07 Jun Do You Over Think Or Obsess On Thoughts?
One thing that I hear often is, “how do I stop the thoughts!” What happens when you have repetitive thoughts that are focused on something that doesn’t serve your highest good? You don’t need an expert to tell you what could potentially happen when you have continuous repetitive thoughts. These thoughts can lead us to do horrible things to ourselves and to others that can be emotionally, physically and spiritually abusive. Never fear! There is hope on how to manage and cope with repetitive thoughts, fixations, obsessions and preoccupations.
Obsessions are fixated thoughts that continue to loop in your mind over and over again. This means that our mind is somewhere else, preoccupied and not present. Some people relieve the looping thoughts by acting them out in a compulsive behavior, by yelling, eating, smoking, hand washing, sexing, emailing, pacing, substance abuse and etc. Obsessions can range from excessive to situational and can vary in intensity. If the obsessions are very frequent and have intense power over you, please consult with a professional.
Obsessive thinking can keep a person preoccupied and disconnected from important tasks, such as work, relationships and etc. I think that obsessive thinking is one of the greatest escapes of the mind. Some may have learned to write music, to sing, to paint in order to cope with these thoughts. Some of us just don’t know how to train the mind. It is a skill and a skill can be learned.
There is hope! One must learn to train the mind, just like Luke Skywalker. No, you don’t have to stand, blindfolded swinging a bat at a laser-firing ball. The practice of mindfulness can be very helpful with managing and reducing those obsessive thoughts.
Mindfulness skills teach you how to raise your consciousness and reduce negative emotion. Mindfulness skills consist of three areas: awareness, acknowledgement and acceptance. You can practice these skills by learning to observe without judgment, describe your experience in simple language, and participate in the natural flow of your life with ease and grace. How you practice this skill is very simple. You train yourself by focusing on something you want to focus on. Then, follow your breath and watch. Do you get distracted? Are you over thinking? If so, notice and with ease and grace turn your mind back to your focal point. Continue to practice this skill by turning your mind back to your focus without judgment and hardness. This practice will build your attention muscle. The key is ease and grace, without force and judgment.
So get started today by practicing a mindfulness skill this week. Here are some ideas:
–Follow your breathe while focusing on a candle. When you get distracted notice and come back to your breath and the candle.
–Follow your breath while you walk.
–Stay fully present while washing your dishes and when you get distracted, notice and come back to the dishes.