a certain way or I won’t feel comfortable),
  • worrying about making mistakes (e.g., What if I make a mistake at work and get fired?), and
  • obsessing over details or numbers (e.g., Did I take my medication this morning?).


CompulsionsCommon compulsions with OCD rumination include:

  • checking and rechecking (e.g., Checking the oven to make sure it’s turned off),
  • asking for reassurance (e.g., Asking my spouse if they’re sure I turned off the oven),
  • avoiding people, places, or things (e.g., Avoiding the kitchen because it’s where the oven is), and
  • engaging in mental compulsions (e.g., Counting to three in my head every time I enter the kitchen).

These signs and symptoms will vary from person to person. If you’re not sure if your thoughts and behaviors are due to OCD rumination, it’s important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can conduct a thorough evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis.

If you’re struggling with OCD rumination, know that you’re not alone. Many people suffer from this type of OCD, but with treatment, it is possible to live a happy and healthy life.

What Causes OCD Rumination?

There are many possible causes of OCD rumination. Some people may have a genetic disposition to the disorder, while others may develop it after experiencing a traumatic event. Whatever the cause, OCD rumination can be a very debilitating condition.

Some other risk factors and causes can be:

Obsessing over something can feel like you’re stuck on a never-ending merry-go-round. No matter how much you try to distract yourself, your thoughts always find a way to come back to the thing you’re obsessing about. If you’re struggling with OCD rumination, know that you’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from this disorder, but there is hope.

However, it is important to seek professional help if you think you might be struggling with OCD rumination. A mental health professional can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, and develop a treatment plan to address the root of your obsessions.

How It Can Be Treated?

How It Can Be Treated?The treatment for OCD rumination generally consists of some form of therapy, medications, and other options. Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more detail.

Exposure and response prevention

One of the most effective treatments for OCD rumination is exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). This type of therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger your obsessions and then learning to resist the urge to engage in rumination. This process can be extremely difficult and may require the help of a trained therapist.

Moreover, ERP is a famous and effective treatment for OCD that has been proven to be helpful in treating other mental disorders as well. A study has shown that people with OCD who underwent this therapy had a significantly lower relapse rate than those who did not. So there are success rates and people who have been helped by this therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

CBT is another type of therapy that can be helpful for treating OCD rumination. This type of therapy focuses on helping you to change the way you think about your obsessions and compulsions. CBT can be done with a therapist or on your own using self-help materials. For example, you may learn to challenge the beliefs that fuel your obsessions and practice healthy coping skills.

In addition, CBT is a therapy that includes talk therapy where you discuss your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a therapist. This type of therapy can help to identify any patterns in your thinking that may be fueling your OCD. CBT can also help you to learn how to better manage anxiety and stress.

Mindfulness-based therapies

Mindfulness-based therapies, such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), can also be helpful for treating OCD rumination. These therapies focus on teaching you to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. MBCT works in a similar way to CBT, but with a greater emphasis on mindfulness. For example, your therapist during MBCT may help you to notice the physical sensations you experience when you start to ruminate.

According to studies, people who have received MBCT have had a significant reduction in OCD symptoms. One study found that after eight weeks of therapy, participants had a decrease in both the frequency and intensity of their OCD symptoms.


MedicationsThere are a number of different medications that can be used to treat OCD, including:

These medications can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of OCD. However, they should only be used under the supervision of a qualified mental health professional. As medication can cause side effects, it is important to work with a mental health professional to ensure that the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks.

Moreover, you should discuss all the possible treatment options with your mental health professional before starting any medication. This is because some people may not be able to take certain medications due to medical conditions or other factors. Thus, talk to your mental health professional to find out which treatment option is best for you.

Support groups

It is believed that support groups are beneficial for people with OCD. The thinking is that by sharing your experiences with others who understand what you are going through, you will feel less alone and more supported. There are many online support groups available, as well as in-person support groups. If you are interested in finding support, there are several online directories that can help you locate one in your area. You have to make sure that you go to a reputable site so that you can be sure the group is legitimate.

So, these are some of the ways that you can stop OCD rumination. If you are struggling with OCD, it is important to seek professional help. There are several treatment options that can help you. A professional can help you to understand your thoughts and feelings and work with you to develop healthy coping mechanisms. If you are struggling, please reach out for help. You don’t have to suffer alone.

Is Prevention Possible With OCD Rumination?

Is Prevention Possible With OCD Rumination?OCD rumination is often an incredibly destructive force in sufferers’ lives. But yes it is possible to prevent it, and there are several things you can do:

Educate yourself about OCD rumination

The more you understand your OCD, the better equipped you will be to deal with it. So read up on the subject and learn as much as you can. Also, you just might find that some of the strategies used to treat OCD can be helpful in dealing with rumination as well. It is an important and vital thing that you should do in order to prevent or stop OCD rumination.

Challenge your thoughts

This is easier said than done, but it is crucial. When you find yourself ruminating, try to stop and challenge the thoughts that are going through your head. Are they really true? What evidence do you have to support them? Can you think of any other explanations for what you’re experiencing? This can be a difficult process, but it’s important to keep in mind that just because you have a thought doesn’t mean it’s true.

Reach out to family and friends

People often feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their OCD, but it’s important to reach out to your loved ones and let them know what you’re going through. They can offer support and understanding, and they can also provide a much-needed distraction from your obsessions. Sharing your feelings with others can also help to lessen their power.

Keep a journal

Journaling is believed that it can be helpful in a lot of different ways, and it can also be beneficial for people with OCD rumination. Writing down your thoughts can help you to see them in a different light, and it can also help you to identify any patterns or triggers that might be causing your rumination. Additionally, journaling can be a form of self-care, and it can provide a sense of calm and peace.

Distract yourself

It is often believed that OCD rumination is like a form of mental obsession or compulsion. So one of the best things you can do is to find ways to distract yourself from your thoughts. This can be anything from listening to music to going for a walk to talking on the phone. The important thing is to find something that will take your mind off of your obsessions and help you to relax.

Practice relaxation techniques

There are a number of different relaxation techniques that you can use to help you deal with OCD rumination. Some of these include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Visualization
  • Mindfulness
  • Body scan

These techniques can help to ease your anxiety and stress, and they can also help to calm your mind. It is important to find the technique that works best for you and to practice it on a regular basis.

Incorporate healthy habits

Incorporate healthy habitsWhen you are struggling with OCD, it is important to find healthy coping mechanisms to help you manage your symptoms. This might include things like:

  • Practice exercise
  • Enough sleep
  • Healthy eating
  • Avoid substance abuse
  • Spend time with supportive people

A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety. When you are well-rested, eating right, and getting some exercise, your body is better equipped to handle whatever comes your way- including intrusive thoughts.

If you are struggling with OCD, know that you are not alone. There are many resources to help you and even prevent you from relapsing into old behaviors. Seek out a therapist who specializes in treating OCD, read self-help books, and join support groups. With time and effort, you will more likely to start living a life that is not controlled by your OCD.

When you are ready to make changes in your life, it is important to find a therapist you trust to guide you through the process. And eventually, you will get back your quality of life.


Conclusively, OCD rumination is a very difficult thing to overcome. In simple words, it means to obsessively think about something over and over again. This could be a worry, a fear, or even just a random thought that pops into your head. For people with OCD, these obsessive thoughts can become all-consuming, and it can be very hard to stop them.

However, there are treatments and strategies that can help. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD rumination, please reach out for help. There are people who care and want to see you overcome this difficult challenge. You can also contact Therapy Mantra for more information and resources.

The team of experts here will guide you on how to stop OCD rumination and start living a normal life. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You can also book an online counseling and therapy session or download our free OCD treatment app on Android or iOS.