It is actually very common to have obsessions. If this is a concern for you, you can learn how to deal with obsessions in this article. As humans, we are beings who are constantly thinking.
Therefore, we need to normalize the fact that we tend to have a number of random thoughts. The problem arises when these thoughts become obsessive and limit our daily functioning.
How to deal with obsessions
This type of thing usually happens because a person puts too much value or significance into thinking about something. As a result, your thinking goes from being a simple mental event to becoming a psychological problem.
There are big differences in how we relate to our cognitive events. Some people are able to avoid becoming their thoughts and instead see them for what they are and not put too much value or meaning into them.
On the other hand, other people identify with their thoughts. Often these people share traits like perfectionism and a sense of responsibility.
Therefore, they end up relating to and eventually turning into their own thoughts, as if they were in real situations. But thoughts are often creations in your mind and not the same as reality.
Also read: Five strategies for turning negative thoughts into positive ones
One of the most common treatment methods for this condition is to learn to deal with obsessions. Logically, the person needs to learn new ways to approach, interact, and relate to his thoughts. The ultimate goal is not to let your thoughts control your life.
To think or not to think? That is the question
Obsessive thoughts can become enormously annoying. Remember all the times when you had the summer song in your head and you couldn’t get it out. In fact, the more you tried not to listen and hum, the more it disrupted your life.
With obsessions the same thing happens. The idea of ”not thinking” ironically backfires, and then the thought becomes stronger. Therefore, the key is to learn to live with your thoughts and look at them as if you were a spectator to your mental processes.
However, this exercise is not easy. We have already found that obsessions are very unpleasant and the natural thing we do is try to remove them from our head to get rid of anxiety. This is where coercion comes into play: Almost unconscious actions that neutralize the discomfort and make the obsession manifest.
In the short run it seems to work, but in the long run the “solution” will be the real problem. We become addicted to these compulsions and use them to remove obsessions, which are therefore intensified.
Strategies for dealing with obsessions
The idea is that one must not fall into a compulsive habit as a means of neutralizing thoughts and avoiding thoughts. Therefore, the strategies that have worked best for dealing with obsessions are the following:
To cognitively dismantle our mental events means to know how to separate thoughts from reality and you as a person. That is, it is necessary to acknowledge that you are not your thoughts: You are so much more than your thoughts. On the other hand, it is also necessary to realize that having thoughts does not mean that they are realities.
Thoughts are nothing more than that: psychological content, images and perception. However, they are not objective and verifiable realities. Therefore, it makes no sense to act on ideas that do not correspond to reality.
Also read: Self-fulfilling prophecy: When your thoughts become reality
It is much more functional to treat thoughts as entities that you do not like and watch them pass. You can even greet them and stay with them until they start to decrease in intensity.
To deal with obsessions, stop putting so much emphasis on them
You do not have to focus on a thought just because you think about it. We have already said that thinking is extremely human, just like dreaming.
We all have thoughts that we would be ashamed to acknowledge or say out loud. However, that does not mean that they are important or that they define us in any way. Therefore, it is good to reduce the value we attach to thinking.
Embrace your thoughts
Not only do we not have to run away from our thoughts, but we must try to perform the mental exercise of embracing them. Embracing our demons means being open to their presence even though we do not like them.
This part is important. For every coercive act we perform, we tell our thoughts that they are right. That is, we perform a real action based on a mental idea.
Reality and your mind are two different worlds that do not necessarily have much to do with each other. Therefore, it is necessary to make an effort to inhibit compulsions so that you do not feed your obsessions further.
Are you trying to figure out how to deal with obsessions?
As you have hopefully learned, there are several strategies to do this and prevent these thoughts from taking over your life. However, it is a good idea to also see a psychologist for extra support and guidance.