Calming Your Mind and Stop the Ruminations

In our busy lives we can get the feeling that our heads are too full. We just cannot switch off and relax. Thoughts can play over and over in our mind and it can feel exhausting. These thoughts can keep us up late at night analysing a problem and lead to an inability to relax. We can end up with difficulty sleeping which just adds to the exhaustion. When the thoughts tumble over and over like a washing machine this is called RUMINATION. We can feel like prisoners in our own minds.

Rumination can be associated with anxiety, depression, binge eating, alcohol use and substance misuse. It is a cycle. Many people suffer from it and can end up feeling trapped and frustrated. But this cycle CAN be broken.

I want to consider some ways we can tackle this problem naturally without the need for medication in the first instance. If these measures don’t help it may be best to make an appointment with your own doctor for further advice.

Guided Meditations

There are plenty available for free on the internet and you need to find one that is right for you. Listening to these on a regular basis can quieten the mind and help you to relax. Start by putting a search into you tube for ‘guided meditations for rumination’.

Deep Breathing

When the thoughts build up try belly breathing. Stop and close your eyes. Focus on your breath and notice how it is to begin. Drop your shoulders and relax your jaw muscles. Breathe in and count to four. Let your shoulders drop and your stomach expand as you breathe in. Hold your breath for a moment, Breath out and count to seven. Do this for a few minutes until you feel calmer.


Sometimes you just need to stop thinking, and get out and move. Drop what you are doing and escape into the fresh air. I know I know, we don’t all live in a beautiful place with a sunny beach and idyllic freshness…I live in London, I know! I know that this can cause you to think of a thousand and one excuses. Stop thinking about it, grab coat, hat, umbrella, boots, do whatever you need to do and conquer your excuses. Just do it.

Sleep routine

Make your sleeping area clutter free, dimly lit and cosy. Turn off the TV and electronics an hour before sleep and read a book. Enjoy a warm bath and a warm drink and use essential oils like lavender to promote calming feelings in the body. Do your belly breathing again.


Last but certainly not least! Eliminate stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, additives and processed foods. Choose fresh organic produce and lots of plant based foods in the colour of the rainbow. Make slow cooked stews and soups to aid digestion and provide a rich source of good nutrients to nourish your body and your soul. Food containing magnesium and zinc can be helpful to aid relaxation. Add small portions of nuts and seeds for snacks and additions to soups and salads.

Finally, just realising that your brain is full and you are feeling overloaded is the first step in the process of doing something about it. This means you are aware that something is wrong and a good sign that you have already started on the journey towards making things better for yourself. Share your feelings with someone you can trust and take some steps towards emotional freedom.

For more ‘Dr Q’s Views’ visit her Dr Q’s website