What Is Obsessive Thinking?
Obsessive thinking simply means you can’t stop replaying something over and over in your head. It may start as simply missing someone who’s no longer there, or replaying a personal or internal conflict, or wondering if you’ve turned off the stove every time you leave the house. These things are normal, to an extent; but when you can’t get them out of your head no matter how hard you try, the obsessive thinking can become pathological and keep you from functioning normally.
No matter how hard a person might try, no amount of willpower seems capable of stopping your mind from being crazy, it just won’t go away, at least not until it is good and ready to go. Usually this happens when there are some other thoughts that are strong enough to replace whatever your obsessively thinking about right now, and then the whole cycle begins again. It may seem impossible to get rid of obsessive thinking but that’s not the case. Here are 5 ways to stop obsessive thinking.
Five Effective Ways To Control Obsessive Thoughts
- Make a list of everything you obsessively think about. Then write down what type of things trigger each, and what you do after. What coping strategies are you already using that work?
- The 3 second rule – Allow yourself 3 seconds to think about the obsessive item, then purposefully redirect your attention to something more positive, a feeling, a happy memory, a pleasant vacation, or a kind word.
- Learn how to relax. Sometimes just thinking the word “relax” softly in your head with a deep breath is helpful. I often whisper to myself, “You’re going to be okay.” (Talking to yourself is ok as a solution to obsessive thinking. If people think you’re crazy, it is ok because you kind of are! Kidding, kidding.)
- Learn the art of taking minute vacations, stop and smell a rose, close your eyes and let the sun shine on your face, pet an animal (in fact animals can offer a lot of comfort if we stop to enjoy them for a few minutes).
- Obsessions are projections of us into the past, the future, other people and situations. Learn to live in the present. Often our present is actually going quite well, except that we are allowing what is good to be ruined by what was, or what we worry might be. The future nor the past has no bearing on the present moment. Take a minute and realize that everything is ok right now, right here in this moment and that you have absolutely nothing to worry about because you are just fine RIGHT NOW.
Don’t Let Obsessive Thinking Ruin Your Daily Life
Obsessive thinking can ruin a person’s daily life. It can also be damaging to a person’s well-being and mental health too. That is why it is good to have 5 ways to stop obsessive thinking so that when those kinds of thoughts begin to intrude into your mind you have a way out and a solution to take care of it quickly and easily without having to put too much thought into it. Because that’s the whole point, to stop the thoughts.