Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stop Obsessing: My Five Suggestions

Have you ever found yourself going over and over the same issue in your mind? It can feel like a train going downhill with no brakes on. You can’t seem to gain control of yourself.

1. Focus on the lesson learned. Every situation we go through has the potential to teach us something. Think about what you are obsessing about and see how to use it to improve yourself. For example, if you are ruminating about a mistake you made at work, think about steps you can take to make sure the same mistake doesn’t happen again. By looking at how you can improve, you begin to focus on the positive aspect of the situation rather than the negative.

2. Use a journal. Writing down your thoughts, especially about events that have not yet happened, can help you gain control over your ruminations.

3. Write down pleasant thoughts. Sometimes your thoughts need specific direction. You may list things like an upcoming vacation, going out to dinner with your partner. Make sure your list includes situations you are looking forward to or pleasant memories.

4. Behavioral techniques. For some people, snapping a rubber band on your wrist every time you have an obsessive thought may help.

5. Talk about your worries with a trusted friend or relative. Often, when we talk it out, we can begin to see it from a different perspective. This can help you find options for solving your problem.

However, if your obsessive thoughts are interfering with your daily life, it may be time to talk with a professional therapist.