Self-Regulation Through Rumination: Consequences and Mechanisms [chapter]

Ernst H. W. Koster, Lin Fang, Igor Marchetti
2014 Handbook of Biobehavioral Approaches to Self-Regulation  
Ernst.Koster@ugent.be 2 When confronted with negative events, such as an argument with our spouse or criticism by the boss, oftentimes we engage in mental activity reflecting on these events. Typically, we aim to understand why these events occurred, how we contributed to such events, and how to avoid them in the future. Despite the adaptive consequences of reflecting on one's feelings, research indicates that persistent thinking about negative feelings may have negative consequences. In the
more » ... text of depression, for instance, such persistent negative thinking, termed "rumination", has been found to be one of the most important risk factors for the development of depressive symptoms (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco, & Lyubomirsky, 2008). Moreover, even in non-depressed, healthy individuals, rumination can be observed and also leads to negative cognitive as well as affective consequences (Watkins, 2008) . In this chapter we will discuss rumination as an important self-regulatory strategy. We start by introducing some of the basic conceptualizations of rumination where different theories have highlighted stable as well as momentary aspects of rumination. Then, we discuss the research on the cognitive and biobehavioral consequences of rumination in more detail. In order to understand the persistent nature of rumination we will then turn to the psychological mechanisms underlying rumination. Finally, we discuss some of the future directions in experimental research on rumination including recent innovative approaches to reduce excessive rumination.
doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-1236-0_24 fatcat:cxnhfyq5q5ggtd6gmbi32nxh5u