Drop Obsessive Thoughts

by Mark Ivar Myhre on May 12, 2008

I’ve written before on how to end obsessive thoughts.   As well as how to heal a relationship.

How to end the burdens we bear.

And how to heal the pain caused by others.

Today I want to take a slightly different approach to dropping the obsessive thoughts you may be feeling, especially as it relates to an ended relationship.  In other words, how to let go of the feelings you may still have that cause you to obsess about someone you’re no longer with.

But you could just as easily apply this to ANY obsessive thoughts.

If you’re obsessed about someone – say you’ve broken up with your significant other – then it may be time to step back to gain a higher perspective.   And you may find:

You’re either imprisoned in your thoughts…

or maybe it’s like a ball and chain…

or perhaps you’re just lugging the obsessive thoughts around like a concrete block.

Or maybe you’re spinning on a hamster wheel.

Either way, the first step it to objectify your obsessive thoughts and feelings.  Spend the time – as much time as necessary – to visualize the object that makes the most sense to you.

It could be an object like one of the examples above, or it could be something totally different.

The point is: when you want to end obsessive thoughts, you may find it valuable to objectify them.

Don’t gloss over this important first step!

In fact, if you’ve been dealing with those thoughts for any length of time, I’d suggest spending a whole day mulling it over.   Not every minute, of course.   But throughout the day, as time permits, spend a few minutes thinking about it.

Whenever the obsessive thoughts come up, instead of ‘running’ with those thoughts, why not objectify them instead?

This on-again-off-again activity; thinking of the object and then going back to your daily routine; gives your subconscious mind time to provide its own input.  Which is very important!

Because ultimately, the object is sourced in your subconscious mind.

By focusing on it throughout the day, in engages your subconscious mind.  In fact, you don’t really have to come up with the image on your own.  You can let it come to you from your subconscious.

Another option (rather than thinking of it throughout the day) is to ask your subconscious to help you as you’re drifting off to sleep at night.

Start by taking conscious control of your breathing.  In other words, breathe slow and deliberate.  This draws the attention of your subconscious.

Spend a minute or two taking slow, deep breaths. Then say something like:

“Subconscious, my subconscious, come here and listen to me.

“Subconscious, listen to me.

“Subconscious, listen to me.

“As I sleep tonight, give me a symbol, give me an image, of my obsessive thoughts about (whatever you’re obsessing over).

“Give me the image that best describes my obsessive thoughts about …

“When I wake up in the morning, I want to see the symbol – the image – the object – that best represents the thoughts and feelings I’m holding onto about…”

And the next morning, you should have a pretty good idea of the symbol of your obsessive thoughts.

Now you’ve got something to work with.

Now, rather than fighting off those obsessive thoughts, you can work on the symbol instead.  Focus your attention on the object rather than the thoughts themselves.

Why bother to do this?

Because those obsessive thoughts and feelings most likely are sourced in your subconscious.  At least partly, if not totally.  It’s quite possible your subconscious is locking you into those thoughts and feelings that won’t end.  Especially if you really want to end them, but can’t.

(Forgiveness also works well to end obsessive thoughts and feelings, by the way.)

By working with the symbol; by changing it, breaking free of it, or ending it somehow, you are talking to your subconscious in a way it can understand.  You are speaking its language.

Your subconscious understands images and symbols.  If you let it give you the symbol that best sums up your situation, then you have the greatest chance of making the changes you want to make.

Once you have your symbol, the next obvious step involves working to break free of it.

If it’s a prison; understand you created the prison, you hold the key, and you can walk out any time you want.  If it’s a ball and chain; understand you placed it on your leg, and you can unchain it any time you want.  If it’s a concrete block you’re lugging around with you; realize you can drop the block when you’re ready.

In fact, with any object, the first thing to understand is that you created it.  It was not created by the other person, or any other source.

I know that’s obvious, but it’s important to really let it:

I created this object which now limits my freedom.  I started it, and by making it too real, it solidified in my subconscious mind.

And that’s good news!   Because if I created it, that means I can change it.  (Your subconscious, by the way, works for you! It gives you what IT thinks YOU want.)

Sometimes, simply walking out of the prison is enough.   Or dropping the concrete block. Sometimes that’s all you have to do to be free.   Or perhaps you need to mentally seek and find the key to unlock your prison.  Maybe you need to slowly stop the spinning of the hamster wheel.  Maybe you need to imagine yourself with a hacksaw, cutting through the ball and chain over the course of a few days.  (Be inventive!!!)

Other times, you can drop that block a hundred times and nothing happens.

Why the difference?

It all comes down to your willingness.

That’s it.   There is no ‘hidden power’ that can keep you locked in obsessive thoughts. There is no ‘inherent weakness’ in you.  You’re not flawed or defective.

You’re simply not willing to let them go.  Yet.

And that’s okay, as long as you recognize what’s going on:

“I’m holding on for some reason.”

“I’m getting something out of these obsessive thoughts.”

A specific, unique, and attractive reason exists for holding onto obsessive thoughts. Sometimes, if you’re just plain sick of the thoughts, you can end them quickly and easily by working with your symbol.  Other times…

Your secret reason holds too much allure.

Maybe you feel the need to prove your loyalty.  Maybe you refuse to let the love die.  Maybe you want to avoid the natural grieving process that always accompanies a death.  (Obsessive thought is not the same as grieving!)

Maybe it’s a hidden fear around the loss of love.   Maybe it’s a way to feel sorry for yourself.   Maybe it’s a way to get others to feel sorry for you.

Or do you simply not want to feel the INTENSE anger underneath the obsession?  There could be any number of reasons why you hold on; both positive and negative.

Just because you keep holding on, doesn’t make you bad or wrong or somehow defective.  It just means the holding on seems a better alternative.

The key is to find that hidden reason you’re holding on to the obsessive thoughts..

One way is to work with the symbol as you normally would – finding a way to be free of it.

And carefully note the thoughts and feelings that come up as you imagine yourself being free.

Those thoughts and feelings that come up as you’re, say, unlocking or walking out of your prison… they hold the key to understanding why you would resist.

Give yourself permission to let those thoughts and feelings come up… and give yourself permission to feel them and release them.

Whatever they may be – you need to embrace them to truly be free of your obsessive thoughts.

Finally, keep this in mind:

Obsessive thoughts are a smokescreen – a distraction – from the REAL thoughts and feelings lying underneath. It’s almost like you’re choosing to hide in your obsessive thoughts rather than to feel your REAL feelings.

And most likely, it’s because the REAL feelings are too intense. And intensity scares us.

Obsessive thoughts are shallow.

But your power lies hidden within the depth of intensity.  Just something to keep in mind…

{ 1 comment }

trisha pardo December 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm

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