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Rumination refers to a repetitive and negative type of thought process, which involves dwelling on negative feelings, experiences, situations, and symptoms of distress as well as the possible causes and consequences of such symptoms. For example, rumination occurs when an individual replays or obsesses on a negative event that happened in the past. Although thinking about past experiences can be helpful for problem solving, doing so in a ruminative manner does not offer a new understanding of the situation and can often lead to negative feelings. Although many individuals ruminate during stressful or difficult times, this mode of thinking tends to be more exaggerated among individuals with mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety disorders.

This entry first addresses how rumination differs from worry, a ...

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