Is obsessive thinking robbing you of your peace and enjoyment of life?
Do you sometimes wish someone would just come along and chop your head off?
Well, here are some less drastic options that may be helpful.
If you find yourself caught up in obsessive thinking, STOP and be aware
of the judgement thoughts that are there ...the little commentator with a
clipboard taking notes: "This is terrible" "When will it ever stop", "
There is something wrong with me." and so on.
Usually, the main
cause of suffering is NOT the million and one crazy thoughts rushing
through your head BUT the voice which judges them as undesirable.
There is no need to change or do anything at all with these thoughts. The mind is chaotic by nature. Simply becoming aware of them and observing how the mind works, changes your relationship with them. For a more detailed account see addictive thinking.
Whenever we suffer, there is something we are resisting. Non-acceptance of "what is" creates pain.
Instead of fighting against what you are experiencing, try saying YES instead. If you are having a lot of thoughts about something, that is just the way it is sometimes. The mind creates a problem out of it by labeling it as good / bad, desirable / undesirable. Perhaps the greatest secret to happiness lies in being OK with every experience.
When we consciously choose to allow it to be as it is, without judgement, we wrap peace around it. There is no need to change it or fix it. Simply be aware of the tendency to push it away and say YES instead. See finding inner peace"
Watching The Mind
This is an extremely powerful exercise for creating inner peace.
Find a place where you will be undisturbed for a couple of minutes and close your eyes. Simply watch the mind as if it were a movie on a screen.
As each thought arises, give it a number. By replacing the commentary (this is awful, when will it stop etc) with a number, what happens?
As you do this exercise, you will notice that there are two distinct things going on ...the thoughts themselves and the one that is aware of the thoughts, the counter. This raises an interesting question: Which one is "you" ...the thoughts or the one watching? See mindfulness.
Obsessive thinking is usually associated with a strong attachment to a particular outcome. When we believe that our happiness is dependent on things going a certain way, we are setting ourselves up for misery. Even if we get the desired outcome, we will never enjoy it for fear of losing it.
Maybe the Universe has an even better plan in store. We experience inner peace in our lives to the extent that we are able to flow with the ups and downs that life inevitably brings. Happy people don't get bogged down in thoughts like "why me?" or "it is so unfair".
Practicing Self-Compassion And Forgiveness
When we are thinking obsessively about something it is common to beat ourselves up about it. Recognising that you are doing your best under the circumstances and making a conscious choice to be gentle on yourself, immediately brings more peace to your experience. Without self-forgiveness, inner peace is nigh on impossible to achieve.
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