I am going to use the next few posts to talk about Obsessive Thoughts. Each one of the posts will ask you to look at your own Obsessive thinking and work through how to stop it or at least diminish it on your own. If you are overwhelmed with obsessive thoughts and this causes you to do rituals or anything repeatedly, please seek mental health help as these are signs of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior.
The first strategy to look at your obsessive thoughts is to take inventory. I recommend the following exercise:
- Grab a piece of paper or open a word processing program
- Write or type all of your obsessive thoughts in your mind right now.
- After each item, write or type what triggers those thoughts.
Here is an example of a list of obsessive thoughts and what might trigger them.
1. We can't afford anything
2. I am going to mess up my children
3. I am going to die
4. Noone is going to like me
5. I am going to lose my home
6. My husband is probably cheating on me
7. I am never going to feel better
1. We can't afford anything --triggered when I pay a bill and see the bank account number go down
2. I am going to mess up my children -- triggered when I get overwhelmed by parenting and raise my voice at my children
3. I am going to die -- triggered when I realize I have not seen the doctor in several years and never do timely check ups
4. Noone is going to like me -- triggered when I am in a new social situation
5. I am going to lose my home -- triggered when I hear stories on the news about foreclosures and the economy
6. My husband is probably cheating on me -- triggered when I realize we have not had physical intimacy for a few weeks yet he isn't asking for it.
7. I am never going to feel better -- triggered when I have a hard day and am battling depressive symptoms
As you can see, these are normal every day concerns for some and may seem a bit irrational for others. If any of these look familiar, that is due to them being extremely common concerns. Now, you may ask..what do I do with these? Well, check in the next post for my next step of working on obsessive thinking