Nolen-Hoeksema, a pioneer in the study of women’s rumination and depression, is considered the go-to expert in the field. She describes rumination as a situation in which the mind goes round and round over negative events in the past, problems in the present or bad things you’re worried will happen in the future. This inability to release bad thoughts and memories can get you down. You rehash these events and analyze them, but you don’t do much of anything to solve the problems or feel more in control of your situation. These are negative thoughts, and negative thought breed hopelessness, despair, and low motivation and self-esteem. When you rehearse negative thoughts over and over, they grow even more powerful. Stresses seem bigger, and you’re more likely to react in an intense way, even thinking things are worse than they really are. And, if by chance, you are vulnerable to depression, you could end up seriously depressed. More tomorrow.