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… different from every self-help book I’ve read before.

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Hello Olle,

I consider your book Quit Ruminating and Brooding is incredibly good. It is easy to read, understand and embrace. Your examples from real life are very interesting . I have lived with worry and anxiety very long and have read several self-help books.

Your book is different from every self-help book I’ve read before. Thank you very much for a very good book, which has already helped me so much and surely will make many people feel better.

Best wishes,


I have just finished your book “Quit ruminating and brooding” Thank you. I have been diagnosed with OCD and GAD.
I have very actively avoided comforting thoughts and instead increased the anxiety according to the examples in the book.
This has led to a feeling close to salvation when the anxiety released and a feeling of being high.

Best Regards;


Email from (the full email address not to be published)

Hello Olle! I do not know how to thank you. Your book “Quit ruminating and brooding” gave me a chance to a life. After postpartum depression, OCD and paralyzing anxiety I had given up. I found your book and it saved me. Thank you! / A H

Messenger from (full name not to be published)

Hi Olle. I read your book “Quit ruminating and brooding” it describes very well my thought patterns. I have just read page 48 and have already started to think differently. The reason for writing to you is that I am very grateful that you have bothered to write this book.

Best wishes,

Hello Olle,

I bought your book about rumination and anxiety recently. I wish I had read it twenty years ago. It has given me understanding and tools to work with. Thank you.

In a letter from a becoming patient:

“….. I started to read Steven Hayes book about rumination, but his book was too difficult and in December I had a mental slump. I continued to ruminate and could not understand why I felt so bad.

In the beginning of January, I read your book and much fell into place. Suddenly I understood that what my friends, my fiancé and my therapist had been doing was wrong.”

“When I read the book finally very much fell into place. It seemed to be written about me. I recognized myself in the description of the ruminating. Immediately after I had read it, I felt a great relief. Suddenly I understood why I have felt so bad – I had been ruminating. Thousand thanks!”

Comment to a study where 140 ruminators were treated with amazing results via internet with the method described in “Quit ruminating and brooding”. Quote from a personal mail to the author from one of the researchers:

“Still better is that the results prevail in the 4 months follow up. What an incredible treatment model you have invented Olle!”

Erik M Andersson, lic psychologist, PhD
The Karolinska Institutet Stockholm

Stop worrying – the new model

When you google “stop worry” you find sites that redommend 5 steps, 9 steps or even 13 steps in order to stop your worry by distraction.

These steps sometimes are helpful for you to get rid of the worry instantly, but the worry unfortunately comes back. And that seems to be inevitable and the distraction seems to fuel the production of discomforting thoughts in the long run.

This new model for how to stop worrying and ruminating is aiming to train your brain to refrain from producing discomforting and worrying thoughts – to extinguish the habit of thinking discomforting and upsetting thoughts. This is a more permanent way to deal with the worry.

The new model was first presented in 2007 in the book “Quit ruminating and brooding“. It has now been tested in two very large scale studies (in press) with 140 subjects in the first study. In the second study (with 340 subjects) the new model has proven  to be even more effective than the standard treaments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) with their different stressmanagement methods.

What is so special about this new model?

It does indeed not strive to relieve your uneasiness immediatly, but to free you in a longer run and permanently.

It aims to train your warning or scary brain to refrain from seeking threats, dangers and producing discomforting thoughts when you are feeling low, guilty or are anxious and aroused.

The book “Quit ruminating and brooding” has become very popular in Sweden and the nordic countries (small countries in Scandinavia) and has sold more than 29000 copies to date. The book is easy to understand to anyone and it is appreciated by the common man as well as by psychologists and students. Why not try it? You might regret and worry about it if you do not.

The book is available in English since 2015

Get the book

  • Distraction might temporarily relieve the worry, but it is no cure. Instead it might prolong it.
  • Eagerness to quit worry in a wrong way intensifies it.
  • Refrain from comforting when afflicted by problems that cannot be solved.
  • Do not seek answers to questions that have no answers.
  • Do not try to understand things that are incomprehensible.
  • If you accept the presence of your discomforting and intrusive thoughts – you eventually kill them.
  • If you really want to learn how to quit worrying  Read the book.

If you consider buying the book – please buy the green och black version. AuthorHouse (the white version of the book) is illegally printed and distriguted by AuhtorHouse/Author Solutions.

Generalization (continuation of previous posts)

When Albert had become conditioned to be afraid of the rabbit he escaped in any way possible from his white rabbit. With his safety-behaviors, he kept his conditioned fear alive, and another thing also happened. His fear spread to other rabbit-like objects. He was frightened by a white rat, later he was frightened by a piece of white cotton waste, and even a man with a great white beard. This is called generalization.

To apply safety-behaviors in order to escape things that scare us makes objects that are similar to what we are afraid of frightening. The fear “contaminates” things that resemble the things you were initially afraid of.

The more you try to escape from and fight your discomforting thoughts with the help of comforting thoughts, the more frightening the discomforting thoughts become, and the more often they appear. Generalization also makes new thoughts that are close to the initial thought frightening – compare the rabbit, the rat, a white piece of waste cotton and a great white beard.

                      The human brain also has an incredible ability to relate and connect old experiences and thoughts to ongoing thoughts. This, along with generalization, leads the contents of the discomforting thoughts to become increasingly distanced from the initial discomforting thought. The more comforting thoughts, the more imaginative the contents of the discomforting thoughts may become – even unrealistic. In the end, it is possible that you feel bad from completely illogical thoughts, even though your common sense tells you that these thoughts are not true.

The common sense in the comforting thoughts is no match for the conditioned discomfort that the discomforting thoughts automatically conjure up. You cannot fight conditioned feelings with logic and logical comforting thoughts.

Comforting thoughts make the contents of discomforting thoughts increasingly different, more fantastic and unrealistic. This is because of generalization.

This is an exerpt from the book Quit Ruminating and Brooding by Olle Wadström. Comments and discussions are encouraged.

The book is available in two similar versions. Please choose the green and black version. AuthorHouse (the white version of the book ) print and sell the book illegally.

Continuation of article below

Albert had his attention directed towards the rabbit when he was frightened. The rabbit was removed and was not visible to him when he calmed down again. Fear (anxiety) and the presence of rabbit were connected, and calm was connected to the absence of rabbit.

An object or an event may acquire frightening characteristics if it disappears from you when you are frightened and is not with you when you are calming down. What happens is called conditioning, and the thing that acquires the automatically frightening characteristic is called a conditioned stimulus.

The fact that it was other people who removed the rabbit from Albert, and that he himself did not escape is of no importance. Only the fact that the rabbit was with Albert when he had anxiety, but was not there when he was calmed made him frightened of the rabbit. In the same way that Albert became frightened of his favorite rabbit, it is possible to become frightened by natural occurrences like standing in line, riding a bus, going to the movies, or the heart skipping a beat.

When you ruminate, you escape your discomforting thoughts with the help of your comforting thoughts. This leads to feelings of increased discomfort from the discomforting thoughts. As soon as conditioning has occurred, the discomforting thoughts automatically trigger discomfort. They have become conditioned stimuli for unpleasantness.

Escape, avoidances, and other safety-behaviors increase the sensitivity for the things that you escape or insure yourself against. In attempting to disprove, avoid or distract yourself from discomforting thoughts with comforting thoughts, you make them more frightening, painful and unpleasant.

When discomforting thoughts become increasingly discomforting through conditioning, it feels even more pressing to thwart them with more comforting thoughts. This makes discomforting thoughts even more discomforting, and may result in a vicious circle.

Comforting thoughts make you feel more discomfort in the face of discomforting thoughts through conditioning. This makes it feel even more necessary to use comforting thoughts to thwart the increased discomfort. In the long term, comforting thoughts make you feel worse from your discomforting thoughts, and even lead to more discomforting thoughts.

This is an exerpt from the book Quit Ruminating and Brooding by Olle Wadström. Comments and discussions are encouraged.

The book is available in two similar versions. Please choose the green and black version. AuthorHouse (the white version) keep my legally earned royalty to themselves.

Rumination is a chain of thoughts

We perform a lot of behaviors in chains. Anything from putting on a shirt to riding a bicycle, playing the piano or driving are examples of behavioral chains. All major and joint behaviors are behavioral chains where every small, well performed partial behavior leads to reinforcement which triggers the next partial behavior.

Allow me to illustrate a behavioral chain with the vacuum-cleaning example. You vacuum the left corner (R1) and observe with pleasure how the dust bunnies disappear (C1), this proviedes the impulse (S2) for you to move the nozzle to the carpet to vacuum there (R2), and when you hear pebbles rattling in the tube (C2), you are pleased and know that (S3) it is now time to move the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner again.

S1 – R1 – C1/S2 – R2 – C2/S3 – R3 – C3/S4 – R4 – C4/S5 – R5 – C5/S6 – and so on

This formula illustrates how behavior analysis would transcribe such a chain. S is a starter for (R1) which gets is reinforcement (C1). This reinforcement also acts as the trigger (S2) for the next partial behavior (R2) whose reinforcement (C2) acts as the trigger for the next behavior (R3) and so on.

Let us now look at the behavioral chain in ruminating as a chain of behaviors. Ruminating consists of the two parts, the discomforting thoughts (R), and the comforting thoughts (C). The comforting thoughts act both as reinforcements for discomforting thoughts as well as a trigger for thinking the next discomforting thought (R2). Rumination is driven forward by the comforting thoughts.

At the same time that the comforting thought thwarts the discomfort that the discomforting thought brings, which is pleasant, it also triggers the next discomforting thought. The result becomes a behavioral chain, driven by the effort to thwart/ reduce or eliminate discomfort.

We now understand the dynamics of ruminating, but we still do not have an explanation as to why we feel so bad when we ruminate. The answer to this is conditioning.

This is an exerpt from the book Quit Ruminating and Brooding by Olle Wadström. Comments and discussions are encouraged.

The book is available in two similar versions. Please choose the green and black version. AuthorHouse (the white version) keep my legally earned royalty to themselves because of a self-imposed rule.

Ruminating is the “tennis” of the brain – the internal argumentation

Ruminations can be likened to a game of tennis, where one side hits a frightening thought, and the calming side returns it with a comforting thought. Each time the “ball” comes over to the other side, it can be returned. The game can go on forever. Since we are intelligent beings, we keep finding new frightening aspects, or we get new irritating ideas, and find new comforting thoughts.

Ruminating is an internal dialogue, or discussion or debate.

Our ability to see new dangers leads to a never ending shift in the contents of ruminations, even if it is about the same subject or field.

Look at this example of how rumination can function. Let the tennis game begin.

Discomforting thoughts                   Comforting thoughts

  • What if the interest rate increases?
                                                        The interest rate has not increased for a 
  • Sooner or later it is bound to increase. It has always been up and down. If it increases, our living costs will hit the ceiling and we will have to move.
                                                           No expert has talked about increased                                                                     interest rates recently.

In the thirties, the stock market crashed and interest rates increased overnight without people knowing about it ahead of time, because if they did, they would have sold their stock shares before the crash.
                                                        Economists are more competent now, so                                                              that could  not happen in such a surprising                                                           way these days.

But the monetary system is also more complicated now and, hence, more vulnerable. And if the interest rate increased by 2%, we might not be able to afford food. Then we will be forced to sell our house.                                                                                                We will be alright, one way or another.                                                                 We will get plenty of money for our house                                                             if we sold it now.

  • Then where would we move?
                                                                  There are plenty of apartments in                                                                           Olsberga.

In that case, the children will have to change schools, and they will lose all their friends.
                                                              There are probably many teachers that                                                                  are better  out there, and the children                                                                    would not have as far to school.

They might get bullied.
                                                                Why would they? They have always                                                                       been well liked and popular.

There are a lot of problems in Olsberga and my children might end up in a bad crowd and start smoking and drinking.
                                                                Why would they do that all of a                                                                               sudden? That has not happened before.

If they do not make new friends, they might start hanging out with kids who do drugs.
                                                               And so on.

  • And so on.

Ruminations can go on for a long time. There are really no boundaries for how long they might go on. Hereby, the intelligence and imagination of human beings become a burden.

This is an exerpt from the book Quit Ruminating and Brooding by Olle Wadström. Comments and discussions are encouraged.

The book is available in two similar versions. Please choose the green and black version or the black version of the book. The white version is illegally printed and sold by AuthorHouse/Author Solutions.

Calming thoughts – comforting thoughts

The other type, the comforting thoughts calm, reassure, and provide clarity, certainty or comfort. In terms of content and function they are the opposite of discomforting thoughts. They temporarily decrease the amount of discomfort. Rather than frightening, these thoughts are used to find explanations, solutions, remedies, and counteractions to the danger, convincing evidence or ways out of the situation. These thoughts are pleasant and provide comfort.

Comforting thought belong to the category of behaviors referred to as “safety behaviors”. Safety behaviors are the behaviors which make us momentarily feel ease and comfort. Comforting thought are invisible safety behaviors which at least give a temporary pleasant and calming feeling.

A few examples of thoughts that comfort with calm, explanations and assuredness

If I did have cancer, the doctor would have noticed it at my last check-up.

Doctors are good at detecting cancer in people, so I can be calm.

I have passed all the previous exams, so why would I not pass this one?

I am not the biggest idiot in the group. Jocke often screws up.

He probably asked me about that because I knew something similar the last time we talked, not because I looked strange.

She probably likes me.

The boss did not look my way when he was complaining. Was that really a sneer? She was smiling at Kalle as well.

Nobody else gets AIDS from the door handle, so it should be safe for me as well.

Of course he loves me and the children otherwise he would have left us…

But I have never hit anyone with the car before, so why would I do it now?

The meaning of life is to serve God.

If I were going insane I would not be thinking like this. Those who are really insane do not realize it.

If I did hit anyone with my car, other drivers would have noticed the victim and taken them to a hospital.

Of course I am a good mother and worker, but everyone has a hard time making everything work all the time.

I never did anything to him, so why should he be mad at me?

A characteristic of comforting thoughts is that they always provide some comfort and some calm. The calming thoughts can be logical, but they can also be unrealistic fantasies and pure wishful thinking. You think about how things might go or how they could have went. They can be fantasies of sort, or daydreams that give some temporary feelings of well-being in a situation that is perhaps hopeless or unsolvable.

I hope that mean idiot dies.

They will soon find out what type of person he is, and then they will regret not giving that job to me.

If I win a million, then I will…

A characteristic of comforting thoughts is that they at least give some temporary comfort or feel somewhat calming at the moment.

This is an exerpt from the book Quit Ruminating and Brooding by Olle Wadstrom. Comments and discussions are encouraged.

The book is available in two similar versions. Please choose the green and black version. AuthorHouse (the white version) keep my legally earned royalty to themselves, because of a self-imposed rule.

Rumination is a behavior stream

cropped-Bild-23.jpgRuminating is not really one behavior, but rather a stream of many behaviors. It is a stream of thoughts. The rumination-stream does not consist of the same thoughts repeating themselves, but rather it consists of two types of thoughts. Two types which each have their own different function.

Behavior analysis is the understanding of the function of different behaviors. One behavior can have different functions, depending on different situations. Different behaviors may have the same function, even though they differ starkly. In order to understand a behavior’s function or purpose, it is essential to see it its context. If you do not understand the function of a behavior, you might treat it improperly. Thoughts are also behaviors, which can have different functions.

Our feelings are affected by external and internal factors. We might get upset, angry, and frightened by things that we hear and see, but also by things that we think. In the same manner, we can be calmed by things we see, hear, and think.

Thoughts in ruminations have two different functions. One kind of thoughts leads to anxiety, insecurity, or discomfort and these thoughts function as frighteners or “triggers”. The other type of thoughts functions as calmers, reassurers, or comforters, also called safety-behaviors.

Thoughts that lead to concern, frighten, lead to uneasiness, anxiety or discomfort in general will henceforth be referred to as “discomforting thoughts”. Thoughts that function as safety-behaviors that are used to rid uncertainty, insecurity, concerns, feelings of discomfort and doubt, will henceforth be referred to as “comforting thoughts”.

This is an exerpt from the book Quit Ruminating and Brooding by Olle Wadstrom. Comments and discussions are encouraged.

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