Thoughts not going away?

Discussion in 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)' started by kelden, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. kelden

    kelden Junior Member

    It's important to first of all note that you cannot control the thoughts you have or how much anxiety a spike causes directly. But you might influence it over time. The response which is only natural is to try and neutralize the fear and escape it. For example, the instinctive response would be to:

    • Google information about illnesses to confirm that you don't have them.
    • Obsessively evaluate your level of arousal to determine if you're gay.
    • Avoid anxiety triggers which cause you to have scary thoughts.
    • Switch off the lights and return to the room for a while to make sure they're off, turn them on again to check everything is in order.
    • Wasting time during a math or physics test attempting to draw perfect shapes when is not needed.

    The problem is every time you engage in the instinctual response, you've alleviated your anxiety at the cost of legitimizing the fear you're experiencing. You've sent a very clear message to your brain that this particular thought is a legitimate threat, and to watch out for it in the future.

    The therapeutic response is also known as the 'extinction response'. Rather than trying to escape these thoughts, you accept them and you choose to live with the ambiguity. You allow them a place in your mind, and you allow yourself to feel the anxiety they bring. You're not giving in, and you're not going to try and get rid of the thoughts. By being accepting to your anxiety and these scary thoughts, you're telling your brain that they're not important. Over time, the thoughts and anxiety gradually drop off!...
    janemariesayed likes this.
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  3. djanx

    djanx Junior Member

    I agree and disagree with you on the topic. Thoughts can be controlled and should be controlled if they become negative. If regular techniques don't work, you can always use the rubber band technique that I mentioned elsewhere. Also, hypnosis and self hypnosis works too. Finally, the more you practice observing your thoughts, the better you'll do at controlling them.

    But, I do agree that feeding your anxieties, fears, or obsessions is not a good thing. I generally remind myself about whether something is really relevant to me and generally that stops me from deviating or losing focus. Generally, if you're focused on one thing, you won't be able to focus on another. This is why keeping busy is important. But, what's even more important is that you stay busy doing something that is relevant, practical, positive, and useful.

    Finally, gratitude and statistics are important. If you're paralyzed with fear that you have a disease, its good to Google it, but what is more important is that you should also Google how common it is that someone gets that disease, especially in your specific country.
  4. Alex

    Alex Senior Member

    First of all while Google (or search engines as Google prefer people to stop saying to Google something for IP reasons) is useful, when it comes to facts over theories, the only people you should listen to are medical professionals that are treating you.

    One can get carried away with too much information and that can be dangerous, because how rational can you be when you are biased with your own thoughts? Many of these things written, and also what therapists use are hypothetical theories from studies.

    Sometimes it's down to the personality and genes in that people are anxious, and others laid back. I have an anxious father and a laid back (too much) brother. Each of us has different issues and will tackle them differently, and while some may not go away they can be eased when you feel secure and content.
    Kaynil likes this.
  5. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    This is really true Kelden. I did a little research on how to control our thoughts and I learned that they can indeed be controlled. I found numerous ways how it can apparently be achieved but I do think that it is not as easy as it sounds.

    Actually, we need someone next to us, in our heads to tell us, 'no, that's not a correct thought to have, it's not rightly true'. Then, when we know what the thoughts are we can deal with it.

    Once we have determined what the thought is that is detrimental, we can start to make a change when that thought comes into our mind. For example, when the thought enters our mind, we close our eyes and look up and say to ourselves, 'I don't know about that, all I know is.....' and we fill in the end of the sentence with a different thought. This replaces one thought for another.

    It helps to know how our minds work. Affirmations can work very well as our minds will only listen to the affirmative. Such as if we were to say, 'I don't like sailing', our subconscious mind will hear, 'I like sailing' and go ahead and bring us closer to boats. So when saying affirmations, remember to word them in a positive way. 

    For the relief of negative thoughts, one could simply affirm 'I am always positive in my thoughts, actions, and deeds', and positiveness will come for you.
  6. Naomi

    Naomi New Member

    Google is my worst nightmare when I am obsessing over thoughts and worrying because I feel like it does nothing but make things worse. I agree that positive thinking, positive affirmations, and journaling are very helpful. I also color, i Love my adult coloring books as they allow me to calm my thoughts and get focused elsewhere. I have a big problem with obsessing on thoughts, sometimes irrational ones, and getting them to go away can prove difficult unless I get my mind on something else.

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