Sunday, December 27, 2015

Overcoming #Obsessive Thoughts

Our thoughts wield tremendous power.When constructive,they chart our trajectory;but when not,they can destroy our health and happiness.Obsessive thoughts are a prime example of the second kind.They are recurrent,persistent,embarrassing thoughts and images which come out of the blue and refuse to go.These thoughts are generally violent,sexual or fearful in nature.For example,a person may have repetitive thoughts of murdering or raping someone.Or he may be plagued by blasphemous or incestuous thoughts.

The thinker is immensely disturbed by such thoughts because they are not what he is.The depravity of these thoughts gives rise to a lot of anxiety and he is tormented by shame,guilt, and self-hate.It is very painful to have these thoughts or images buzzing in one's head and the sufferer may even isolate himself to preclude the possibility of carrying out the hateful acts he thinks of.

The Remedy
Persistent efforts are needed to cure oneself of this condition.

*If you are afraid that your thoughts might translate into action--relax.There is no such possibility.These are intrusive,unwelcome thoughts and not your plans of action.In fact, those who have such thoughts are generally decent,gentle folks.The people who commit such acts are different.They do not have compunctions like people suffering from obsessive thoughts have.They just go out and do it.

*Having unacceptable,intrusive thoughts results in a lot of shame and self-hate.Every time you are chagrined by such emotions you need to tell yourself--this is not me,these thoughts do not come from my volition.I totally disown and disregard them.

*Persistent thoughts have a way of engraving deep pathways in our brain so that we automatically think along those lines.You need to change that circuit in order to get relief.If the sight of a child arouses in you a fear that you may kill him then train your mind to respond to the child's sight by saying to yourself--what a cute kid.By and by,after a lot of practice,his sight will evoke the desired reaction--and not that violent thought.Suppose a dreadful image of a road accident confines you indoors,tell yourself 'I will be careful,I have been safe till now and I shall be in future too' and move out.In due course,it is this thought which will come to your mind when you step out of your home.We can change our brain through concentrated repetitive affirmations.

*It is futile to push an intrusive thought out of your mind--it only occupies a wider space that way.Diverting your attention to something else like a physical activity,a chit-chat or mindful scrutiny of your surroundings will erase that thought.Personally speaking,I have experienced that these thoughts vanish the moment I pay attention to the various sounds emanating from my surroundings.We usually do not register the low sounds which surround us,like the tick-tock of a clock,the hum of an air conditioner,the whirring of a fan or the chirping of birds.The moment we pay heed to these noises unwanted thoughts fade away. 

*Intrusive thoughts do not stay for long.If you want immediate relief try deep breathing,watch your breath come and go.This will take your mind off that worry.

*Making relaxation exercises a part of your daily routine will help.

*Meditation too is an excellent tool for controlling the mind.

*It is best to ignore unwanted thoughts--they are harmless.Flick them away like an irritating fly.And it is extremely important to refrain from undertaking any sort of ritual to prevent these thoughts from culminating in action.It is not needed.

At the end of the day, I would say that although these thoughts are harmless their power to unnerve us depends on how much importance we ascribe them.We all have days when one particular concern or the words of a song keep going on in our brain like a broken record.We also have crazy thoughts now and then;but having these thoughts does not make us evil or immoral.It is perfectly natural to have these thoughts.Lots of people do,but it remains private and every sufferer thinks that he is the only amoral person around.

The only difference between a normal person and one agonized by such thoughts is that he gives too much credit to them and concludes that he is no good.This results in a lot of anxiety.If someone is not able to stem them with self-help techniques then he had best consult a mental health professional.Cognitive Behavior therapy or counseling will provide relief in mild cases but severe ones should try medication or a combination of both.

It is best to be aware that a thought is a thought-not reality. 

27 comments :

  1. Great tips to beat anxiety attacks and obsessive thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank God I never had to fight off such obsessive thoughts. I have a single-track mind and can obsess about whatever activity I am currently engaged in to the extent that my conversation becomes monotonous and my thoughts refuse to move over to any other subject. But nothing that makes me afraid or ashamed of myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always nice to know your views Suresh,thank you for reading and commenting.

      Delete
  3. Good tips. Whenever I have disturbed mind, I deep breathe . That helps me a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ranjana,deep breathing certainly helps.

      Delete
  4. You have touched upon a very different but greatly important topic here. I really loved the way you have explained how these obsessive thoughts shape up and occupy our mind and then have the potential to haunt us. And your tips are very useful and practical. Lovely article! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely response Raj.I am so glad you liked it.

      Delete
  5. Wish you and your family a very happy New year!

    Reply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you dear Renu.I too wish you lots of happiness and prosperity in the coming year.

      Delete
  6. That's a great topic to discuss and many people suffer from that, I am sure. Next time, I face unwanted thoughts will try the valuable tips. I wonder what leads to such thoughts in good souls and is it frustration with life? I shall bookmark this post.
    Cheerz and have a fab start of the year.
    www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com
    vishal-newkidontheblock.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obsessive thoughts are a manifestation of anxiety.Brain chemistry could also be at fault.
      Thanks for visiting Vishal,and also for your good wishes,which i heartily reciprocate.

      Delete
  7. Hi Indu, I am so glad that I came across this post of yours, which discusses a very sensitive issue.
    It is so important to realize that intrusive,unwelcome thoughts do not necessarily translate into a plan of action, and that we can train our brain to think differently through concentrated repetitive affirmations.
    Also one should not refrain from the use of rituals to get rid of such thoughts.
    Great points all of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very happy to see you here Somali.You have encapsulated my post in a few lines.I am glad you liked it.
      Have a fab year :)

      Delete
  8. Hello Indu, It was a well written, Lovely, Informative and Helpful article, Have a Nice Day. . . :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much,you made my day.
      Cheers:)

      Delete
  9. was just wondering in fact I came here to say that you were being missed ---but then i found this post --so welcome back Indu ji A Very Happy New Year to you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rajni,
      It feels nice to be missed.Thank you ever so much for your good wishes.I too often think of you.These days i am short of free time therefore blogging has been relegated to the back-seat much though i would love to read the posts of you and other blogger friends.
      Love n hugs.

      Delete
  10. I've been there Indu ji! Sometimes I start thinking about negative consequences and it goes downhill from there. Even if the situation is negative in reality, I try to stay neutral and not get obssessed with the negativity. With time, when we learn to train the mind , we can overcome this. Of course it's not easy but worth all the effort.

    ReplyDelete
  11. When you think of the negative consequences Ashwini,just think of the worst case scenario and you will realize that it is not THAT bad at all,and you can handle it.
    Love

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very nice tips Indu. Obsessive thoughts can take over a person completely and totally rip the peace away from him

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jaishree,glad you liked this post :)

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rohan even i have tired now --see,no post since long.
      Happy now :) ?

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. A wise head on young shoulders-thanks for your feedback Rohan.I feel as if i have said all there was to say..i do have countless true histories in my files but all this is rather tiring and i feel like taking life easy--hence this break.
      My kids live far off,so that is that.
      Take care.

      Delete

I thrive on comments.Will you oblige ?