Sometimes when difficult things happen in our lives we will want to talk about them with our friends or parents. It feels nice to have someone providing us with reassurance that the problem is difficult or annoying or however you are feeling about it. Although it is important to discuss our problems with others, sometimes if we constantly talk about the same thing over and over again it will cause more harm than good.
So what is co-rumination? Co-rumination is discussing problems with others frequently, repeatedly, and excessively while never achieving a solution to fixing the problem. You can think about it almost like a bug bite. The more you scratch, the itchier and redder it becomes. However, if you apply ointment and refrain from touching it, the bug bite begins to disappear.
Researchers found that youth who co-ruminate with friends and parents experience more depressive symptoms. Youth who experienced less depressive symptoms were more likely to have problem-solving conversations.
So let’s say you are having a difficult time in one of your classes. It seems like every assignment you turn in receives a lower and lower grade. Instead of expressing only your frustration about the issue with your friends and parents, it would be good to also talk about different ways to raise your grades back to where they were before and how you will go about that.
By changing the ways we talk with others, our mood may start to change too.
Have you experienced this before – that co-ruminating can make your mood worse? What do you think would help in those types of situations?