You are looking for the warning signs that tend to trigger off your episodes of rumination. Most people have their own particular cues. A common warning sign is beginning to feel stressed, with the associated physical response of increased tension , increased heart rate, a sinking feeling, in the stomach and attention narrowing , but yours may be different.

Once you spot those warning signs, you have the chance to ‘nip rumination in the bud’ by doing something else instead before it gets going . This is how you change the habit by doing something different from rumination when you notice the warning signs. Repeated practice of your new alternative response will eventually build up a more helpful habit.

When trying to spot warning signs, it is helpful to look at the situations in which rumination occurs in as much detail as possible , so that you don’t miss any important clues . It is helpful to pay close attention to the sensory details of situation-the sights , sounds feelings-and notice their details , for example how people are speaking or standing . It might be that there is something quite small , such as a smell, or a tone of voice, which reminds you of difficult times in the past and thus triggers rumination.

Try to figure out what your warning signs for rumination might be by looking closely at your diaries. Because some warning signs come up fairly frequently, it may be helpful to review the checklist below to see if any of these apply to you.

Once you have identified your warning signs , you can look out for them and then try to read differently.

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