How to stop obsessive worrying and obsessive compulsive checking

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Do you worry often?

Do you always worry about upcoming events?
Do you keep checking your email, logs or inbox every now and then?
Do you keep getting negative obsessive thoughts all the time?

Every ordinary human being worries about certain things from time to time but when worrying becomes so obsessive that it prevents the person from carrying on his daily life tasks then serious actions should be taken.

When obsessive worries haunt a person they force him to do take a certain action over and over in order to calm his mind down. for example obsessing about work problems could force a person to keep checking his mail every five minutes in order to feel better.

Does distracting yourself really work?

Many treatment schools try to help people get over obsessive worrying but telling them to distract themselves from these thoughts in a way or another. However studies have shown that the more you try to forget about something the more will your subconscious mind remind you of it.

Your mind simply keeps reminding you of that thing because it believes that its important. Now when you try to ignore a thought or claim that its not important you are actually trying to deceive yourself.

Self deception can never end worries but it only lets them return back in a more powerful way.

How to stop obsessive worrying and obsessive compulsive checking

So how can a person really end obsessive worrying?

  • 1) Respect the thoughts: You must understand that the thoughts you get, if they were realistic, are trying to direct your attention to something that you really care about in your life. You can't expect to stop worrying about your work problems by trying to forget about them or claim that they don't exist
  • 2)Move!: What are you worried about? Do you feel financially insecure? then you need to increase your income. Are you afraid to get fired? Then you need to work on your performance. Whatever that thing you are worrying about you can only end obsessive thoughts for good when you take actions. If your subconscious mind found those actions serious enough then your worries will disappear (see also How fear affects people's lives)
  • 3) Watch out of worries that come disguised in other forms: Why would someone keep getting thoughts that he left his car door open? In such a case these thoughts can be the result of feelings of insecurity about losing money. In other words one obsessive thought can come in the form of another thought. A man who worries about germs very often might actually be worried about making sins or doing bad things. (see also What to do if you are obsessed with cleanliness)
  • 4) Write a plan: Some problems can't be solved right away and require some time to be dealt with. In such a case you don't want to keep worrying until the problem is solved and that's why you need to find a way to calm your subconscious mind down. Your subconscious mind can stop sending you obsessive worrying signals if you provided it with a written plan that seemed convincing. In other words, when you write your plan down your worries will ease provided that you have faith in the plan

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Want to know more?

Why do we worry?

How to treat psychological disorders

Dealing with pessimism

Obsessive compulsive disorder psychology

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