When you are reflecting, you take your time to gather all the information known to you in the present. Then you analyse , interpret and conclude from the facts. You recognize mistakes made, see your successes and learn and think of better solutions or action for the future. It is realistic analysis of events with the aim of growth and proactive problem solving .
Rumination will happen daily and it can be compared to thinking continuously on automatic pilot. We essentially keep thinking of a certain issue, making multiple scenario’s in our mind that usually are catastrophic, ask people’s opinions and further rehash the information. This leads to confusion, feeling loss of control and losing focus. It leads also to procrastination, passivity and avoidance. We think that is helps up avoid the inevitable ,but in actuality we are lost in own vicious circle of thoughts. Rumination generally is unhealthy.
Pause and think: Are you ruminating or self- reflecting?
One way of stopping the rumination is Mindfulness. Mindfulness help us stop the automatic train of thoughts and be more self-aware. It help us stay in the here and now. The simplest mindfulness exercise ,which you can do is to stop , look around where you stand/sit and answer these questions:
Ask yourself what do you hear, feel, smell, see and taste?. This can help ground you in the present moment. Think what you need at that moment to fulfil your emotional and/or physical needs. Once grounded and fulfilled and if you feel the need at that moment, then refocus on the facts at hand and start proactive problem solving.