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4 Ways To Stop Obsessing

When you obsess it's as though an unwanted visitor has just entered through the front door of your mind. The thought may be about an issue you faced recently, or you may have a thought that you know is irrational but it comes anyway -- many times both occur simultaneously and frequently. Your experience in the moment can be quite distressing.

If you've bee struggling for 6 months or longer with intrusive thoughts you may be suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). In this case call me for a professional evaluation by telephone and receive a comprehensive assessment and appropriate recommendations.

Here are four techniques to help you stop obsessing.


In meditation training, this is commonly referred to as the practice of "equanimity." You see, a thought is just a thought until you attach meaning and judgment to it. Then it becomes an emotionally charged thought. In essence, it's your reaction to the thought that grows the thought in it's intensity. Practice observing your obsessive thought without reacting to it. Thought without judgment is the experience of having equanimity.


Essentially science has taught us that your brain can process approximately 2 billion bits of information per second. You can begin to think consciously from a field of about 2000 thoughts at any given moment. The inventory technique is wonderful to add to the first technique above. Simply make a game of counting the number of different thoughts as they enter into your awareness. For this exercise it's important to acknowledge different thoughts as they come and move on with the same equanimity as you did with the first, intrusive thought.


In many instances in life you get in trouble for not paying attention. This is one exercise where you get to feel good about breaking this general rule! The next time you experience an intrusive thought allow your attention to wander. What does the top of your head feel like right now? What's on TV? What sounds are you aware of all around you right this moment - how many can you identify? How does your clothes feel on your skin? What does your tongue feel like in your mouth? What is on the outside periphery of your vision right this moment? You get the idea. Simple and powerful.


Sometimes it's an issue that simply continues to come up because it needs attending to. Or it may be an issue that you recently came through but you continue to feel restless about it. In these cases a deeper probing may be helpful. You may need to commit to certain action that will help lay the issue to rest. What would it take to suck the sting out of this nagging thought? Is there someone you need to speak with? If you've already addressed the issue, was the outcome satisfactory? What finishing touch needs to be in place in order to feel complete with this piece?

No one needs to continue to struggle with obsessive thoughts. Put the strategies above to work for you today. They work if you work them! Take good care of your mind.

Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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"The mind was made to be our tool, not the other way around"

  ~ DT-S


Professional Life Coaching

We all have areas of our lives where we know that we need to take action.  Even some areas where we've started and stopped several times, falling short of what we know we can and need to accomplish.  A Life Coach focuses just on YOU, helping, supporting and celebrating successes in your life.  I give free complimentary sessions ($75 value).  Call and learn more about Life Coaching.  It can help you achieve that next level in your life, whether it's a parenting issue, partner issue, organization skills or a work issue. 

Dave Turo-Shields
Professional Life Coach


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