How to Deal with Obsessive Thoughts
Nowadays, almost everyone experiences stressful and unwanted thoughts in daily life. But obsessive thoughts are more constant than day-to-day mental chaos. Obsessive thoughts have a largely negative influence on our mood along with our daily functioning.
When such thoughts enter your mind, you will feel an emotion of discomfort and stress to prevent these unwanted thoughts. Obsession is connected with extreme stress and intense anxiety.
Most people engage in invalid coping activities to control such thoughts as withdrawal from family and friends, adopting compulsive behavior, and getting aggressive.
But if taught authentic and professional ways to avoid obsessive thoughts, they minimize their stress and anxiety and improve their mental functioning. So, let's read the article until the end to know how to deal with obsessive thoughts effectively and logically.
Understand what obsessive thoughts are
Obsessive thoughts are described as persistent thoughts that are accompanied by negative judgments. Often, individuals feel helpless to control these unwanted, distressing, intrusive thoughts. And the severity ranges from mild to severe enough to cause profound fatigue.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, obsessive thought comes in several forms. Sometimes these are in the form of negative self-thinking, e.g., "I'm not beautiful enough", Or sometimes about worrying about little things like "I forgot to close the door", and even these can be severe enough to fall deadly diseases such as "what if I have AIDS."
How to deal with obsessive thoughts?
Distressing and unwanted thoughts are every day in human nature. But when these thoughts get persistent enough to cause stress or harm someone, the real problem begins.
Obsessive thoughts stress an individual, but the severity can be highly worse with mental issues. So, here are some authentic and significant ways to cope with obsessive thoughts with or without their integrated compulsion.
1.Identify negative thought patterns.
The first step to dealing with obsessive thoughts is identifying your thought pattern. When you fix the cognitive loop, you are probably engaging in well-firmed habits. Like washing your hands or checking the mobile every few minutes, compulsion and obsession occur unconsciously. The next time you observe rumination, try to stop yourself.
After identifying your negative thought pattern, pen out all of them. Writing down your thoughts on the paper will help them to examine them. Then inspect what makes them trigger. Lastly, find out the natural contributed factors to your obsession.
The second only way to cope with obsessive thoughts is to accept that your thoughts are primarily out of your control. Trying to avoid, withdraw or suppress them will ultimately strengthen OCD making them severe. So, instead of escaping, confront these obsessive thoughts and remind yourself that thoughts are just simple thoughts, nothing more. In this way, you learn to accept your intrusive thoughts; you'll have better chances of keeping these thoughts on track.
Moreover, by practicing acceptance, keep yourself in the present and be realistic about what you can control and don't have control over. For example, if you are worried about your job. Ask yourself, "can I fix this problem right now?" if the answer is yes, then find things you can do. But if the answer is no, try to accept reality and live with the present situation.
3.Implement some meditation and mindfulness techniques
Obsessive thinking feels discomfort and distress due to the negative emotions that integrate with intrusive thoughts. Mediation and mindfulness techniques work on complex rumination processes by identifying and accepting them. These tactics will help you in battling negative responses and practicing positive self-thought.
According to Psychology Today, mindfulness is the process of washing out your head ad concentrating on how your body and mind sense at the moment. Practicing these activities can help you to avoid obsessive thinking and release anxiety by re-positioning you to the present.
When you identify your obsessive thoughts, practice deep breathing and breathing with the count of four, holding on to your breath for a count of four, and then exhaling with one more count of four. Further, other grounding exercises also assist you in planting yourself and breaking the rumination circle.
4.Seek professional help
Obsessive thinking is a regular part of human life. But according to the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, obsessive thoughts can be a symptom of severe mental disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders.
If you are observing yourself struggling with repetitive behaviors, intrusive thoughts or any compulsive ritual, go for professional help. Also, don't hesitate to seek professional mental health support
if you require extra assistance in controlling your obsessive thoughts.
With a mental health professional, you'll quickly establish an excellent plan to treat your symptoms instantly. Don't be afraid as it is about your mental health.
Here are some effective treatments to deal with obsessive thoughts;
• Psychotherapy includes exposure-response prevention therapy (ERP), psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and more.
• Medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Citalopram and other FDA-approved medicines are helpful to treat impulses, compulsions and ritualistic behaviors.
Obsessive thoughts are normal, but their different ranges can make one's life challenging. To cope with your obsessive thoughts, start identifying your negative thoughts, accepting your flaws, and practicing meditation or mindfulness techniques. But if still, the situation is problematic, go for a mental health professional support immediately. So, it was all about how to deal with obsessive thoughts, and I hope you find it helpful.