Six Ways to Stop Obsessive Thoughts

Do obsessive thoughts sometimes keep you up at night? Do they stop you from thinking about the present moment? Does it feel like your thoughts are getting in the way of living life? They say we have over 50,000 thoughts a day, and when one of them gets "stuck in replay" it can be quite draining. Here are six ways to break the pattern of obsessive thoughts:

Understand why you're thinking obsessively.

Reframe your thoughts.
Distract yourself from your thoughts.
Practice mindfulness.
Get professional help.
Be patient with yourself.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that lead to compulsions (repetitive behaviors or rituals) which are carried out in an attempt to relieve anxiety. However, these compulsions only serve to temporarily relieve the anxiety and often make the obsessions worse. If you're struggling with OCD, know that you're not alone and there is help available.

OCD comes in many different forms. Some people might obsessively worry about germs and contamination and as a result, they might compulsively wash their hands or avoid touching doorknobs. Others might have distressing thoughts about harm coming to themselves or others, which can lead to compulsions such as checking the locks on the doors multiple times or repeatedly asking for reassurance.

While everyone experiences intrusive thoughts from time to time, people with OCD cannot simply "let go" of their obsessions. The obsessions are persistent and often cause great distress. The compulsions that follow only serve to temporarily relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessions and are often time-consuming and disruptive to daily life.

There is help for people with OCD, and treatment usually involves medication and/or therapy. In therapy, you will discover new ways of coping with your obsessions and compulsions. You will learn to challenge the false beliefs that are at the root of your OCD. You will also learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety and stress.

If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, don't hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available, including hotlines, support groups, and therapy. Remember, you are not alone in this battle.

There are many ways to break the pattern of obsession. If you think you might have OCD, reach out to us for a free 20-minute consultation

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