How to Get Out of a Mental Loop: Notes About Obsessive Thoughts.

pensamientos obsesivos

Have you ever had obsessive thoughts?

I don’t mean about being very passionate about something or someone. I’m talking about those unpleasant thoughts that come out of nowhere and do not let you think of anything else.

We all usually think things that surprise and annoy us.

There are plenty of examples: imagining that an accident will occur while we’re in traffic, thinking that we will receive bad news, asking ourselves if we closed the door and windows after leaving home ― and even if we know we have done so ― listing how many catastrophes could happen as a result of our supposed oversight. Another type of obsessive thinking is when we review some past conversation over and over  in order to find some kind of hidden meaning.

These are examples of thoughts that many people have. However, while many of us may let them pass, there are those who engage in these thoughts. And that’s what makes them obsessive.

Obsessive thoughts have several characteristics that define them:

They’re intrusive.

Whoever has them can’t change them at will, even if they recognize them as  irrational or exaggerated.

They’re repetitive.

Unable to stop those thoughts, the person enters a kind of loop and goes through the same chain of thoughts again and again. This is why they are also called ruminative thoughts.

They’re exhausting.

Obsessive thoughts can cause a great emotional wear and tear. In addition, they often cause guilt because those who enter the loop, acknowledge that they’re using their time and mental resources in something that is not worth it. Who would not get tired of thinking something disturbing time after time?

How to get out of a mental loop.

Here are some recommendations for dealing with obsessive thoughts:

1. The first thing I would recommend to you if you have these thoughts, is that you do not try to control them. These thoughts are irrational and therefore, it’s not worth trying to argue with them. It’s difficult, but try to let them flow. Remember that they’re just a few more of the thousands of thoughts you have every day.

2. On the same line, I suggest you watch this video with a very apt metaphor: thoughts like the dishes that rotate on a sushi tray. I also recommend this article that offers a meditation to stop obsessive thinking.

3. Finally, I’d like to add that if these kinds of resources do not work for you, consider starting a process of psychological counseling so that you can find the origin of those thoughts and have more resources to deal with them.

I hope these links help you and please share this page if you know someone who may find it useful or interesting.