I think everyone should learn how to stop obsessing over different things they want, so they can truly focus on how to reach their objectives and get those things without stressing themselves out. Buddha once said that “You only lose what you cling to,” and he couldn’t be more right! Have you noticed that what you usually cling to tends to slip away from you? Well, I think that this is one of the most frequent mistakes people do when they really want something. They get obsessed with that thing and they can’t see all the other wonderful things they have, things they should be grateful for. It’s easy to obsess over different things or ideas, especially if you are a bit more sensitive and also if you have plenty of material to obsess about. You shouldn’t worry though, because there are plenty of ways to control your thoughts and win this battle. Just read on and find out how to stop obsessing over things you want and how to take charge of your brain:
1. Recognize when You Are Clinging
One of the first things you should do if you want to learn how to stop obsessing over things you want is to recognize when you are clinging. Just analyze your behavior and see if there is anything you are desperate to obtain and if so, just think about what it would happen if you don’t get it. It is really such a big deal for you? Is it the only thing that will make you happy? Aren’t there any other things you should be grateful about? Just think about all these questions if you notice that you started obsessing over something you really want.
2. Identify Your Fear
Okay, so you noticed that there are quite a few things you obsess about on a daily basis. Try to identify the fears that stand in the way of achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams. Just identify those unwanted thoughts that prevent you from being able to focus on your goal and on the work you have to do in order to achieve it. What makes you doubt your abilities? Answer this question and you’ll know what you need to improve about yourself, so you can obtain that thing you really want that you cannot stop thinking about.
3. You Get What You Need, Not What You Want
Just try to accept the fact that sometimes, you might get what you need, not what you want. Hasn’t it ever happened to you to desperately want one thing, something you could never obtain no matter how hard you tried, and later on to discover that just because you weren’t able to achieve that particular goal, you obtained something else, something that made you a lot happier, something it was really meant for you?
If you feel overwhelmed lately because all you can think about is that thing you want so much (like a job, a car, a partner), just take a step back, breathe and relax. There are other things that can make you feel happy, accomplished and satisfied. So every once in a while, just take a break and do something you like, something you enjoy, something that will make you feel more energized and that will help you see things more clearly.
5. Distract Yourself
If you realize that you can’t seem to get a certain thing out of your head no matter how hard you try, just try to distract yourself and focus your attention on something else. Listen to your favorite songs, dance, do some cleaning, read a few pages of that book you love or just talk to one of your closest friends. Make sure that you do this for at least 10 minutes because there are a lot of studies which show that this is “the minimum time needed to break a circle of thoughts.”
6. Make a Date to Dwell
A very good and efficient therapeutic technique you can use to get rid of your ruminations is to schedule a time during the day when you are free to think about everything you’re obsessing about. Just make a date to dwell. This way, when you get an obsession, just tell yourself that you can obsess all you want during that time of day when you scheduled such a thing.
Three minutes of mindfulness when you are feeling overwhelmed by all those unwanted thoughts that come to your mind should help you feel better in no time. Just close your eyes and for one minute acknowledge the thoughts going through your mind. For the next minute, focus on your breathing and for the third minute, try to expand your awareness from your breath to your entire body. Zindel Segal, PhD and co-author of “The Mindful Way Through Depression,” says that “Paying attention in this way gives you the room to see the questions you're asking yourself with less urgency and to reconsider them from a different perspective."
It’s not easy to deal with all kinds of unwanted thoughts going through your mind on a daily basis. Yet, you shouldn’t lose hope because there are quite a few things you can do in order to avoid dwelling on the things that make you feel stressed. Have you ever obsessed over something you really wanted? What did you do to get it out of your head? Do you know any other tips on how to stop obsessing over things we want that you could share with us? Please tell us about them in the comments section!