Table of contents:

Obsessive Thoughts: How To Stop Chasing Them Around? - Self-development
Obsessive Thoughts: How To Stop Chasing Them Around? - Self-development

Video: Obsessive Thoughts: How To Stop Chasing Them Around? - Self-development

Video: Obsessive Thoughts: How To Stop Chasing Them Around? - Self-development
Video: How To Stop Intrusive And Obsessive Thoughts 2023, March

Obsessive thoughts come in series, are often repeated, are accompanied by negative judgments, and are very difficult to control. They have a negative impact on life, because of them mood spoils, irritation, anxiety appear and it becomes difficult to switch to other activities

Obsessive thoughts come late at night, and then you spend hours spinning in bed, trying to distract yourself and finally fall asleep. They torment during the day, like annoying insects - "I'm not good enough", "Did I close the front door with a key?" it was quite different to answer him."

As soon as the obsessive thought begins to attack us, we experience discomfort. Emotions instantly let us know that something is not going the way we would like. Our nature dictates to us - try to avoid discomfort, eliminate what causes unpleasant sensations. Unfortunately, in the case of obsessive thoughts, this simple mechanism does not work.

Thinking trap

Trying to get rid of unpleasant thoughts, we unwittingly fall into the trap of our own thinking. As soon as we instruct ourselves not to think about something, the brain focuses on the task and diligently reminds us of it. The formula “don't think about X” necessarily includes X - the very thing that you can't think about. This phenomenon has been known to man since ancient times and is reflected in many tales and parables.

“To make your wish come true, repeat the spell after me, just don't think about the white monkey,” Hodja Nasreddin punished the greedy usurer when he asked to conjure him a beautiful appearance. Of course, the glorious trickster and connoisseur of human nature did not risk anything - after such an instruction it is simply impossible to get rid of the forbidden image from the head.

Emotional reaction

Thoughts themselves are just fleeting, changing pictures, products of our minds that do not have much meaning until we ourselves decide to attach importance to them. They are not dangerous, do not entail special consequences, do not have any physical effect on our lives. So why is it so difficult to resist some of them, where does such power come from?

It seems that the thoughts to which we ourselves "expose" the emotional assessment are gaining special weight. As soon as one of the images for some reason triggers an emotional reaction in us, especially a negative one, we rush with all the strength of our thinking apparatus to solve the problem of avoiding or alleviating suffering.

How can we get rid of obsessive thinking, even if our brain in this case is working against us?

Three steps to get rid of obsessive thoughts

1. Examining your thoughts

The first step is to identify where the obsessive thoughts come from. This is more complicated than it seems at first glance. Often we miss the moment when the thought has just appeared, and we find ourselves inside a process that has been taking place for a long time, entering the next circle along the usual cognitive loop. Try to catch yourself at the very beginning of this kind of thinking and say to yourself, "Stop, I seem to be going around in circles with these thoughts again." Go back in time, feel the very moment when the thought first appeared.

  • What exactly started the process?
  • How did you react, what emotions did you feel?

For example, you can't concentrate on your daily tasks, you get nervous, anxiously checking instant messengers while waiting for a message from a friend. It feels like something terrible is happening, obsessive thoughts are spinning in my head, one worse than the other. What is the reason for your condition? At the heart of your experiences is the fear for your safety, the fear of losing a friendly connection, which gives you a sense of importance, need and involvement.

For example, the last time you met, you were alerted by his behavior and you are worried about your relationship. Or it seems to you that you yourself were inattentive to him and now you suspect that he could be offended. But these are just your interpretations of the friend's silence. This is not an objective reality, in fact, nothing has happened yet. You are only dealing with your own illusions.

Thoughts are mostly out of our control. They come and go like clouds floating across the sky. By themselves, they cannot harm you unless you evaluate, think out, and interpret them.

Keep an observation diary. Write down each scene carefully according to a diagram.

  1. Episode (what really happened).
  2. Emotional assessment of the situation.
  3. Reflections on the situation.
  4. Conclusions.

Try to "spin" each episode to the very first thought / emotion to understand what your triggers are. Separate your reactions to what actually happened from subsequent reactions to your own interpretations.

2. We are working on adoption

Try to truly accept the fact that thoughts are just images, the product of our brain, the result of the interaction of neurons. In fact, there is no fundamental difference between pleasant, neutral and uncomfortable thoughts, and so that they do not become intrusive, you need to treat them the same way.

The efforts we make to avoid, suppress, or eliminate unpleasant obsessive thoughts lead to their perpetuation. They only gain more and more strength, and our condition is getting worse.

The most destructive are thoughts about what is beyond our influence - something that happened in the past, or is likely in the future

Thinking about this gives us the illusion of control, however, we have no real control in these areas. When faced with intrusive thoughts, try to stay connected to the present.

Take a sober look at the situation - if you can influence what is happening here and now, what is the point in anxiety? Create a realistic action plan and start implementing it. And if you can't do anything, well, try your best to accept this fact. Face your impotence and disappointment, get angry, burn it off. So you will have the strength and energy in order to fill your life with something important and interesting.

3. We explore our emotions, develop emotional intelligence

In order not to allow obsessive thoughts to become your constant companions, it is important to be well oriented in your emotional states.

  • How does your inner life work?
  • What and when do you feel? Why?

As mentioned above, thoughts by themselves have no meaning. It is important what kind of emotional response this or that thought evokes in a person. We all carry with us the baggage of the past, some of the events of which have left deep imprints. We learn the "rules of life" from parents and closest environment, learn, copy and invent our own ways of coping with reality. How well we are oriented in our inner world depends on how we react to what is happening in the outer.

Developed emotional intelligence allows us to reduce the number of automatic thoughts and increase our psychological flexibility. The more aware we become, the less likely we are to be enslaved by obsessive thoughts. You can engage in self-development on your own, with the help of special literature or Internet resources, in groups of relevant directions, with the help of a psychologist or in psychological groups. Representatives of cognitive-behavioral directions and rational-emotive therapists work especially effectively with obsessive thoughts, however, any thoughtful highly professional specialist, regardless of the psychotherapeutic direction, can successfully help you on the path of self-discovery.

It is important to note that intrusive thoughts can also be caused by various mental disorders - obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and organic brain disorders. These diseases should be diagnosed by a specialist, he also prescribes therapy. If you realize that you cannot cope with intrusive thoughts on your own, seek diagnosis and help in correcting this condition from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

Popular by topic