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Why am I Obsessing?

How to Manage Obsessive Thinking for a Better Life

One night your husband is late coming home from work and you suddenly find yourself trapped in an endless whirlpool of obsessive thoughts. Did he get into an accident? Is he okay? What if something happened to him and no one is there to help him? Why isn’t he answering his phone? Being stuck with obsessive thoughts is one of the most crippling experiences anyone can have. It makes your own head feel like a prison, beating you down with every new thought that pops up. If you struggle to keep your obsessive thoughts at bay, here are some tips on how to manage them so they don’t hold you back from living a quality life.

Acknowledge Them

It’s tempting, I know. You want to push the thoughts away and busy yourself in one distraction or the other. But trust me – it’s not going to work. Pushing your thoughts away is only a temporary form of relief. Sooner or later, they are going to come back and they’re going to be harder to push away. The best thing you can do to help yourself, believe it or not, is to acknowledge the thoughts and accept them. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with what they’re saying. If your brain is filled with thoughts of how your wife is having an affair just because she’s started losing weight recently – you do not need to heed to them. You just need to accept them for what they are: inconsequential. They are not facts; they do not need to translate into anything. They are in your head, and don’t need to manifest into anything else.

Ground Yourself in the Present

Obsessive thoughts often lead one to feel like they need to prepare for something that’s not coming, or to take a deep trip down a dark memory lane and replay things that happened years ago. If you find yourself stuck in a loop, take a moment to breathe, and remind yourself of your present reality. Do your fears or thoughts have to do with anything you have control over? If the answer is no, then remind yourself that you are already doing everything you can.

Intentional Track Shift

Negative thoughts can’t be helped if you suffer from obsessive thinking. But, with practice, you can learn to replace those thoughts with the opposing, positive thought. Think of it as a way to self-talk yourself out of the negativity.

Get Professional Help

There’s no shame in admitting that you need guidance to overcome your obsessive thinking. Seeing a therapist may be the best thing you can do for yourself. You don’t need to let your OCD affect the quality of your life. It can be treated in time and with the right kind of guidance. Facing your fears is how you learn to overcome them and once you take their power away, you’ll be the one in control.

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