Recurrent and obsessive thoughts are a series of fear and anxiety-induced thoughts that we cannot make up our minds about and that we are constantly circling around. This mental process can be very debilitating and destructive for anyone who experiences it. Because in addition to a general state of malaise and weakness, people who experience this condition also experience anxiety disorders and an increase in stress levels. To put an end to all this, the technique of stopping thinking is a very useful option.
In fact, it’s clear that this kind of obsessive thinking won’t lead us to any results. Let’s imagine that we have prepared a very wonderful project. But we have some reservations and fears about the validity and accuracy of this project. In such a situation, we would probably not be able to stop ourselves from thinking about our concerns about the project. However, I wonder whether these thoughts would be helpful in addressing our concerns or in correcting any details of the project.
How to Successfully Get Rid of Cyclic Thoughts
People who struggle with obsessive thoughts think they have everything under control. They don’t even realize that they themselves are the source that feeds the thoughts that go round and round in their heads. They allow these thoughts to keep going on and on in their minds without the slightest idea of how to stop them. When this happens and you start to get a headache just because of it, the stop-thinking technique can come to your aid.
Ideally, in order to be able to put this technique into practice, we need to know how to recognize the beginning of a possible circular thought process. In this way, we can prevent the anxiety disorder and other disorders that it can cause from getting worse. Similarly, we can manage to control this process from the very beginning, or we can test that the stop-thinking technique works (this requires systematic training). Let’s take a look at what kind of process we need to experience in order to learn this technique.
Stop Thinking Technique
The technique of stopping thinking is a method recommended by many psychologists. At a stage when we are at the beginning of a cyclical thinking process, it is recommended that we isolate ourselves in a place where we are not disturbed by such thoughts. Later on, after we have tried and practiced this technique enough, the need for isolation will disappear. Because after enough practice we will be able to apply this technique almost anywhere and under any circumstances. Eventually, alone and only in the natural daylight, we will be able to devote ourselves to thinking deeply about the thoughts that bother us so much.
In this context, instead of trying to avoid or avoid or ignore such thoughts, we will focus on them. Don’t these thoughts want our attention? Then we will stay like this for at least one minute, giving our full concentration to these thoughts, even if it increases our fears and anxieties. When these thoughts reach their climax, when anxiety and fear envelop our whole being and it becomes unbearable, we will shout very strongly “stop!” or “enough!” without hesitation or shame.
Of course, instead of these words, we can use other words of our own choosing that will do the same thing. The important thing at this point is that the words we use when we shout make us realize that all our thoughts need to stop. Once we have done this, we need to leave the room. At first, the change and the effect on us may not be very noticeable, but after a while we realize that we do indeed feel more relaxed. But our work is not finished yet. Because we have to go back to the room again.
The next time we do this practice, we need to follow the same process as the first time. However, when we shout out the word we have chosen, we should do it in a slightly lower tone this time. As we move in and out of the room, there is a very high probability that, on average, after the fourth repetition we will have learned this technique without uttering any words aloud. As we progress with the technique, after a while we will find that our mind is doing this process and we will achieve the same effect as when we shout.
Practice Makes the Expert
We need to practice often until we master this technique. In this way, we will be able to do it when we need to, when we are surrounded by people, without making them feel anything.
In fact, it is not necessary to consciously apply this method. We are talking about a state in our minds that is activated “without us saying anything”. In other words, this technique will react spontaneously as soon as it recognizes that a thought cycle has started. In this way, the cognitive effort required to apply the technique will be minimal, and we will be able to focus on the conversation we are having or the activity we are doing in our environment without any interruption.
For some people, obsessive thoughts are a major limitation. The problem of not being able to stop thinking, which makes them feel very bad about themselves, prevents them from concentrating on their work and, on top of that, from enjoying life.
In this context, it’s perhaps a bit difficult to say that such people will be able to completely get rid of the circular thoughts in their minds with the stop-thinking technique. However, they will have the chance to shorten the duration of the obsession with circular thinking and reduce the degree to which it interferes with their lives. In this way, they will be able to continue enjoying their lives, doing the things they enjoy and focusing on their work without these thoughts causing them any harm.