When You Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone! Understanding Obsessive Thoughts!

Have you ever found yourself constantly thinking about someone, to the point where it consumes your every waking moment? I know I have, and let me tell you, it’s not a fun place to be. These obsessive thoughts can take over your life, leaving you feeling helpless and confused. But don’t worry, my friend, you’re not alone in this. In fact, it’s a common experience that many of us go through at some point in our lives.

So, what exactly are obsessive thoughts, and why do they happen? Well, according to the American Psychiatric Association, obsessive thoughts are defined as “recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). In other words, they’re thoughts that just won’t leave you alone, no matter how hard you try to shake them off.

But why do we get these thoughts in the first place? There are a few reasons:

  1. Unresolved feelings: Sometimes, we can’t stop thinking about someone because we have unresolved feelings towards them. Maybe you had a falling out with a friend, or you have a crush on someone who doesn’t reciprocate your feelings. These unresolved emotions can keep us stuck in a loop of obsessive thoughts.
  2. Anxiety: Obsessive thoughts can also be a symptom of anxiety. When we’re anxious, our minds tend to fixate on things that worry us, and this can include people. If you’re feeling anxious about a relationship or a social situation, it’s not uncommon to find yourself constantly thinking about the person involved.
  3. Lack of closure: Have you ever had a relationship end abruptly, without any real closure? This can leave us with a lot of unanswered questions and unresolved feelings, which can manifest as obsessive thoughts. We might find ourselves replaying old conversations in our heads, wondering what we could have done differently, or fantasizing about a future that never happened.

So, what can we do about these obsessive thoughts? Here are a few strategies that have worked for me and my clients:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: The first step is to acknowledge and accept your feelings. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or confused after a breakup or a falling out. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, but try not to dwell on them for too long.
  • Talk it out: Sometimes, talking about our obsessive thoughts can help us gain some perspective. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist, and share what’s been on your mind. They might be able to offer some insight or advice that you hadn’t considered before.
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment, without judgment. When you find yourself getting caught up in obsessive thoughts, take a deep breath and focus on your surroundings. Notice the sights, sounds, and sensations around you, and try to let go of any thoughts that are not serving you.
  • Keep yourself busy: Distraction can be a powerful tool when it comes to managing obsessive thoughts. Find activities that you enjoy, and try to immerse yourself in them. Whether it’s reading a book, going for a run, or learning a new skill, keeping your mind occupied can help prevent those intrusive thoughts from taking over.
  • Practice self-compassion: Finally, remember to be kind to yourself. Obsessive thoughts can be frustrating and overwhelming, but beating yourself up about them won’t help. Instead, try to practice self-compassion. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can, and that it’s okay to have these thoughts.

In conclusion, obsessive thoughts about someone can be a real challenge, but they’re not impossible to overcome. By acknowledging your feelings, talking it out, practicing mindfulness, keeping yourself busy, and practicing self-compassion, you can start to break free from the cycle of obsessive thinking. Remember, you’re not alone in this, and there is always help available if you need it.

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I'm Sarah Koch, a Relationship Coach based in Austin, Texas. With over 9 years of professional experience and degrees in Sociology and Counseling Psychology from UT Austin, I specialize in helping people build healthy, fulfilling relationships. On this blog, you'll find practical tips and insightful guidance for improving communication, resolving conflicts, increasing intimacy, and fostering deeper connections in your romantic relationships, family dynamics, friendships and more.

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Mrs & The Misc is a passion project from life coach and mom Sarah Koch. With a background in psychology and years of empowering personal growth, Sarah shares bite-sized wisdom and practical tools for fostering healthy relationships, achieving goals, elevating well-being, and living with intention.

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