One good friend of mine said I could be suffering from a minor OCD. Well, who am I to argue with her, as she has a background in psychology. While I’m no certified psychologist myself, a quick Google search shows Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as “a mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive activity”. Whether I’m actually suffering from OCD, I’m definitely not going obsess over it.
But I think I definitely have obsessive thoughts. In fact, writing the title of this article has brought million of thoughts flying through my mind that I had rewritten the first 2 paragraphs for the 10th time.
“What if this post turned out to be the worst?” ,
“How do I know that methods that work for me, work for others too?”,
“I must be crazy writing about this”.
Yes, I think a case of OCD has been confirmed?
Well anyway, I guess the FIRST METHOD of stopping obsessive thoughts is…
Stop the thinking and start doing
The only problem is that obsessive thoughts are like dark vortexes. When you start obsessing, the thoughts are pulling you down and fast. You wouldn’t even know that you are obsessing, until a certain time. By then, you have probably depleted all of your positive energy.
But once you know that you are obsessing and you don’t feel like doing anything productive, you MUST force yourself to START doing something useful that creates positive energy. Don’t be the slave to your negativity.
When you start doing something useful (cooking, washing up, organize your work stuff, or writing a post like this), you would soon find the momentum of your action will keep those obsessive thoughts away.
Personally, I found cooking as a good way to keep obsessive thoughts away. When you are focussed on the recipes, ingredients and creating good food either for yourself or your loved ones. When you hands are busy creating delicacies, there is just no room for obsessive thoughts at all.
I do not know the scientific explanation for this but cooking has definitely been my favorite way to stop obsessive thoughts.
Set a time limit (Until then, obsess away)
When you are obsessing over some problems, it really feels like you are rotting inside. You lost your morale, motivation and basically, you just feel like sitting there and keep having repetitive irrational thoughts of your problem. These thoughts are eating up your spirit bit by bit.
It can even go to the extent of self-denial as you would rather use the time for obsessive thinking rather than fixing the problems itself.
Well, if you think it’s hard to defeat the evil of obsessive thoughts in an open battle, you can try to set a limit for yourself. Something like “OK, I’m only going to think in this way until the end of today“. And make this a visible reminder the moment you woke up the next day.
The moment you woke up the next day is the best way to stop the obsessive thoughts pattern. Go for a jog, get something working. Break the pattern, build the momentum and you will be out of it.
Change your expectation, and stop comparing.
Well, as you see, I was worrying too much about whether this post will be better or worse than my previous ones. That really plunged me into a vicious cycle of obsessive thoughts. But once I realized it, I thought why not I just concentrate on finishing this post and let the worries be secondary.
As I changed my way of thinking, I had a different goal and it has nothing to do with doing better or worse. Does it work? Well, here I am. Writing smoothly without any interruption and rewrites.
But for these 3 methods to have any chance of working, it is very important to realize and be aware that you are in the spiral of obsessive thoughts. I think you would be aware of your negative thought pattern eventually, but the sooner you become conscious of it, the faster it is to get out of the cycle.
Depending on the nature of the issues, some people could be having obsessive thoughts for days without even being aware of it. I have to say I will tend to obsess about issues for a lengthy period. Until I’ve practiced this for the past 4 weeks.
Mantra… Seriously, to stop obsessive thoughts with mantra??
You must be thinking of some Yoga or Meditation mantra that I practiced in some meditation class. A good guess… but that’s not what it is. Here’s what happened…
4 weeks ago, I’ve picked up an online course by T Harv Eker, The Spiritual Law Of Money. (Before you go what has Spiritual or Money got to do with obsessive thoughts, please bear with me a little). Yes, the mantra is actually required as part of the ‘homework‘ for the course. It’s basically repeating mantras such as “I create wealth with joy and balance“, 25 times a day.
Yeah.. I know, I don’t doubt you if you feel I must be out of my mind for doing that. I thought T Harv Eker himself was nuts when he suggested doing that in the program. Anyway, it wasn’t until a few lessons in the program that he explained that reciting the mantra is one way to break our old habits. (If we want a new life, we need to get rid of the old).
If you really want to know more about T Harv Eker, here’s an interesting article on Why Most People are Not Living The Life That They Want.
Breaking Obsessive Thoughts Pattern
To keep things short, I was surprised that when I went into some obsessive thinking mode after around 4 weeks into his program, there is a consciousness that managed to whisper through that I need to stop this obsessive thinking right here and now. I thought it was a fluke until it happened a few more times and I got to snap out of the obsessive thought pattern not long after it began. (I was having an extra challenging week).
Well, if you too fall victim to obsessive thought, I recommend trying the methods I’ve mentioned above. There is a chance that it would work for you too, and I hope it does too. Do share me with me your thoughts about dealing with obsessive thoughts in the comment section below.