Sunday, January 6, 2013

Rumination Without Anxiety

I've always been a "thinker." I like to run ideas through my head, thinking about different options. Or really, even when my brain has a solution, stuff runs through my head in a repetitive way. I calculate my taxes in my head weirdly often, for instance. I'm sure it's related to OCD, in the way my brain works.

I've never tried to stop it, because there's no anxiety involved. In fact, usually I enjoy it. Lately, I've been running through ideas for making money on the side and eventually starting my own business so I can leave my dysfunctional workplace.

There's no anxiety involved with it, but it sits thisclose to anxiety about losing my job, so I wonder if I should try to limit the amount of time I spend doing it. Or only allow myself to think it through when I'm actually taking action on it. It feels like this would help me to stop the rumination that does have an OCD component.

What do you think?


  1. My ruminations normally involve anxiety--lots of it. I would say that if the thinking is not causing you anxiety, then there's no reason to stop it. But you sense that some of the thinking is stemming from your anxiety about losing your job. So perhaps you could think about the side work only at certain times. Practicing that might help with being able to stop the ruminations that do cause anxiety. Hope this helps!

    I, too, am thinking of ways to earn money on the side so someday I can have my own business. Except my ruminations are fraught with anxiety because I'm really not liking my job right now.

  2. Oh, the way you explain how your brain works reminds me so much of my son.........always thinking! I find it comforting that the ruminating doesn't always come with anxiety. I guess only you know if you need to "cut down" on all that thinking. Can you? Is it really something you can easily control? I wouldn't think so, but I don't think that much, so I don't really know. :)

  3. Hmmm . . . good question. I don't know. I think maybe the key is if you are feeling anxiety or not. If you are enjoying what you are doing, then hey - why not go for it?

    I think everybody worries about their job at least a little - that's probably normal. Personally, I always think it's good to have a little back up plan going - you know, like trying to keep some savings, a little networking to keep options open, stuff like that. I just have to be careful to not go overboard with the planning, etc. It would be so easy for me to go down that road, unfortunately.

  4. It's an interesting question. I know that I am concerned that anything I obsess about - even if it does not make me anxious - might be a sort of manic thing. My pdoc says it isn't, and not to worry. But we all know how well the phrase "Don't Worry" works :)
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

  5. I'm exactly the same way. In my head...A LOT. And I also completely understand how many of the thoughts are really close to something that makes you anxious. For example with me - thinking about budgeting for my trip to Africa....that line of thinking can quickly ramp up into "what if" and worst case scenario anxiety. Usually I am able to remind myself to stick to problem solving and staying in the moment. Thinking to problem solve is great - it's just that those of us with OCD take it overboard.

  6. Hello Ann,
    I just found your blog site. My name is Paul, from Australia. I am also 41 and have lived with OCD for years. I will be starting my own OCD blog soon so hopefully I will be able to communicate with you through that.
    In regards to your post, I agree with Tina.
    Best regards,