What Is Post Event Rumination? Why Do I Get Anxiety after Social Events?

Written by: Arooj Paulus B. Sc – (Applied Psychology)

Last updated date : February 06, 2023

Do you often overthink past events? Do you ever think that you should not have said this? or why did you act awkward in past? These may be simple questions but don’t feel alone, as we know how stressful it can be. This can be a sign of post event rumination. Let us discuss your questions such as, why do you get anxiety after social events.

RuminationPost Event RuminationCycle of Post Event Rumination
It is the practice of thinking about the same things over and over again, usually sad or bad ones.It occurs when a person is unable to stop thinking about an event that has happened in the past. It is a daily thing for people having social anxiety.It is a harmful thinking cycle that damages a person’s life. It’s a thought pattern in the brain that has repeated worry. It creates a deep hole that can be tough to come out of. It can cause you to be stuck in a past event.

According to research, post event rumination is linked to increasing worry and bad feelings over time. Similarly, it promotes negative thinking. When you are thinking again and again you are stuck in a cycle which can be difficult to break. But don’t worry we are here to help you.

Let us consider the following example which the cycle of post event rumination may involve

  1. A social event happened. E.g. a birthday party.
  2. You started to self-evaluate yourself. E.g. “I am not good at gatherings”, “I must appear decent and social”.
  3. Then after the event, you get anxious and you ruminate. E.g. “I should have done that”, or “Why I did not say that”?
  4. This overthinking will increase your anxiety. E.g. “I am awkward”, or “Why did I do that”?
  5. Soyou are overthinking which leads to anxiety and hence you may start avoiding future social events due to post event rumination.

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Chapter 1:

Signs of Post Event Rumination

Rumination is a fast-paced, recurrent mental process that can be exhausting. They might focus on a particular issue or reflect a variety of different points of view. It can become more intense over time. So here are some of the signs if you are ruminating. Recognize them and stop as soon as possible.

  • You may be unhappy and make your depression worse.
  • It may cause mood changes.
  • You may feel like your mind and thoughts are out of control.
  • You may have racing thoughts about an event.
  • It may be difficult for you to focus on or remember anything else.
  • You can’t rest because your thoughts would not stop.
  • You may begin to catastrophize or imagine the worst situation.
  • Sleepless because you are ruminating.
  • It can cause upset stomach and limited appetite due to constant worry.
  • You may have headache because your mind is exhausted.
  • It can increase your blood pressure.
  • You may have anxiety about social events.
  • You avoid social events.
  • It may result in emotions of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
  • You may have trouble with relationships.
  • Overall, It may lead to poor health conditions, both physical and mental.
  • If you are having these problems, you can seek for further help at our website.

Chapter 2:

What Are the Reasons That You May Get Anxiety After Social Events?

As we discussed earlier, the cycle of rumination is responsible for making you anxious for and after social events. Our thinking may be stuck in a cycle to think about a social incident again and again. It also involves evaluating yourself on unrealistic standards so you may be doing a negative evaluation of yourself which may further upset you. While the cycle is further maintained by your concern that what others might think about you.

For instance, you went to a seminar. An uncertain event happened that you made yourself awkward, e.g. you made a slip of a tongue while saying your speech. If you frequently overthink then you will think about the incident again and again, while you negatively judge yourself. E.g. “you are a fool”, or, “they think you are a fool”. So when you will be in a similar social situation in the future, you may recall the past event that went wrong. It can cause you to enter the event with a heightened level of anxiety because you expect the same outcome. As a result, the cycle continues. So you get anxiety after social events due to post event rumination.

Chapter 3:

What Are the Causes That You Are Doing Post Event Rumination?

We often overthink situations. But for some people, it is not a choice as they cannot help their overthinking. Rumination is done for a variety of reasons. Some common causes for rumination can be as follows

  • If you assume that thinking continuously about something would give you a solution for it.
  • If you experienced mental or bodily suffering in the past.
  • Being subjected to uncontrollable stresses.

Chapter 4:

How Can You Stop Rumination?

Yes, you! You can do it yourself. You have control over your mind and body. your mind has power over your thoughts, don’t let your thoughts have power over you. So if you think that you are doing post event rumination, you should be aware of some ways that can help you stop your thinking cycle before it becomes uncontrollable. So you should take some active steps to stop rumination in the first place. Here are some tips

  • Distract yourself
  • Look for the practical solution to the problem
  • Challenge your thoughts
  • Enhance your self-esteem
  • Meditate
  • Know your triggers
  • Talk to a friend
  • Try therapy

It is possible to stop rumination with awareness and certain lifestyle modifications. If you’re having trouble using these tips to stop your rumination, you should get help from a mental health expert.

Chapter 5:

Call to Action

Read the article Past Mistakes Cause Anxiety? Worry about the Past at Epsychonline to know your anxiety triggers and to overcome your rumination related to past mistakes. Further, you can start a course titled “DBT for Social Anxiety” at Epsychonline, to get help and manage your anxiety related to social events. We hope to be of help to you. Good luck with your healing!

"Learnt a lot from this course" Sally

51 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

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25% discount