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How To Stop Obsessive Thoughts

Added: (Fri Oct 20 2006)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Many people would like to know how to stop obsessive thoughts. It’s common for people to occasionally become tied-up in troubling or negative thoughts (e.g., replaying a conversation, ruining a weekend because you couldn’t stop thinking about work, etc.). Our minds get stuck in a rut, and like a car stuck in the mud, seem to spin around and around. It is possible to become UNSTUCK! The next time your mind gets stuck on one track, try these techniques:


First recognize that you are wound-up. This is often challenging, as we can become so caught-up in our thoughts we find it difficult to step outside of ourselves and appreciate just how wound-up we are.

Learn to recognize and act on the signals that suggest your mind is stuck in a rut (e.g., your thoughts are significantly interfering with your normal routine, you ride one train of thought for hours on end, etc).

Set aside designated obsession time. To ward off the sense of doom, schedule an hour to sort out your anxieties (bedtime obviously is not suggested).

Talk to a friend about what’s bothering you.

Write about your concerns in a journal.

Engage in aerobic physical activity.

Practice mindful breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose, expanding your diaphragm, hold a moment, then focus on exhaling through your mouth as fully as you can. Focusing on your physical being rather than your mental preoccupations can be helpful.

Get involved in distracting activities you enjoy (e.g., listen to music, watch a movie, etc.).

Give yourself a reality check. If you’re dreading an upcoming event, consider the absolute worst-case scenario and remind yourself that even if disaster strikes, you would survive. Then, try to assess realistically what is actually likely to happen.

Try classic obsessive thoughts-stopping techniques. For example, when you want to banish a thought the moment it occurs, say “stop” to yourself or wear a rubber band around your write and snap it.

Imagine pleasant, relaxing images in your mind (e.g., imagine the wheels in your mind slowing down, a calming nature scene, etc.).

Don’t try to control everything. If you have a tendency to obsess, chances are fairly good that you’re also a perfectionist. Realize that going over something again and again in your mind will not magically produce the ‘right’ answer. Accept that you don’t always have the power or the responsibility to make everything flawless or everyone happy. By reading this you've already found out how to stop obsessive thought. If you would like to find out more, you can click on the link below.

Submitted by:John James
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