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Worry Time: How to Schedule Your Anxieties 

Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

learning-mind.com

Posted May 22nd, 2020.

 
 
 
 
worry time anxiety.
 
 
There’s a new way of dealing with anxiety. It’s a unique process called “worry time”, which schedules a time for your obsessive concerns.
For those who suffer from anxiety, worrying seems like a normal part of life. On a personal level, I worry way too much during the day, then keep myself up at night doing the same thing. I feel like I’m not in control of this worry.
Many of you may feel the same way, especially when an additional crisis is added to the mix. But here’s some good news: you can schedule worry time and this allows you to address your concerns, and then move on to other things the rest of the time.

What Is Worry Time?

Worry time is a cognitive-behavioral concept which actually helps you control your obsessive thoughts. It’s a paradox. You will purposely decide to worry at a specific time of the day. Why? Well, since you’re stressing all the time and wasting so much of your life with concerns, you can at least practice compartmentalizing that worry. You can do something else for the rest of the time.
For instance, take time to worry, then have productive thoughts the remainder of the day. So, since this is a schedule to worry, there have to be steps to follow in order to do it correctly, right? Let’s take a look.

How to Schedule Time to Worry

Halt your obsessive thoughts for a moment and listen up. Worrying is not so bad when it’s controlled. Although you assume you cannot control it, worry after consistent training can indeed be trained. Here are the steps you use for worry time:

1. Schedule the time

The first thing you must do is decide what times of the day you should worry. Yes, I know that sounds kind of silly, but cognitive-behavior therapy would disagree with you.
So, use a calendar, planner, or notepad and write down the time of day you wish to schedule a time for obsessive thoughts. A session of between 15 and 30 minutes is ideal for worry time. After that, you can go about your positive daily routines. And by the way, it’s advised that you do not schedule this right before bedtime. It’s more than likely to keep you from sleeping well.

2. Write things down

During your scheduled time to worry, make sure you write down your thoughts. You don’t have to find a solution in this 15-30-minute window, but if you do, then that is fine too. The objective is just to get your thoughts onto paper, so you can see exactly what’s troubling you, instead of just obsessing.
There is therapeutic power in taking thought and turning it into written information. You take it from you and put it somewhere else, and at the same time, you see all the truth in the thoughts as well.

3. Keep worries inside worry time

If you start to worry about things outside your designated worry time, then stop immediately. You must remind yourself that worry can only happen during its scheduled time. This will not be easy, and it will take some time to remember. Consistently catching your worries and putting them back into those neat little slots of your day will help you gain control.
Also, when worry time comes, please don’t dwell about all the times you worried outside of worry time. It’s counterproductive and just silly.

4. End of the week reflections

At the end of each week, go back and read the things you wrote during your scheduled worry time. Are there any patterns? What are the things you ponder about the most? Go ahead and ask yourself any questions you want in order to understand more about your concerns. And yes, you should also schedule the “end of the week reflection on your worries” just like you did with the worry time in each day.
Your reflections are healthy, but take care and don’t dwell on repetitive problems and feel defeated. Just keep moving forward with the same schedule as before.

5. Make it long term

After a week or so of this practice, you may want to just continue. In fact, I recommend this. If you practice this routine for the long term, you will strengthen your thoughts, make it easier to control your worries, and also learn more about structure and focus. So, just keep going and see where it leads you.

Worry isn’t all bad

It’s not horrible to be concerned about things in life. Right now, I am concerned about our world and the nation in which I live. Every day, I check the headlines to see if things have improved, but sadly, it seems to get worse day by day. With scheduling worry time, I can allow myself to deconstruct these headlines and keep them from taking over my entire day with stress and anxiety.
You’re not alone. I have anxiety and many others do as well. But the fact is, you don’t need to have anxiety to practice worry time. You can schedule even the smallest amount of time for concerns each day. Whether large or small, your worries can be set aside for examination. I coax you to try this technique.
Let me know how it works for you!
References:
  1. https://www.livescience.com
  2. https://www.helpguide.org

Sherrie Hurd

 

 

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Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


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publicado por achama às 21:20
Sábado, 18 / 04 / 20

When Everything Is Falling Apart, Remember 6 Sobering Truths

When Everything Is Falling Apart, Remember 6 Sobering Truths.

Becky Storey.

https://www.learning-mind.com/

April 18th, 2020

 

Never have our lives been so unusual. We are truly living in unprecedented times and honestly, it feels a little like everything is falling apart. We’ve lost our jobs, our incomes, and our security. Our friends and family are being forced to stay away. Nothing feels all that great right now.
Still, inside the darkness, there is light. When everything is falling apart, there are still things that should bring you back to reality. It’s not misguided positivity, it’s sobering truths that we should hold close when our hardship starts to feel like too much to handle.

6 Things to Remember When Everything Is Falling Apart

1. Pain Is Temporary

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all been through something difficult in our lives. I doubt there are many among us who have lived perfect, easy lives. We’ve all faced hardship before, and we all know that pain is temporary.
When everything is falling apart, it can be easy to give up and assume things will be this way forever. In these surreal times of a global pandemic, it seems like we’ve got no evidence to fall back on, but we do. Every hard phase has come to an end eventually.
Every time you thought life would never get better, it did. When you find yourself spiraling, as we all do at times, bring yourself back with this one sobering truth – pain doesn’t last forever.

2. Worrying Doesn’t Solve Anything

Worrying has been proven time and time again to be terrible for your health. It increases your risk of countless illnesses, including heart conditions, cancer, and stroke. It’s also bad for your immune system, and in times like these when we’re all trying to be as healthy as possible, worrying will never help.
Letting your mind run free with fear won’t fix the current crisis or any others. You can’t worry the world better. No amount of “planning” or “understanding”, as we anxious folk convince ourselves we’re doing, will make a dangerous virus go away any sooner or be any less deadly.
Instead of dwelling on the idea that everything is falling apart, focus on what you can do to keep it together. You could consider donating to charities, or volunteering. Remember that by staying home, you are helping. You don’t need to worry if you’re already you’re doing exactly what needs to be done to fix the world.

3. Without Hard Times, We Don’t Appreciate the Good Times

We might be experiencing an extreme example right now, but it’s working. Never have I been more grateful for the people I love, and the little moments of joy we get each day. I also know I’ll be more appreciative of the freedom and moments of social non-distancing we get when all of this is over.
If you live a totally undisturbed life, you might not feel much appreciation for the best times, because they aren’t much different from the worst. Now, when it seems that everything is falling apart, we’re truly grateful for what we still have, and what we can’t wait to get back.
As the saying goes, you only know what you’ve got when it’s gone.

4. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

No matter how much we wish it, we can’t speed this one along. At times, this process feels incredibly slow. We don’t have an end date in sight, and we all know how slowly time passes when we’re stuck at home.
If you feel that everything is falling apart, your first instinct is to fix it as soon as possible. We want the problem solved and we don’t care how we get there. But we don’t get that choice right now. This isn’t something we can rush through. In fact, the more we try to rush this by forcing normality before it’s time, the longer we’ll have to wait.
If we have no choice but to wait it out, then there’s no better time to practice patience. We get wrapped up in modern life so often that we rarely have to wait for anything. Take this opportunity to learn a skill most of us, myself included, don’t have. The world might be a little nicer if we all emerge from this with more patience.

5. Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing

In this time of darkness, when it seems that everything is falling apart, there is one thing always left – kindness. We are suffering now, globally. There’s no skirting around it, global pandemics really suck. We feel as though we’ve lost everything, but we haven’t. We haven’t lost each other.
Kindness keeps us moving, gives us strength and brings us closer. Being nice to others in this difficult time makes a huge difference. During your moments outside, exchange a smile with a fellow exerciser. Greet neighbors when you pass them (at a distance). You’d be surprised how much these minor interactions could change someone’s day. Be gentle and respectful of others, especially those who are still having to work.
The kinder you are on the outside, the kinder you’ll be to yourself too. Nothing is better for your self-esteem than making others happy.

6. Challenges Help Us Grow

Unprecedented times teach us things we would never have had the opportunity to learn before. We may have gone our whole lives never learning how to entertain ourselves. We could never have had this time to learn new hobbies, or really get to know ourselves.
They say you grow through what you go through, and that couldn’t be truer now. I like to think that when this whole thing is over, we’ll all emerge like butterflies. Harrier, less manicured butterflies, but butterflies nonetheless.
Right now, by doing absolutely nothing, you’re developing skills you could have lived your entire life without. Of course, we’re growing patience, and we’re also growing resilience. In the future, when life inevitably gets chaotic again (though hopefully not in the same way) you’ll be ready to face it head-on, knowing you’ve faced serious hardship already. The minor troubles that might have set off a spiral before won’t phase us anymore.
We’ve been learning to be gentle with ourselves and others. We’ve learned to be happy with the little victories and accepting of the losses. Awful things are happening all over the world, and as everything feels like it’s falling apart, we’re developing strength like never before.

After All, Everything Isn’t Falling Apart

Before you let your thoughts of hopelessness drag you down, remember that some important facts of life, the sobering truths, will never change. Everything isn’t falling apart, no matter how close it might feel. Gratitude is what will hold us together.
I know it sounds mad, but enjoy this time. Embrace the people around you, whether it’s family or friends at home, or neighbors you pass on a daily walk. Embrace the time for yourself, to get to know you. This will end and we will get back to normal, and maybe we’ll all be better people when we do, but until then remember things aren’t always as broken as they seem.
 
 
 
 

 

Becky Storey
 

 




 

About the Author: Becky Storey


 
Becky Storey is a professional writer who has been passionate about the way we think and the human mind since she developed chronic anxiety many years ago. Now she loves to write and educate people on mental health and wellbeing. When Becky is not writing, you’ll find her outside with her Labrador, sitting behind a jigsaw puzzle, or baking something with too much sugar.
 
Copyright © 2012-2020 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


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publicado por achama às 22:47
Terça-feira, 07 / 01 / 20

8 Toxic Mental Habits That Mess Up Your Life without You Even Knowing

Lauren Edwards-Fowle.

learning-mind.com

Posted January 7th, 2020.

 


 
Mental habits are often established over time. Thus, you often don’t even know that you have these habits and how they can mess up your life without you realizing that.
 
Here are some of the key mental habits that harm your life – and what to do about them!
 
1. Listening to self-doubt
 
Your inner critic is not a nice person; they never are. Whilst we all experience self-doubt at times, allowing yourself to be constantly in a battle with your psyche is one of the worst habits for your mental health.
 
Giving airtime to your self-doubt reinforces those feelings and can make you second-guess and question yourself constantly. This saps your ability to progress, move forward and succeed. You can become locked in a circular battle of wills – with yourself.
 
To combat this, try making a list of things you like about yourself. Reinforce your appreciation of your skills, achievements, and successes. Every time you experience self-doubt, remind yourself of every reason you have to believe in yourself and use them to eliminate the self-doubt that is holding you back.
 
2. Seeking constant approval
 
Doing things for the approval of others is another one of the terrible habits we can fall foul of and can mess up your life and mental health significantly. Paying attention to what other people expect from you means side-lining your dreams and wishes. It often results in going down pathways which were never right for you.
 
Remember that you cannot control other people. The only thing you do have control over is yourself. By trying to gauge your actions based on being rewarded with approval is likely to make you second-guess your choices.
 
Even the words you choose can be affected by seeking constant approval! Try to remember that for all the time you are trying to cater to the expectations of people around you, you are forgetting your own. Be clear with yourself about what you want, and then pursue it for all you are worth.
 
3. Being dramatic
 
It is easy to exaggerate from time to time, particularly if you feel frustrated or excited about something! However, this mental habit can mean you lose the respect of your friends who are less likely to take you seriously when something big does happen.
 
Do people tend to roll their eyes when you start telling a story? You probably have one of these mental habits. If you tend to suffer from anxiety or stress when considering the future, you may be focusing on every worst possible scenario, rather then concentrating on the positives.
 
Try using positive mantras to pinpoint your focus on all the possible things that might go right, instead of being dramatic about all the things that could potentially go wrong.
 
The sky isn’t falling and, if you don’t keep expecting it to, it never will.
 
4. Worrying about things outside of your control
 
Worry is one of those mental habits that can be hard to break. Everybody will have genuine things to worry about from time to time, but allowing them to become the norm is a bad mental habit.
 
Suffering from anxiety and overthinking can mess up your life by having a constant negative affect. What other people think is not something you can control, and creating stress around something like this is bad for your mental health and relationships.
 
Try sharpening your attention on those things you can control; your actions, behavior and the language you use to talk with yourself. Once you have a firm grasp of those factors you can influence, the ones you cannot become less of an issue.
 
5. Feeling guilty
 
Another emotion that we all experience now and then, guilt can become a mental habit that is ingrained in your personality. Guilt does not change anything that has happened but allows negative problems and thoughts to weigh heavily on your mind.
 
If you have a good reason to feel guilty, try making amends and apologizing to those you have hurt. Once you have made all the reparations you can, it is time to move on.
6. Keeping score
 
A common and very dangerous one of the common mental habits in the modern age is keeping score. Often this stems from social media and a desire to perform, achieve, and appear to be ‘more’ than other people.
 
Numbers are not indicative of anything other than their size. They also do not grasp qualitative criteria that have no bearing on a score. Being happy is not something that can be reflected in a number, and nor is being at peace with yourself.
 
Let the numbers go – they are not all that important.
 
7. Making yourself responsible for others
 
Making yourself responsible for others is a mental habit that can cause a tide of negativity. When you take responsibility for things that other people do, you create a burden on your shoulders that you cannot influence, since these things are outside of your control.
 
Remember what you are responsible for, and take ownership of that instead.
 
8. Carrying a grudge
 
Forgiveness can be very hard, especially when someone has upset or hurt you. However, carrying a grudge causes you more damage than it does to the other person and does not allow you to move on from the situation.
 
You do not necessarily need to forget, but to forgive is a powerful tool as it allows you to mentally move away from whatever has happened. Forgive someone, even if it is difficult; your subconscious will thank you for it.
 
 
References:
  1. Lifehack.org
  2. Psychology Today

 
Lauren Edwards-Fowle
 
 
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
 

 

 
About the Author: Lauren Edwards-Fowle


 
Lauren Edwards-Fowle is a professional copywriter based in South East England. Lauren worked within Children's Services for five years before moving into the business sector. She holds an MSc in Applied Accountancy and BSc in Corporate Law. She now volunteers within the community sport sector, helping young people to live healthier, more productive lifestyles and overcome the barriers to inclusion that they face. With a keen interest in physical wellbeing, nutrition and sports, Lauren enjoys participating in a variety of team sports in her spare time, as well as spending time with her young family and their dog Scout.
 



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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


 

 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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publicado por achama às 17:20
Sábado, 11 / 05 / 19

8 CBT Techniques for Anxiety That Will Calm Your Anxious Mind

8 CBT Techniques for Anxiety That Will Calm Your Anxious Mind.

By Janey Davies.

May 10th, 2019.

 
 
 
 
 

 


 

If you’re reading this, it stands to reason that you are feeling anxious and are looking for tools such as CBT techniques to calm your anxiety.
 
 
Anxiety is a particularly devious beast.
 
 
It’s there for a reason, to give us the necessary fight or flight tools we need to survive. But if it gets out of control, it can restrict our lives and cause us more harm than good.
 
 
The problem with anxiety is that it easily escalates. Fear breeds fear. The more we worry something bad will happen, the more we convince ourselves it is likely to happen. We have set ourselves up to fail before we’ve even started.
 
We might start avoiding certain situations. However, although we may feel immediate relief by avoidance, we never learn that whatever we are afraid of isn’t actually that bad.
 
But you know what? When you are in the grip of a phobia, stuck in a repeating cycle of OCD, or suffering from social anxiety, it’s hard to be rational. And this is where cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT techniquescan help, no matter what type of anxiety you are experiencing.
 
 
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
 
FDR was right on the money about fear, but how can CBT techniques help us when we are crippled by anxiety?
8 CBT techniques for anxiety that will calm an anxious mind:
Our thoughts make us anxious
 
 
 
The first thing to recognise about anxiety is that external factors are not making you anxious, your internal thoughts are. And if your inner thoughts are causing the problem, you can change the way you think about the situation.
 
Of course, this isn’t easy. We trust our brains to deliver the right information quickly so we can go about our business. So it can be hard to realise that our thoughts are giving us the wrong messages.
 
The first step in CBT therapy is understanding how our thoughts are responsible for the way we feel. There is nothing in everyday normal life to feel anxious about. The only thing that is making you anxious is you. But, you can change that.
Thoughts can’t hurt you
 
 
 
You’re having a panic attack and you feel as you’re going to die. In a social situation, a person with social anxiety might think they’re going to collapse. Someone with OCD might feel so stressed about checking or counting they feel physically sick.
 
 
How do we get to such extreme physical symptoms from a single thought? Because we’ve programmed ourselves to have an automatic reaction to the stressful situation. Our thoughts tumble out of our minds with no chance of stopping and escalate into a full-blown panic attack.
 
But think – thoughts cannot hurt you. Look around you now. Focus on a book or a lamp and say to yourself “Oh my God if I look at that book, I’ll faint.” No amount of you thinking it will make it happen.
 
The next time you feel anxious, remember: just because you think it, it doesn’t mean you can make it happen.
Don’t set yourself up to fail
 
 
 
What’s the difference between a person with driving phobia and someone who drives without anxiety? The person who drives normally doesn’t think about driving before they set off.
 
Someone with the driving phobia will already be worrying about the journey, what will happen, what could go wrong, will they get lost, have an accident, or will they have a panic attack?
 
 
Now think about the driver who didn’t have anxiety. What do you think would happen if he or she started thinking the same thoughts as the anxious driver?
 
The chances are that the once confident driver could now start to feel a little anxious about driving. But the roads haven’t changed, nor has the car they are driving. Only their thoughts. Don’t forget, your thoughts are responsible, not external factors.
 
 
Be rational and logical
 
 
Time to think like Spock. When you are in a stressful situation, your mind starts racing and is out of control. The best way to stop this is to take a step back and think rationally. It helps if you look at the situation from another perspective or another person’s point of view.
 
Let’s take that driving example again. For every worrying thought that crops up, look at it in a rational manner as if you were talking to a friend.
 
What if you did get lost? Do you have a sat nav or a map? What if you do break down? Do you have breakdown cover? Identify what you feel is dangerous about the situation and look at it calmly and rationally.
 
 
Ask yourself ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’
 
 
What for you is the worst thing that could happen? If you get anxious during interviews, what do you fear the most?
 
Not being able to answer a question? Do you feel trapped in a social situation that you can’t escape from? Are you worried you’ll have a panic attack on an aeroplane?
 
 
Identify your worst fear and then examine it logically. No one has died from a panic attack. Panic attacks end. Yes, they are extremely horrible, but you are safe, you are not in danger.
 
Talk to yourself and reassure yourself about the thing you are most afraid of. By analysing them in a logical way, you take their power away.
 
 
Start taking small steps
 
 
So, you know that your thoughts are making you anxious and that they cannot hurt you. The next way to beat your anxiety with CBT techniques is to start taking small steps that will build up your confidence in the situation you find stressful.
 
The best way to tackle this is to make a ladder with the small steps at the bottom that cause you some anxiety but you can do, and goals at the top that cause you extreme anxiety and you cannot do.
 
The way to work through the ladder is to start at the bottom and go through each step until you are bored with it. Only then do you move onto the next step. Most importantly, reward yourself after each step to reinforce a positive emotion with your success.
 
 
Be patient and kind to yourself
 
 
If you have suffered from a phobia or anxiety for years or decades, remember that these CBT techniques won’t work overnight. Your brain has been programmed to feel anxiety.
 
You have learned over the years that a certain situation is dangerous. Now your brain has to unlearn all the lessons you gave it. This takes time, patience and endurance.
 
 
Remember, you may have setbacks as well as good weeks. Don’t expect your progress to be without a few bumps here and there. But reward any small victories and don’t downplay your successes.
 
Remember, what’s easy for some is really hard for you. It is also very easy to slip into a ‘Why me?’ way of thinking but this doesn’t help in the long run. Of course, lots of people have got it easier than you, but equally, a lot more have it much harder.
 
 
 
If all else fails, act normal
 
 
It helps to remember that anxiety is a natural response to stress. As a result, adrenalin rushes through our bodies preparing us to fight or flight. Blood is drawn away from areas such as the stomach (we don’t need to digest food in an emergency situation) and directed to the legs and arms for running or fighting.
 
One way to train our brains that anxiety is an incorrect response is to do something that lets the brain know adrenalin is not required.
 
For example, I remember being in the middle of a panic attack and my friend said something ridiculous which made me laugh. All the anxiety dissipated because my laughter informed my brain there was nothing to be afraid of.
 
It is hard to stop being frightened, but try having open body posture, smiling, talking calmly, and breathing slowly. Even chewing a piece of gum will help as it redirects blood back to the stomach.
 
Being in the grip of an anxious episode is extremely frightening. However, remember that you are in control of your thoughts, and by using these CBT techniques, it is possible to calm your anxiety.
 
 

 

About the Author: Janey Davies.

Janey Davies has been published online for over 8 years. She is the head writer for Shoppersbase.com, she also writes for AvecAgnes.co.uk, Ewawigs.com and has contributed to inside3DP.com. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology and her passions include learning about the mind, popular science and politics. When she is relaxing she likes to walk her dog, read science fiction and listen to Muse.
 
COPYRIGHT © 2018 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 
 
 



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Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.

 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 

 

No religious or political belief is defended here. (Investigate yourself)

 

Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 


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publicado por achama às 08:24
Segunda-feira, 15 / 04 / 19

How to Deal with Obsessive Thoughts When You Have Depression or Anxiety ~ Valerie.

How to Deal with Obsessive Thoughts When You Have Depression or Anxiety.

By Valerie.

learning-mind.com

April 10, 2019. 

 


 

Obsessive thoughts and painful feelings are the curses of depression. One of the most agonizing effects this affliction brings with it is intrusive and unwanted thoughts.
If you are one of the people who suffer from both anxiety and depression, day-to-day life can feel burdensome because of compulsive thoughts. Unwanted intrusive thoughts can cause a great deal of distress. They seem to arise out of nowhere and cause a ton of anxiety.
The content of these unwanted thoughts often focuses on violent or socially unacceptable ideas. People who experience these thoughts are, more often than not, afraid that they would commit the acts they picture in their minds. They also feel that these kinds of thoughts signify something negative and unpleasant about them.
Unwanted thoughts can be very explicit, often making sufferers feel ashamed to admit their presence. This article will help you understand the right approach towards these obsessive thoughts. It will hopefully give you some tips that you can put into practice to deal with them.

Understanding What Obsessive Thoughts Are

Obsessive thinking is a chain of thoughts that are undesirable and invasive for the person. They are typically paired with negative emotions and judgments. More often than not, sufferers experience an inability to exercise any control over these persistent, upsetting thoughts.
The severity of emotions and distraction can range from mild but troublesome, to all-consuming and crippling. These intrusive thoughts can be harsh self-judgments or more serious contemplations such as physically hurting yourself or a loved one.
Obsessive thoughts can affect both your day-to-day functioning and emotional state. When unwanted thoughts first enter our mind, our instinctive reaction is some degree of discomfort, followed by desperate attempts to get rid of the nagging images.
This reaction is completely natural and illustrates the simple human nature: when something is distressing, we avoid it. But obsessive thinking is a different monstrosity altogether that requires conditioned thoughts and the right attitude to handle it.
Even when we try our best to put obsessive thoughts aside, the brain keeps reminding us about the unwanted images and we can’t seem to get rid of them. It is the same fundamental principle – when we are told not to think of something specific, our mind’s response is to do just that.
The secret is being able to understand that thoughts are just fleeting mental images that have no importance by themselves. They cannot impact our lives in any way unless we choose to give them power and influence.

Recognize the Pattern

To stop obsessive thoughts from hounding you, the first step is identifying the thoughts as intrusive. If you’ve had any experience with obsessive thinking at all, you know that this is easier said than done.
We must be able to recognize the recurring patterns in our thoughts. This way, we can have some semblance of control over them. It is quite similar to checking social media or biting nails or tapping feet – it happens unconsciously. If you ever catch yourself caught in this cognitive loop, remind yourself to stop and take a deep breath to come back to the present moment.
Here on out, you can try pinpointing the obsessive thoughts and perhaps writing them down. You can work towards analyzing these thoughts and their patterns to understand what triggers them. This simple activity can help you gauge how you are currently responding to the distressing thoughts.
Once you are focused and can scrutinize your thoughts effectively, try identifying the basic cause of this session of obsessive thoughts in particular. This will guide you towards gaining some perspective.
Seeing the cause of your worries written down in ink might encourage you to see the bigger picture and “get out of your head”. Often we tend to develop harassing thoughts that trap us like a vicious cycle. Actively looking for a way out of this spiral is definitely one of the primary measures you should take.

Accept That Obsessive Thoughts are Predominantly Out of Your Control

overthinking
The next step to overcoming and conquering obsessive thinking is acceptance. Bear in mind that thoughts are nothing more than a set of neurons firing in the brain. They don’t necessarily mean or indicate anything.

Think of your obsessive thoughts as clouds in the sky.

Most of them just come and go. Some of them may carry something substantial and beneficial like rain. But other times, they may just bump around and create storms. But know that through everything, there is a clear blue sky above it all. There is peace and tranquillity right beyond the cloud cover. All you need to do is wait for the dark clouds to subside. This is when you will have clarity and confidence once again.
If we make frantic attempts to escape or suppress these thoughts, it inadvertently leads to the same thoughts being amplified and strengthened. Acceptance, rather than control, is what you should aim for.
It is important to mention here that acceptance does not mean giving up. Only when you let the thought process run its course, and not be heavily impacted by the presence of these thoughts, can you begin to experience comfort in your own mind.
A certain sense of detachment and the understanding that ‘You are not your thoughts’ can go a long way in your battle against depression or anxiety.

Think of the ‘Why Worry’ flowchart when you feel anxious about a particular task or situation. It goes something like this:

If you have a problem in your life, there are only two possible alternatives. Either you can do something about it, or it is completely out of your hands. Either way, ‘Why Worry?’.
If there is something you can do to address the problem, go full steam ahead and exert yourself. After that, and in the case that there is nothing you can possibly do to improve the situation, rest assured knowing that you have already done the best you could.

Delve Into Meditation and Mindfulness

directed meditation
One of the major reasons that obsessive thinking feels painful and bitter is that it is accompanied by difficult emotions and grievous images.
While you sensibly work towards challenging and naming these ruminations, using meditation and mindfulness techniques can provide you with exceptional support to conquer obsessive thoughts. Cognitively questioning and testing the unwanted thoughts and accepting their presence will surely allow you to find a deeper place of rest and stillness.
In Psychology Today, Psychologist Seth Meyers defines mindfulness as “clearing your head and focusing on how your mind and body feels in the moment.”
To achieve this calm state, mindfulness and meditation offer an array of practices to anchor us in the present moment and remind us to compose our thoughts. It soothes anxiety and alleviates stress or anger.
As soon as you recognize obsessive thoughts in your mind, try deep breathing exercises. Then focus on the sounds, odors, and sensations around you. Engage all your senses for this activity. Try inhaling slowly for a count of four, holding it for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of six.
Bring your attention to all the sounds that float to you, and smell that you might not have noticed. Concentrate on how the floor or chair support your body effortlessly. Feel the weight of your body pressing down and the sensitivity of your skin. These grounding exercises help break the cycle of painful ruminations.
There are a bunch of mediation and mindfulness activities that you can try out. Also, consider taking in-person meditation or yoga classes that have a mindfulness aspect. Learning and focusing in a supportive environment will directly impact your well-being in a positive manner.

Reach Out to a Professional if Needed and Get Support

If obsessive thoughts have been harassing you for extended periods of time, it can be indicative of serious mental disorders and illnessesObsessive-compulsive disorder, particularly, can cause persistent, intrusive thoughts to result in a great deal of discomfort and agony.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, or just want a little boost to manage obsessive thinking, reach out to a mental health professional. Counselors are trained to help you live the life you want to live, without the burden of unwanted thoughts, expectations, or emotions. Therapy is also a great way to learn techniques for a balanced and sound mental state.
Our minds are powerful sites. Once we truly understand the nature and essence of obsessive thinking and learn to accept and name them, we are one step closer to achieving mental balance and harmony. Practicing mindfulness and getting extra help when needed allows us to create the state we need to conquer and thrive through life.
References:
  1. https://adaa.org
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com

 




About the Author: Valerie


Valerie holds a bachelor degree in law and a B.A. in Psychology. She is fond of reading and writing about science (especially cognitive science and psychology), technology, and various controversial and thought-provoking topics. She is passionate about movies, travelling and photography.
 
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publicado por achama às 18:40
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