- 1 What Are Obsessive Thoughts?
- 2 How To Tell If Your Thoughts Are Just Normal Or Actually Obsessive?
- 3 Reasons That Can Cause Obsessive Thoughts
- 4 What Are Steps To Treat Obsessive Thoughts?
- 5 Tips to Prevent Obsessive Thoughts
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 A Word From MantraCare
What Are Obsessive Thoughts?
Obsessive thoughts are common for individuals dealing with anxiety. These types of thoughts can be extremely distressing and crippling. They often make it hard to focus on anything else or even carry out your daily activities sometimes. This is because you’re so preoccupied with the thought. When experiencing obsessive thinking, it is important to remember that this type of cognition is not rational. This is much different than the type of thinking that leads to anxious feelings.
People with obsessive thoughts often feel like they have no control over what’s happening in their minds. This can be terrifying for them as well as those who are around them. This is because these types of negative cognitions can impact how someone acts even if you don’t want it to happen. One reason why people believe obsessive thoughts are out of control is that they cannot stop the thought itself once it has entered into their minds. However, you do have some level of authority over your own cognition. This is just because a certain idea pops up doesn’t mean you need to give it any attention or power whatsoever. The more space you allow these thoughts to have, the more power you give them over your lives.
How To Tell If Your Thoughts Are Just Normal Or Actually Obsessive?
It is important to remember that everyone has different kinds of thoughts throughout their day. This doesn’t always mean something or make you anxious as obsessions do. For example, a person might have thought about throwing up after eating too much candy before bedtime. It is because this was what happened last time so it could happen again. This kind of thinking does not actually mean anything will go wrong in real life if you eat more candy at night. However, with obsessive thoughts, there is an underlying fear which causes anxiety when these ideas come into your head.
You Fear Everything
Obsessive thoughts have an underlying fear that something bad will happen if you continue to think about the topic. It can be before actually doing it, whereas normal thoughts usually just pass through your mind. They can go causing any trouble for you and other people around you. If someone is constantly thinking about what might go wrong because of their obsessive thought then it’s considered a symptom of OCD. This is because this person won’t stop worrying and becomes preoccupied with the idea. It is until they can figure out how to make themselves feel better. It can be by avoiding whatever triggered the obsession in the first place.
You Feel Anxiety And Stress
With obsessions, there is also an urge to get rid of them as soon as possible. This causes even more anxiety and stress to build up.
You Can Get Rid of Them Easily
If these obsessions just go away by themselves or if you can’t get rid of them then it is likely that they are not actually obsessive thoughts. This doesn’t mean there isn’t an underlying fear about whatever triggered the obsession in the first place. These kinds of fears need to be addressed so people who have OCD don’t end up having panic attacks. This is every time their mind gets stuck on something negative. It is because ultimately this will make your life more difficult than it needs to be.
Reasons That Can Cause Obsessive Thoughts
These are some of the reasons that can result in obsessive thoughts:
You Have An Overactive Imagination
There may be something really bothering you. But this may not be the case that every single thing bothers you to this degree. You are taking a normal situation and projecting your feelings onto it so strongly. After that everything starts to seem intense or important when in fact they aren’t. It can help if you try writing down what is actually troubling you about something. This can be done before thinking further on it. It is because sometimes just getting all of those thoughts out will make them feel more manageable than trying to think through each thought by itself. It can be without any guidance set up beforehand. Sometimes the fears are bigger than others, especially for people who suffer from anxiety disorders, social phobias, OCD, etc. This causes these issues to become even worse over time if they are not taken care of.
You Feel Like Your Mind Is Playing Tricks On You.
This one is pretty much the essence of what intrusive thoughts are all about. Sometimes when people have these types of thoughts it’s because their minds tend to wander in an overly negative direction for long periods at a time or even several times throughout the day (or night). When this happens repetitively over any length of time, then that person can end up obsessing far more than they normally would. It can be as if they were thinking through each thought without jumping ahead too often. It might help if you try writing down the obsessive thoughts. This is whenever they happen so that once again, there will be something tangible to refer back to. This is to rather than just having a bunch of negative thoughts floating around in your head.
What Are Steps To Treat Obsessive Thoughts?
These are some steps to treat obsessive thoughts:
Learn What Is It
The first step is to learn the difference between an obsessive thought and a psychotic one. In this case, the former is usually unwanted and persistent whereas the latter is not.
Know What Causes These Thoughts
Once you know what causes these thoughts, try to learn more about them at this point in time. This will help you deal with them better later on when they actually occur. For instance, mood disorders like depression can cause obsessive thinking because of chemical imbalances that are present within your brain.
Identify The Cycle
It can be helpful to identify what it is that brings on your thoughts or why you’re having them in the first place. For example, if you are experiencing intrusive sexual thoughts about children, perhaps part of this may stem from some sort of childhood trauma that has not yet been resolved. Once identified, consider ways to deal with these issues directly instead of avoiding them completely by suppressing unwanted thoughts.
Take Action Against Them
A good way to do so would be through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy uses different techniques including exposure therapy where individuals confront their fears head- until they no longer feel as anxious about them.
Take Care of Yourself
This is important to reduce the risk of having obsessive thoughts in the first place. This can be if you are particularly experiencing any kind of depression or anxiety yourself. Try engaging in some form of relaxation technique. These are like meditation or yoga on a regular basis. You should make sure that your lifestyle includes more physical activities than just sitting down at work all day long every single day. A healthy diet helps too because it can help keep mood swings under control which often leads to dealing with unwanted thoughts as well!
Connect With Others Who Have The Same Problem
You do not have to go through this process alone after all even though it may feel like no one understands what you’re going through sometimes since many people tend to avoid discussing these kinds of issues openly. That’s why it is a good idea to connect with others who have the same problem as you do because this can help reduce your sense of isolation and loneliness which then reduces how overwhelmed you feel about these thoughts in general too!
Finally, the last step would be to accept them and realize that they will not necessarily lead to any harmful actions or behavior at all since we live within a free society where individuals should never take away someone else’s freedom under any circumstances. This type of thinking prevents obsessive thoughts from completely taking over our lives after all even though they may seem like such an impossible challenge sometimes when confronted head-on for the first time.
Tips to Prevent Obsessive Thoughts
These are some tips to prevent obsessive thoughts:
Use Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation is crucial when it comes to dealing with intrusive thoughts and OCD in general because if you are relaxed you will be able to cope with any negative feelings that come up after an obsessive thought or ritual
Try your best not to put yourself into situations where there may be a trigger for an obsessive thought. For example, if someone has just died in the family try not to spend too much time alone so this person’s death doesn’t bring on bad memories of loss. This can lead back into more anxiety-provoking obsessions eventually leading to compulsions that defeat the purpose.
Pay Attention To Yourself
Be around people who make you happy, but also take care of yourself by paying attention to what you are feeling. If someone is constantly putting you down it’s best not to be around them
Focus On Present
Try your best to just focus on the present when having intrusive thoughts instead of obsessing over past memories or future possibilities for things that may happen in the future.
Try To Socialize
Spend more time with friends and family members who make you happy, if there is no one in your life like this try joining some clubs or activities where people will appreciate the real version of yourself without any obsessive thoughts getting in their way.
Mindfulness is a great way of training your brain so that you can recognize when obsessive thought patterns are beginning and prevent yourself from getting caught up in them
Learn To Let Go
If you do find yourself thinking about something that is distressing, don’t beat yourself up over it. In fact, try not even engage with the thought as much as possible. Try to just focus on what you’re doing at the moment instead of dwelling on those thoughts for too long. Sometimes we have obsessive thoughts because they help us avoid a more painful or difficult feeling. Recognizing this can be helpful when trying to deal with them so that they will come less frequently.
Obsessive thoughts are no fun. They can make you feel like your brain is always on high alert. It’s exhausting to keep up with them all the time. But don’t worry! There are ways for people who struggle with obsessing to get relief from obsessive thoughts. All it takes is a little patience and hard work in order to break free of this cycle once and for all.
A Word From MantraCare
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.