How to Stop Obsessing in Your Thoughts

By Jennifer McDougall

Taming racing thoughts is an essential act of self-care we all must be aware of in recovery. The obsession and overwhelmingness we put on ourselves can become quite debilitating if we don’t get a quick grasp on them. We’ve all experienced excessive brain chatter before, where we can’t stop thinking about something– worrying and wondering. For someone who has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), you may experience these thoughts repeating themselves repeatedly. The exact words and the same phrases are getting going around and around. You can’t seem to stop those thoughts right in their tracks. It’s hard to focus on anything when obsessive thought patterns fully consume you.

According to, there are six types of harmful thoughts.

  • Harm thoughts: Obsessive thoughts related to harming oneself or others
  • Relationship thoughts: Obsessive thoughts related to doubts, fears, or compatibility within an intimate relationship
  • Religious thoughts: Obsessive thoughts related to morals, ethics, and potential blasphemy within a religious context
  • Sexual thoughts: Obsessive thoughts related to sexual orientation or deviant sexual behavior
  • Contamination thoughts: Obsessive thoughts of being contaminated by germs or other viruses and diseases
  • Responsibility thoughts: Obsessive thoughts about whether certain actions or lack of action directly impact and cause risk to others

Obsessive thoughts often stem from anxiety disorders and can result in panic attacks or anxiety attacks. Therefore, it is crucial to be fully aware when obsessive thinking begins to brew in addiction recovery. You don’t want to wait until the issue escalates and becomes an even bigger problem. When you sense that obsessive thinking is starting to occur, have a plan of action.

Common triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Reminiscing over a situation
  • Significant life transitions (relocation, marriage, new job, the birth of a child, graduating college, etc)
  • Receiving bad news
  • Sudden or unexpected changes

4 Ways to Stop Obsessive Thinking

  1. Write down the fears you are having surrounding the situation you’re experiencing. Write about the initial incident that triggered your body to feel heated and your emotions to be heightened.
  2. Practice accepting the situation for what it is. If you can safely voice your opinion regarding what is occurring, do so in a calm and collective manner.
  3. Regular meditation, yoga, and exercise can help relieve your body of the side-effects of stress and anxiety.
  4. Talk to a therapist for professional help. They can help guide you through a transformational life-changing healing process and learn healthy coping methods.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

How to Stop Obsessing in Your Thoughts

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