Worry is a necessary part of life that helps you identify potential dangers and find possible solutions; however, repeatedly indulging in worrisome thoughts is an indication of an obsessive thought pattern. You may worry excessively about things such as germs, safety, health issues or a spouse leaving you. This can produce negative thoughts and images that keep playing over and over in your head.
Obsessive thinking patterns are usually associated with a high level of anxiety and fear that you are unable to control. It may involve pre-emptive thoughts of disaster or past mistakes, hurtful situations and opportunities lost. Your thoughts can frequently loop. Often there is no real solution to your worries and the fear of failure prevents you from taking any action to adjust to life’s difficulties. You may realise that your thoughts are irrational and that you need to make changes, but anxiety dominates your reasoning. Resisting obsessive thoughts can cause internal turmoil only worsening your condition.
If you have an obsessive thinking pattern that disrupts your life, it is necessary to seek therapy. Your therapist will use cognitive behavioural therapy to help you understand the reason behind your thinking pattern, clear any misconceptions that reinforce it, and provide you with strategies to overcome it. You will learn how to ignore, let go and gain control of the content of your worry and reduce your participation in the worry process by distraction techniques and relaxation exercises. Overcoming obsessive thinking patterns requires resolve, courage, and the realisation that though the thoughts cannot be resisted, they can be controlled.