Comments on
7 Ways to Stop Obsessing

Mason Cooley once wrote: “The cure for an obsession: get another one.”

That’s about as good advice as any that I’ve heard on how to quiet the annoying voices inside your head. They nag, persist, harass, and endure longer than your patience or composure.

I haven’t been very successful at managing mine, as I’m usually processing three obsessions at a time. But a few of my strategies have helped me from time to time. Here they are.

8 Comments to
7 Ways to Stop Obsessing

The comments below begin with the oldest comments first. (If there's more than one page, click on the last comments page to jump to the most recent comments.) Jump to reply form.

  1. I actually read about a study in which they found that the “thought stopping” technique can cause a worsening of obsessions/worries. In that particular study they asked participants to use the technique to stop thinking about a “white bear” – which of course they found increased thoughts about the bear. Another suggestion to deal with obsessive thoughts would be to imagine they are floating by like leaves on a river, notice them, but not let them take hold.. taken from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

    • Thanks for sharing those words of wisdom. I can feel the rumble strip. Aaarrgghh!!!
      About the first comment by Anna: of course one will think about something specific if it is named, like a white bear. That one is like a trick. As for the mentioned meditation of floating down the river. I did a guided one like this and got really scared of the water moving too fast, oh, and I somehow pictured an upcoming waterfall. That was nowhere in the text, but I guess my mind has seen a lot of scary things, so it always predicts the worst. Rumble strips, yes, no floating on a river.

  2. Interesting article with some helpful hints. I would just like to stress that “dealing with obsessions” is NOT necessarily the same as suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is a potentially devastating disorder that can totally ruin lives. The good news, though, is that it is treatable. I talk about my son’s journey through severe OCD and anything and everything to do with the disorder on my blog.

  3. What a wonderful article. Thanks! I feel better already 😀 i’d love to elaborate on how most of this has left me feeling inspired but it’s 5 in the morning and I might get some sleep now I see that this stuff is not unbeatable. Night all.

  4. This is an awesome article. I’m 33 and have delt with this all my life. I’m looking for other ways to get over this. Even contemplating medicine. I’m married but have no trust in my wife. She’s never done anything to deserve this but I cannot stop so I try to spend every waking moment with her. I know its not healthy at all but I dunno any way around this.

    • Mike, I am exactly the same as you. I am 33 and married to a wonderful man, however I obsess with thoughts of him untrustworthy- not necessarily cheating but anything untrustworthy. I’ve been diagnosed with OCD/morbid jealousy. I’ve been in hospital, on meds and had cbt. CBT was good. Meds were horrid so I’m off them. I’d like to chat with you over email to compare? It’s bizzare hearing about someone exactly the same!

  5. Thank you so much. These suggestions are just what I needed. I have been obsessing over some actions of other people which I have no control over and I know that what I make up in my mind is not true, but I just can’t seem to stop, hence, an obession. I am putting these to work as I type. Thank you again.

  6. I really enjoyed this. It improved my mood and I think it was well written. Thanks



Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Post a Comment: