How to stop obsessive thinking
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How to stop obsessive thinking

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This presentation provides information on how to stop obsessive thinking.

This presentation provides information on how to stop obsessive thinking.

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How to stop obsessive thinking How to stop obsessive thinking Presentation Transcript

  • How to StopObsessive ThinkingCreated &Presented byBrenda McCreightPh.D.
  • Disclaimer Obsessive thinking is serious and it can ruin a day or a life If you have obsessive thoughts please seek the help of a licensed mental health professional This Powerpoint presentation is offered only as information and is not a replacement for therapy
  • Definition of obsessivethoughtsPersistent, uncontrollable thoughts, impulses, orimages that are intrusive, unwanted and /ordisturbing for the individual orothers who are impacted by theassociated behavior
  •  Obsessions of any kind have a neurobiological base Different sources report that 1 in 40 or 1 in 50 adults have some form of obsessive behavior or thinking It can develop at any age or life stage Researchers do not yet know for sure what causes obsession OT‟s can exist on their own, or they can be part of another mental health conditionBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  •  OT‟s can be about memories, or behaviours, or ideas, or regrets, or fears, or fantasies, or shame based experiences, or people, or…..whatever is unique to your brain OT‟s are rarely pleasant or comfortable Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  •  OT‟s keep us stuck in the past or keep us invested in a fantasy of the future OT‟s prevent us from living in the present Sometimes – OT‟s are a way of avoiding the present – they can be a disturbed defense mechanism, or, a way of protecting us from dealing with the “NOW” of our livesBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  •  If you weren‟t having OT‟s what would you be thinking about? How would you be spending your time?
  •  Inorder to interrupt OT‟s, you have to be clear about what they are – so – name them Write them down with as much detail as possible Or, tell someone about them, and describe them fully Don‟t be afraid – – reach out to someone if you feel afraid or overwhelmedBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  •  Notice when you obsess or ruminate on things you can‟t change Is there a pattern? Or a particular trigger? Are you tired? Hungry? Thirsty? Stressed? Alone? Anxious? Rushed? Driving your car? Laying in bed? Worried? Angry? Afraid? If there is a trigger- what can you do about it? Can you avoid it? Can you get it out of your day or your life?Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  • Assumptions… What are your assumptions about the OT‟s? Do you assume that another choice would have had a better result? Do you assume that if you wash your hands you will never die? That if you count to 50 before opening a door nothing bad will happen to the people you love? That if you hum “The Lullaby of Broadway” enough times you will win the lottery? Write these down or tell someone – the task is to externalize the assumed outcome that is tied to the obsessive thoughtBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  •  Don‟t judge your assumptions and distortions about your OT‟sThey aren‟t good or bad, they just are…beaware of them but don‟t punish yourself forthemBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  • Have you distorted this? Many of us give too much room in our brains to our fears and insecurities Have you made your fears or regrets larger than they should be? Have you catastrophized what could, should, or will happen? Have you minimized or discounted all that you have accomplished? Have you decided this *thing* that you are obsessing about is all that matters in your world?Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  • Summarizing so far…To summarize the previous steps –1) Write down, or talk about, all the details of the OT2) Notice when OT‟s occur – are there patterns or triggers the precede the OT?3) Don‟t judge the OT4) Don‟t make assumptions about the OT5) Does the OT serve as a form of denial or self protection – ie better to think about the OT than something scarier?
  • Disrupting an OT… The OT is a form of habit – the brain can be re-trained to break the habit When you realize you are ruminating or having an OT ------- Shake your hands as hard and fast as you can – this will disrupt the OT thought process Stand up if you are sitting; sit if you are standing; turn over if you are lying down; do something to change your physical position
  •  Continue to shake your hands till you can‟t do it any longer (or people are noticing and giving you really strange looks) Take some deep breaths – if you have time do this breathing exercise: Quiet the Monkeys (the monkeys are the OT‟s)
  •  Quiet the Monkeys Think of a word that describes how you want to feel Square your shoulders Think about your breathing – a little deeper & a little slower (30 seconds) Think about your heart (30 seconds) Picture your heart pumping the oxygen up to your brain and washing out the OT‟s
  •  Think of something that gives you joy – a place, a person, an event, a memory etc. (30 seconds)When your mind drifts, come back to thetaskDon‟t time yourself, just approximate the 30seconds - do any step longer if you can orwant to
  •  Afteryou have done the breathing exercise, keep yourself distracted by focusing on another task – wash the dishes, tackle an overdue report, go for a walk and keep up the breathing and some hand flapping, talk to your dog or your spouse, watch a tv show that actually interests you, read a book or magazine
  •  Practice any form of meditation – take a class to get started, read a book about meditation, check out meditation sites on the „net or youtube. Meditation will train you to control your thoughts and the focus of your mind You don‟t have to do major meditation, any kind that gives you a few moments of focused thinking will be of benefit
  • In addition… Speak to your physician or psychiatrist or licensed mental health professional about using prescribed medications to helpreduce the OT‟sHealthy eating, exercise, stressmanagement, positive relationships, developingconflict resolution skills – all of these may needto be considered in reducing or resolving theOT‟sThis may seem like a lot to do, but it will take lessenergy than the OT‟s
  • Thank you for sharing this timewith me… You can check out other services and products at these sites: http://www.lifespancounselling.com http://www.theadoptioncounselor.com http://www.hazardousparenting.com The Hazardous Parenting facebook site Udemy.com (search under Brenda McCreight) Slideshare.com (search under Brenda McCreight) Amazon.com (search under Brenda McCreight) brendamccreight@gmail.com Brenda provides counselling and parent coaching worldwide via skype, telephone, and email – please contact her by email if you would like to book an appointment.