to deeply think


to ruminate = grübeln, nachsinnen, sinnieren, Gedanken machen —— to ruminate = wiederkäuen



“The present study investigated the effect of positive RUMINATION training in expressive writing on psychological adjustment and WM* updating capacity.”

Hongfei Yang and Huizhong Li - Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

*Working Memory

Did you


- to think carefully and for a long period about something
- to think seriously or deeply about something
- to chew again, or over and over (food)

Oxford Dictionaries / The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition


From the 1530s, “to turn over in the mind”, also “to chew cud*” from Latin ruminatus, past participle of ruminare “to chew the cud; turn over in the mind”, from rumen “gullet**”.

*wiedergekäutes Futter; **Speiseröhre


It is well known that we reactivate and consolidate memories while we’re asleep, transforming them from short-term memories to long-term ones.

But researchers at the University of Geneva in Switzerland wanted to know how our brains choose which memories to keep
for the long term, and which to reject. They discovered that pairing specific information with a positive reward just before sleeping enhances retention of that item.

Writing in Big Think, Jonny Thomson of Oxford University’s entrepreneurial program Oxford Foundry, suggests pairing information you want to remember with a highly pleasant experience, such as eating a particularly delicious chocolate.

Your brain will associate the two and store the information for the long term in the expectation that recalling it will lead to more chocolate.


ask oneself about, bat it around, be lost in thought, be miles away, bethink, bring to light, chew over, cogitate about, contemplate, daydream, debate with oneself, deliberate, dwell over, envision, kick around, meditate over, moon over, mull over, muse on, noodle around, reflect, run up a flagpole, ponder, puzzle over, RUMINATE, size up, sleep on it, stare into space, stargaze, stew about, sweat over, visualise, weigh up, woolgather, wrestle with

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Please let me RUMINATE on the proposal and I’ll give you my decision tomorrow.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

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