Post-conversation rumination : I wanted to start... - OCD-UK

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Post-conversation rumination


I wanted to start working from home at 9. But just before 9 I bumped into my neighbours, and had a conversation with them. The conversation objectively was fine, nothing out of the ordinary. But I felt so anxious during and after that 45 minutes later I'm still feeling anxious and not able to start work. Does anyone else feel this way? Any tips for being able to stop replaying the conversations in my head (and out loud when I'm alone), and to just let go?


8 Replies

One of the things OCD does to you is reduce your ability to concentrate. It makes you ruminate. Perhaps a fifteen minute or so break could help. Just let the thoughts wash over you, without questioning or challenging them. No need to meditate properly. A cup of tea might help you to relax.

Then get down to work. Have another break and allow the thoughts to come in again. Try not to argue with them or anything like that.

It's not the easiest trick to learn, and I admit I haven't mastered it, but it does help to give it a go. But the thoughts often leave you alone if you don't interrogate them too much. It's as though they get fed up without the attention.

Hi Sallyskins,

Thank you for this, I always worry about taking breaks and "wasting time", but to be honest this is probably better than sitting ruminating for 45 mins. This sounds structured too and I like that, so I am going to give this a go next time - thank you for this advice, I always see your replies on this forum and they're always super helpful :)


Thanks for the nice words bookworm! I think breaks are necessary, not a waste. There are plenty of studies that demonstrate that just sitting at a desk or whatever doesn't necessarily get the job done, and that shorter working hours can be more efficient. And not taking a break can make you less efficient as you feel stale and need a battery recharge!


I am the same I have constant chit chat in my head and my head feels like a garbage. I hate it and as soon as I start chatting in my head I do push up on the wall or youtube Zumba. I also have a cat who distracts me of these pre and post chats. I don’t know why I do this?

English is not my first language so I used to think what to say how to say etc but I started doing this even for my own language. I am taking 100 mg sertaline for depression it is not much use for pre - post conversation.

Just be mindful and exercise and get a pet I would suggest. By the way I have been member of this group over 2 years and my first message Best wishes

bookworm1996 in reply to Alyel

Hello Alyel,

Thanks so much for sharing your tips, I have found exercise to be helpful too :) I've been wanting to get a dog for ages, but my housing doesn't allow it - hopefully one day!!

Also just wanted to mention here for anyone who might see this as it is something I've recently found to be helpful with rumination: there's a technique usually used for studying called the Pomodoro technique. It consists of 25 minutes of work/focus on whatever task, and then 5 minutes break, repeated however many times you like. I've been using it this past week to help me focus on work, but have noticed my mind is significantly quieter, as I'm able to tell myself that during the 25 minutes I have to focus on work with no distractions (that includes unhelpful thoughts!), but that I can think about the thoughts during the 5 minutes. My therapist told me that it would be helpful to delay thinking about unhelpful thoughts, but I had always found this really difficult to do until I used this technique. Something about structuring it in this way (I follow along with this youtube video has really helped and the thoughts have felt less urgent when I don't engage straight away.

All the best


I shall check this out! Thanks for posting.

Alyel in reply to bookworm1996

Hello bookworm1996

Thank you for your reply and sharing your experience. Is rumination classed as OCD.? I don’t have anything else except chatting myself which is making me tired. I wonder if this is genetic. I remember my Dad used to do this when he was older.

The link for you tube does not work. Is the address correct please can you check it? I a on sertaline but did not help me for rumination but it lifts your mood and you don’t feel negative. You should give it a go.

Best wishes

Sometimes I have ruminated over some conversations many of times 'unknowingly' that I was ruminating but I now know different.

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