How to Deal With Obsessive Thoughts

Man Laying in the bed with his thoughts and trying to Overcome 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, courtesy of Positive Reset Mental Health Clinic.

 

Table of Contents

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.

2.Practice acceptance

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 mental health services. 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.

 

Final verdict

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 professionals support immediately. So, it was all about how to deal with obsessive thoughts, and I hope you find it helpful. Contact us if you have any additional questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the impact of mental illness on relationships?

Living with mental illness in a relationship can be challenging. It’s like navigating a delicate dance where both partners need to understand the complexities. We’ll delve into the effects and how to support each other.

How does mental illness affect physical health?

The connection between mental and physical health is like a bridge. Good mental health strengthens your physical well-being, while poor mental health can be the storm that weakens it. Let’s explore how your mind can influence your body.

What can you do when living with someone with a mental illness?

When your loved one is struggling with mental illness, it’s a journey for both of you. It’s crucial to find reliable information, educate yourself about their condition, and learn about available therapies like psychotherapy and TMS therapy.

What are the common causes of mental illness?

Mental illnesses aren’t born from a single source. They’re more like puzzles with various pieces. From early life adversity to genetic factors, substance use, and loneliness, multiple factors can contribute to mental health challenges.

How does mental illness affect sleep patterns?

Mental illness can disrupt your sleep like a thunderstorm on a calm night. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder often lead to sleep disturbances. We’ll discuss the intricate relationship between mental health and sleep.

What chronic health conditions are linked to mental illness?

Mental health and physical health are like two sides of a coin. Mental illnesses can increase the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. We’ll uncover this intricate connection.

Is there a link between smoking and mental illness?

Smoking and mental health are intertwined. Depressed individuals are more likely to smoke, and nicotine’s impact on dopamine can offer a brief escape from their symptoms. We’ll discuss this complex relationship.

How does mental illness affect relationships and intimacy?

Living with a partner who has a mental illness can be challenging, especially when it comes to intimacy. We’ll explore how mental health can impact emotional and physical aspects of a relationship.

What are the common reactions to mental illness within families?

Mental illness often has a ripple effect within families, causing a wide range of emotions, including guilt, anxiety, and sadness. Understanding and acknowledging these feelings is the first step toward coping with them.

Why is it essential not to become a therapist for your loved one with a mental illness?

While it’s vital to support your loved one, trying to become their therapist can lead to an imbalanced power dynamic. It’s essential to maintain a healthy relationship and encourage them to seek professional help.

How can mental illness affect your day-to-day life?

Mental illness can be like an unwelcome companion on your daily journey. It can create challenges in various aspects of life, from work to relationships. We’ll discuss strategies for managing these daily hurdles.

What are the best practices for self-care while supporting someone with mental illness?

Providing support to someone with mental illness can be emotionally draining. Prioritizing self-care is essential to prevent stress and burnout. We’ll explore self-care techniques for caregivers.

What role does communication play in relationships affected by mental illness?

Communication is the glue that holds relationships together. When living with mental illness, open and honest communication is vital. We’ll delve into effective ways to communicate and support each other.

How does mental illness affect children in families?

Families dealing with mental illness often wonder how it affects children. We’ll explore the impact on children and discuss age-appropriate ways to address mental health issues with them.

What are some valuable resources for individuals living with mental illness?

Finding reliable resources is crucial when dealing with mental illness. We’ll provide a list of reputable organizations and websites that offer information and support.

Can a mental illness be overcome?

Mental illness is a journey with its ups and downs. It’s possible to manage symptoms and lead a fulfilling life. We’ll discuss strategies and treatments that can help individuals regain control.

What's the significance of a strong support system for individuals with mental illness?

A robust support system is like a safety net for those with mental illness. It provides understanding, encouragement, and a sense of belonging. We’ll explore the impact of a supportive community.

How can individuals with mental illness maintain employment and financial stability?

Balancing mental health and work can be challenging. We’ll discuss strategies to help individuals with mental illness maintain employment and financial stability.

What are the societal stigmas surrounding mental illness?

Mental illness stigma is like a cloud that can cast a shadow over those affected. We’ll delve into the stigmas and the importance of raising awareness and breaking down barriers.

How can individuals reach out for professional help in dealing with mental illness?

Seeking professional help is a critical step in managing mental illness. We’ll provide guidance on finding the right mental health services and resources for support.