Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stuck in my head

867-5309, 867-5309...remember that song? Poor Jenny. She had this guy obsessing over her. Poor us. After we listen to this song, we can't get it out of our heads.

Obsessive thoughts are like this, like a song stuck in our heads, they go round and round compulsively. This is not about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), this is about ruminating thoughts that keep us down, thoughts that keep us from enjoying this moment, thoughts that keep us in the past or worried about the future and thoughts about situations we cannot control.

This type of obsessive thought is fear based. When you think this way, you go over and over the same thoughts in your head because you are afraid of something. You are afraid of what the future may bring or you are afraid of the results of decisions you have already made, among other things. What does your body do when you're afraid? It gears up for a fight. Your body sends epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol and stress hormones to jump start you into action. Since you are not in danger, and these hormones are in your system, your stress and anxiety are increased. This is just not healthy. At this level of stress, the best way for you to burn off these chemicals is through exercise. Once you are calmer, meditation will help channel those thoughts.

To deal with obsessive thoughts in a more proactive way, try a morning journal. Let your thoughts go wild on paper in this journal. Write fifteen minutes of train of thought each morning. Give yourself permission to obsess over what is bothering you with the condition that this is the only time in your day you will do it. Then let it go.

The next time your thoughts start going round like a broken record, choose another thought, smell the air, feel the space you are in...use your senses to bring you back into this moment...and get that old song out of your head...

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