If you want to learn how to stop obsessive thoughts, the first step involves understanding exactly what’s happening to you right now. It’s like you’re spinning on a hamster wheel. Like a treadmill that just runs in circles without ever getting anywhere.
Why? Because you lack TRACTION. You spin because there’s nothing to grab hold of. I know; it’s obvious. But it’s important to really let it in: you lack traction. That’s why you can’t stop the obsessive thoughts.
Fortunately, you can easily gain the traction you need to end those thoughts. You can end the obsession with unwanted thoughts by following a few simple steps.
Years ago, as I studied the finer points of riding a bicycle, I learned a simple but profound truth: the bicycle usually follows the eyes. The bicycle follows the path I choose to focus on, on the road ahead of me.
If there’s a pothole up ahead, and I keep staring at it; I’m liable to end up riding right through it. Not good. (But since we tend to shift our gaze away from the pothole, we miss it.) The bike follows the path we gaze upon.
Same here. When you have obsessive thoughts, it’s like you’re staring at that pothole and you can’t stop staring. It’s like a deer frozen by the headlights of a car. You just can’t stop.
Again, I know; it’s obvious.
You’re thinking about something because you HAVE to think about it. You have to think about it because you ARE thinking about it. A catch-22. Can’t stop… can’t stop… can’t stop… those obsessive thoughts. Spinning away on a hamster wheel…
So where lies the traction? With your FEELINGS. Because what happens when you’re thinking your obsessive thoughts? You are NOT in touch with your true feelings. Your TRUE feelings.
Oh, you might be feeling something. Most likely, though, what you feel lacks realness.
Take blame, for example. Blame lubricates the hamster wheel. You can blame all day long and not move ahead one inch. True feelings – REAL feelings – give you something to push off from. Blame gives you nothing. It only takes.
Or how about righteousness? If you have the ‘right’ to be angry (and when you think about it, WHO DOESN’T?!!) you will sit and spin for days, weeks, years. The price you pay for righteousness: you must keep thinking the same thoughts over and over and over. Obsessing. Because you really are ‘right’.
Look, everybody thinks they’re right. It’s not a question of who’s really right. No. Here’s the true question: do you want to learn how to stop obsessive thoughts, or don’t you?
Which holds greater value? Peace of mind; happiness; resolution; balance; realness?
Or spinning in righteousness; blame; pity; avoiding responsibility?
If you’re truly ready to stop the obsessive thoughts, here’s how to do it: First, write down those obsessive thoughts on paper. It probably won’t take more than a sentence or two. Maybe a paragraph. Then, DIG DEEPLY into what those thoughts make you feel.
It always starts with righteousness or blame or pity or judgments or something similar. That’s fine. Whichever lubricant comes up – write it down.
“It really is their fault!”
“I really am right!”
“I am such an idiot!”
Whatever. And then recognize: this is the lubricant that won’t let me stop those obsessive thoughts.
Next, gut-check time. Which holds greater importance? Going deeper into the realness; the real feelings underneath? Or obsessing over this little statement I just wrote down?
It’s not a question of who’s right. It’s not a function of who’s to blame. It’s not a matter of judging yourself or others harshly. The real question: what’s more important to you?
You can always dig deeper and deeper into your TRUE feelings if you want to. You can feel without the slimy lubrication. Simply focus on your HEART instead of your HEAD. Stop looking at the pothole in your head. Change your focus.
Imagine a hamster wheel spinning in your head. See it spinning and spinning away. Think the agonizing, obsessive thoughts. Then imagine it slowly turns into a sphere of light. Let it slowly sink down to the middle of your body. Feel it sinking down through your head, into your neck, then into your chest and then maybe all the way to your stomach or where ever feels right to you.
Let it becomes a gyroscope, if you absolutely must have motion!
Focus on either the gyroscope or the sphere of light in the middle of your body instead of the hamster wheel in your head. Repeat this little exercise whenever you feel the obsessive thoughts coming back.
Seek out the feelings that come from your BODY. Not the so-called feelings that come out of your head. Focus on your body. And stop focusing all your attention in your head.
All the while, taking the time to write things down. And FEEL what those statements feel like… not THINK what they feel like! That’s the key to gaining traction. Get out of your head and into your body.
That’s the key to truly learning how to stop obsessive thoughts: focus on the feelings that you feel in your body.all the best,
Mark Ivar Myhre
The Emotional Healing Coach
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