November 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm #45065
How do I stop obsessing over things, people, just about anything. No matter how hard I try to distract myself from whatever I’m thinking about, I can’t stop. It consumes me. I start over analyzing and then I start reading more into something than there is. My most recent obsession is over a person. We exchange a few emails and all of a sudden I’m thinking about a future with this person. I barely know this person. I don’t want to think about this person anymore. How do I make it stop? I’m in tears over it and today I didn’t want to leave the house, so I didn’t. I have never discussed my problem with anyone before. I’m so tired of this always happening to me and I’m tired of hiding it. Makes me feel very isolated. This is is all so unhealthy.November 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm #45066JohnParticipant
I know exactly the feelings and thoughts you’re describing. I’ve been there before. But you can train your mind not to get hooked by thoughts that pop into you head and keep yourself in the here and now.
If you haven’t already tried it, I would suggest going to meditation centre and getting an intro on how to meditate. It will take time to free yourself (for me, it was about 6 months), but a daily practice anywhere from 5-20 minutes will strengthen your mind and allow your thoughts to pass through you.
And that’s the key, don’t push thoughts away, don’t distract yourself, recognize unhealthy thoughts for what they are and allow them to dissolve. Reacting to them only feeds their hold on you. Like someone taunting you on the street, turning towards them and engaging with them only gives them what they want, attention. Instead, you just walk on by.
You won’t be able to stop the thoughts, don’t try. But as they come on, one after the other, pass over them and continue your daily activities as best as you can – eat, drink, sleep, exercise, work, play, the thought comes in, you recognize that it’s there, and you move on. You don’t push it away. You don’t get angry at it. You smile at the silly tricks your mind is playing on you and don’t allow yourself to succumb to it’s taunts.
Meditation is the best training you can do to help you develop this skill of not getting hooked. Start as soon as you can practice daily. It’s a lifelong change that will give you a whole new outlook on yourself and your life.
Wishing you all the best.November 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm #45067
Thank you, John. I like the idea of meditation and am willing to learn how. Not pushing my thoughts away and not reacting to them seems like a much healthier approach and oddly sounds like it may be easier to do. I know it’s going to take time. Agonizing over something I can’t control is really wearing me down. Creating scenarios in my head of what I want to happen and then getting so upset when it doesn’t is just ridiculous because what i seem to want, I know isn’t necessarily good for me or is so far fetched it can’t happen.
I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Take care.November 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm #45129ReevaParticipant
I too have been in your position of obsessive thinking. What helped me was to go to the very deepest root of the problem and to read about it. So after spending several years obsessively thinking about my future, any fears that I had, any relationship problems I experienced, anything I experienced that was out of my control (i.e. a customer yelled at me at work and I spent the rest of the day thinking about it angrily), I realized that FIRST of all, I had formed the habit out of anxiety and SECOND of all, I continued to fall back into this habit due to the very fact that it was a thinking HABIT. So the obsessive thinking began in childhood as a sort of ‘comfort’ that went hand in hand with my anxiety. I was constantly anticipating punishment or humiliation that was out of my control because I grew up in an abusive household. It was a sort of way to control what was happening in my life that was out of my control. Instead of turning to sports or extracurricular activities to relieve this stress and anxiety, my control/release took the form of obsessive-compulsive thoughts. Then, years later, I found myself obsessively thinking about things that didn’t even cause me much initial anxiety (such as the angry customer who yelled at me) because at that point it was simply a bad habit. I slowly broke out of it by reading more about it, by talking about it, and learning to understand why I was doing it. Then afterwards I tried meditation (a GREAT idea like what John said above me) and I also started talking myself out of those pesky thoughts in my head, as well as working them out on paper through writing in a journal. Exercise is another great way to break free of your OCD thoughts because it forces you to focus on something else and release stress. Those are the things that helped me. I rarely have OCD thoughts now today. I hope that you will give any of these methods a try or all of them if you can! I’ve found that a combination of these methods is even better than just one. But remember to take baby steps and treat yourself kindly. Good luck!
-ReevaNovember 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm #45133
Just today I was thinking about the type of household I grew up in. We didn’t talk about anything. If something happened to me in school or with my friends, I never talked about it. I used to be made to feel like, if bad things happened to me, it was because it was probably my fault. I held a lot of things in and then all of a sudden one small thing could trigger me to explode. I used to become extremely angry at, which appeared to be, the most trivial things, when in fact it was a combination of many things. Now I just obsess. I haven’t left the house today. Feeling extremely closed off but I have no desire to do anything today. A read a little bit about meditation and tried a technique that made me feel calm. It was nice. I need to keep at it. I thought about looking into therapy but I don’t know….
Thank you for your words of encouragement. There is some comfort to know that I’m not the only one out there who feels or has felt this way. You and John have shed some light on things I didn’t think of like recognizing the issue and not suppress it and work on a way to help me through my obsession before it completely takes over me.November 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm #45137
Thank you for what you wrote. I have been having this problem as well and your words were extremely helpful!!!!!!!!!! I am going to try the things you wrote about.November 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm #45138
You are not alone. I am struggling with feeling alone and I appreciate you sharing that you feel that way too. But, we are one, even in our loneliness. I go to a mental health center where there are some therapist that are very new age and one in particular is a practicing Buddhist. My therapist is very new age and reads many of the same authors that I do. She really believes in me and I see her every week. I have been going to therapist for years and this center is so different than anything I’ve experienced before. I encourage you to “shop” for a therapist that lines up with your personal beliefs. It can help. May you know you are loved. Let us love ourselves with great compassion and kindness and say things to ourselves that feel good and do things that bring us joy and peace.November 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm #45144
I want to share that I took John’s advice tonight and did day one of the new 21 day meditation series with Deepak Chopra. You can find it on chopracentermeditation.com. I listened to it 3 times. It was very powerful. It took me awhile before other thoughts that were coming into my mind slowed down. After a while, I felt lighter and my anxiety lifted. I felt like I finally had the say so about what I think. The meditation was about asking yourself who you are and knowing that you are your deepest desire. A lot of wonderful things came to my mind and as they did, I took a couple of minutes to repeat each thought. My first thought gave me so much joy. It was, “I am pure potential”. The other thoughts that I meditated on were, I can be anything I desire, I can have anything I desire, I am infinite possibilities, I am important, I am beautiful, I am relaxed, I am kindness, I am love, I am abundance, I am all that I desire, I am successful, I am a powerful voice, I am a powerful creator, I am a writer. What are you?November 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm #45161RashmiParticipant
Thanks Lori! I was just checking the meditation and it looks very interesting. I will be starting it today when I get home. And Blue what you’re going through is actually very common. I have a problem with over thinking too. My anxiety gets a hold of me and I’m left drained after mentally torturing myself over and over again. I am trying very hard to break that habit now as I’ve often come to see that 1) it causes me innumerable amounts of stress 2) often worrying excessively about something only causes it to actually happen. I remember one night, my over thinking got so bad that I actually felt suicidal. It was a never ending stream of thoughts that would not stop no matter how hard I tried. I felt so hopeless. Come the next morning I felt drained, and I was in tears. Now when I start over thinking I start focusing on something else. I watch a movie or anything that will make me stop over thinking. The thing is there is no use trying to be logical with yourself when you’re mind is on a rampage. The more you resist the more the thoughts keep popping up. Its like me telling you to not think about a pink elephant and all your mind is doing is conjuring images of a pink elephant on a uni cycle (at least that’s what I see it doing- and its also holding an umbrella LOL)
Meditation helps a lot to quieten your mind. But you have to be ultra patient with yourself. It’s not going to go away over night. These are habits you’ve trained yourself with for over 20 years. Persistence is the key 🙂